LAUDATO SI – Hope and Joy

Looking with love in hope and joy.
Looking with love in hope and joy.

In paragraphs 222 and 223 of Laudato Si (https://cafod.org.uk/Pray/Laudato-Si-encyclical), Pope Francis says:

“Christian spirituality proposes an alternative understanding of the quality of life ……It is the conviction that “less is more”. A constant flood of new consumer goods can baffle the heart and prevent us from cherishing each thing and each moment. To be serenely present to each reality, however small it may be, opens us to much greater horizons of understanding and personal fulfilment………. Happiness means knowing how to limit some needs which only diminish us, and being open to the many different possibilities which life can offer.

Pope Francis observes that we must be at peace with ourselves to cultivate a sober and satisfying life. This means being integrated with nature:

 “taking time to recover a serene harmony with creation, reflecting on our lifestyle and our ideals, and contemplating the Creator who lives among us and surrounds us……”. (Laudato Si paragraph 225} ……..”We are speaking of an attitude of the heart, one which approaches life with serene attentiveness, which is capable of being fully present to someone without thinking of what comes next, which accepts each moment as a gift from God to be lived to the full. Jesus taught us this attitude when he invited us to contemplate the lilies of the field and the birds of the air, or when seeing the rich young man and knowing his restlessness, “he looked at him with love” (Mk 10:21).” (Laudato Si paragraph 226}

THE LIVESIMPLY AWARD

This is the essence of living simply and leads us towards our parish taking on the Livesimply challenge. The livesimply award is an opportunity for Catholic communities – parishes, schools, religious orders and chaplaincies – to respond to Pope Francis’ invitation in Laudato Si’ to “work with generosity and tenderness in protecting this world which God has entrusted to us”.

CAFOD’s web site explains about becoming a livesimply community at https://cafod.org.uk/Campaign/Livesimply-award

It involves your community living simply, in solidarity with people in poverty and sustainably with creation, explaining how to apply, how to get started, plus a talk for your community and many other resources. May your community be one which “accepts each moment as a gift from God to be lived to the full.” Pope Francis – Laudato Si, paragraph 226.

Here are some comments by parishioners who have participated in taking the livesimply challenge:

  • I was very impressed that I had arrived in a parish that took social justice seriously.
  • The live simply award made more parish members aware of the damage being done to the planet by climate change.
  • It also brought the parish together e.g. 2nd hand clothes sales; distribution of baubles for our Christmas tree containing messages; our monthly Fairtrade stall after mass.
  • Displays in the church at prominent times through the year, such as green hearts, to “Show the Love” for our planet, and promoting a plastic free Christmas, have made parishioners think about our chosen lifestyles and whether anything can be changed in the way that we carry on our day to day lives.
  • The shop in Wareham, where you use your own storage containers to collect food, has not only made us think about reusing but it has also helped the local community.
  • Parishioners chose the challenges we undertook for the award which enabled everyone to think about and contribute to the process.
  • A good proportion of parishioners joined in the challenges which demonstrated our willingness to come together and enabled us to experience the feelings of togetherness.
  • When we looked at our average water consumption and the various ways we consumed water, compared with many people in the Global South, it made us realise how we should take more care.
Parishioners from our Lady Queen of Martyrs and St Joseph parish, Purbeck, Dorset on a creation walk.
Parishioners from our Lady Queen of Martyrs and St Joseph parish, Purbeck, Dorset on a creation walk.

Many thanks to Bernard White, our campaign volunteer coordinator for writing this blog.

LAUDATO SI – Climate change and the impact on the poorest

Pope Francis
Pope Francis

OUR COMMON HOME

Homes, food and people’s ability to earn a living are being destroyed by the climate crisis and the pollution of our land, oceans and forests. We need to restore God’s precious gift of creation, enable people to adapt to a warming world and stop the climate crisis from getting worse.

POPE FRANCIS

“I urgently appeal, then, for a new dialogue about how we are shaping the future of our planet. We need a conversation which includes everyone, since the environmental challenge we are undergoing, and its human roots, concern and affect us all. (Laudato Si, paragraph 14) …….

….It is my hope that this Encyclical Letter, which is now added to the body of the Church’s social teaching, can help us to acknowledge the appeal, immensity and urgency of the challenge we face. (Laudato Si, paragraph 15”)

COP postponement doesn’t mean work tackling the climate crisis stops. The Paris Agreement requires countries to submit new climate targets in 2020 – whether the COP is held or not – so governments still can and must put their plans in place to cut emissions.

