Making Laudato Si’ a reality.

Many thanks to Anne Dodd our parish volunteer at Our Lady and St Edmund Abingdon for sharing her report on the National Justice and Peace conference on Action for Life on Earth.

“It was an uplifting and invigorating experience to be, for a whole weekend, amongst 200+ others who felt equally strongly that Laudato Si- Pope Francis` Encyclical Letter on Care of the Earth, Our Common Home was the Good News that the world was waiting to hear from the Catholic Church. Pope Francis has opened our eyes to see that Care of Creation is an intrinsic part of our Catholic faith. In responding to the “cry of the earth “ and the “cry of the poor”, as Laudato Si urges, we put our faith into action.

The theme of this year`s  Annual Conference was timely and urgent with signs of  the climate emergency increasingly apparent around us and the November UN COP26 climate talks in Glasgow less than 100 days away. The challenge is, we all agreed, was to turn the words of Laudato Si into the lived reality in each diocese, each parish, each school, each personal life. There was, and is, no lack of leadership and resources to call on. Bishop John Arnold, the lead bishop on the environment for England and Wales, and Dr Emma Gardner, the Head of Environment in his diocese of Salford offered us fully what had already been done in one diocese, which could be drawn on by all. The other keynote speakers, particularly Lorna Gold, the Chair of the Global Catholic Climate Network who has worked closely with the Vatican, inspired and encouraged us. In workshops and informal diocesan groupings, ideas and suggestions were freely shared.

4 specific ways ahead emerged, relevant at diocesan and /or parish level.

  1. Fossil fuel divestment by every diocese. Although all Anglican dioceses have achieved this, only four Catholic ones have done so.
  2. Now that each diocese has appointed an Environmental Head, there was a recognised need for clear environmental policies that would involve every aspect of diocesan work.
  3. All religious denominations had already been urged to hold a Climate Sunday this autumn. The Season of Creation, which is also marked ecumenically, from 1st Sept to 4th Oct would be a particularly timely period for each parish to have this in the run up to COP 26 in November.
  4. Every parish should work towards becoming a Live Simply Parish.

Resources abound. A template for a Climate Mass (and other resources) are on the CAFOD website, which also has all the details for becoming a Live Simply Parish. The Season of Creation website has resources and ideas. The Operation Noah has details of the Bright Now campaign for churches to divest from fossil fuels, with help and advice.

As for the Conference itself, all the presentations are already on YouTube and reports are on both the Tablet website and the Independent Catholic News website.

We have all we need to make Laudato Si`s prophetic call a lived reality in all our lives!”

For more information on the livesimply award click here.

Guernsey Laudato Si’ Group

Destruction of forests

Norah Gregson one of our CAFOD parish volunteers in Guernsey reports on the Guernsey Laduato Si’ group . “In Pope Francis in his encyclical, “Laudato si “,  calls on all of us  to do two things : to care for the planet , “Our Common Home “, and to have” solidarity with the poor  “  We are only too aware of the  environmental challenges we face and of how much our use of the planet’s resources impinges on the poorest people in it . Our experience of “ Lockdown “ has really brought to our attention the huge importance of the natural world and  our need to protect it . We have also learned that we  CAN live more simply , use food more thoughtfully , waste less ,consume less .As parishioners of Our Lady and the Saints of Guernsey we have formed a group ,” Laudato  si  Guernsey” to pray ,reflect and act on Pope Francis’ call, to find ways of putting it into action in our community to inspire us all to ecological “Conversion. “.

As individuals and families we can think and act more thoughtfully towards our God given and beautiful  planet and we hope to bring some ideas of ways for us  to do that each week .

What better  people to start us off with a few tips than some of our youngest pupils from Notre  Dame School.  Here are  some of them :

“Try walking some days instead of driving. “ Ella Rose Y 6

 “Don’t flush baby wipes or other wipes down the toilet as they DO NOT break down . “  Shea  Y6 .”

Rising sea levels in Pacific Ocean are destroying islands

Lenten reflections on Laudato Si’ from CAFOD & Caritas Portsmouth

Laudato Si'Myself and Kevin Gallagher director of Caritas Portsmouth were asked by Sr Hyacinthe Formation for Mission for the Diocese to put together some reflections on scriptural links in Laudato: Si’ Care for Our Common Home written by Pope Francis in 2015 and practical ideas on how to repsond. There are 6 podcasts one for each week of Lent which you can listen to on https://www.godwhospeaks.org/media  

or here 

Poster

Poster

We are also organising a Joint CAFOD & Caritas Portsmouth Conference called “Laudato Si’ and Me” on Saturday 25th April from 10am to 3:30pm at St Edward the Confessor Church Chandler’s Ford SO53 2DU .

At the conference Francis Stewart from CAFOD’s Theology team will explore scriptural links in Laudato Si’ and John Paul de Quay from Arundel & Brighton Diocese Journey to 2030 project  will share his thoughts on the Pope’s call to ecological conversion. In the afternoon we will explore the Sustainable Development Goals agreed by UN countries through an interactive game  .Bishop Philip will join us for the closing liturgy.

Everyone is welcome please bring a packed lunch tea/ coffee will be provided .

Please book on eventbrite here