GENERATIONS UNITE

Generations Unite Campaign
Generations Unite Campaign

Homes, food and people’s ability to earn a living are being destroyed by the climate crisis and the pollution of our land, oceans and forests.

Plymouth Diocese is partnered with Delio, a 29 year old schoolteacher from Peru who is leading the fight to protect the Amazon rainforest from destruction by commercial interests – see Home > Campaign > Our Common Home > Generations Unite This huge region plays a critical role in our planet’s health.

Delio asks all of us to pray for him, his people and their struggle to save the rainforest. Read here and listen to Delio’s urgent request for our help. https://projects.cafod.org.uk/delio/

POSPONEMENT OF COP 26

COP Paris 2015 - CAFOD Supporters call for a climate change agreement - Bernard White second right.
COP Paris 2015 – CAFOD Supporters call for a climate change agreement – Bernard White second right.

The Conference Of Parties (COP) to the United Nations Climate Agreement, due to be held in Glasgow in November 2020 (COP 26), has been postponed until 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

To read more about why COP 26 is so important and the comments of Neil Thorns, Director of Advocacy at CAFOD, look at https://cafod.org.uk/Campaign/Climate/What-is-COP26

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Do you know:

  • why CAFOD is campaigning on Climate Change;
  • why we need to limit the increase in global temperatures to 1.5°C;

These and many more questions are answered at cafod.org.uk Home > Campaign > Our Common Home > Climate change FAQs

Many thanks to Bernard White, our campaign volunteer coordinator for writing this blog.

LAUDATO SI – Call to Solidarity

Parish visit from Sandra and Erasmo CAFOD partners from JDS, El Salvador
Parish visit from Sandra and Erasmo CAFOD partners from JDS, El Salvador

Campaigning with CAFOD on climate change and praying for people overseas who are vulnerable to its effects and to the devastation caused by assaults to the earth through mining, logging and other commercial exploitation as well as things like vulture funds exploiting debts in developing nations, is an act of solidarity.

CAMPAIGN

There are details about CAFOD’s campaigns at https://cafod.org.uk/Campaign/Latest-campaigns.

PRAY

At https://cafod.org.uk/encyclical you will find prayers for creation in spired by Laudato Si’:

  • Praised be;
  • Penitential prayer for the care of creation; and
  • A prayer for our Earth.

You will also find a copy of Laudato Si on the webpage, where you can read, at paragraph 246, two prayers written by Pope Francis:

  • A prayer for our earth;
  • A Christian prayer in union with creation.

CONTACT YOUR MP

Bernard White with Chris Wightman at the Time is Now Mass lobby of Parliament 2019
Bernard White with Chris Wightman at the Time is Now Mass lobby of Parliament 2019

Please write to your MPs and ask them to urge the Prime Minister to put in place, without further delay:

  • Make sure that any vaccine developed with UK public money is made available to everyone regardless of their income or where in the world they live.
  • Provide urgent financial and technical support to help developing countries cope with this crisis.
  • Cancel all debt payments by developing countries due in 2020 so that countries can spend money on much needed healthcare rather than debt repayments.
  • Put plans in place to rebuild a fairer, more just society after the crisis so that the world’s most vulnerable people can live in dignity and to restore our common home for future generations by taking measures which ensure we reach this country’s commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050, and preferably by 2045. This is a necessary step to keep the increase in global temperatures over pre-industrial levels to 1.5°C or less.

CELEBRATE

Parishioners from our Lady Queen of Martyrs and St Joseph parish, Purbeck, Dorset on a creation walk.
Parishioners from our Lady Queen of Martyrs and St Joseph parish, Purbeck, Dorset on a creation walk.

Catholics across England and Wales have been busy organising Creation Celebrations as part of the Our Common Home campaign. A Creation Celebration involves a creation-themed mass followed by a shared meal and a continued conversation on climate change. Although this form of celebration is not possible while socialising restrictions are in force due to the coronavirus pandemic, it is possible to plan something for a time when the restrictions allow. In the meantime, you and your priest might be able to collaborate on introducing some features into a mass which he is sharing with parishioners through social media.

You can read about organising a Creation Celebration and get some ideas at https://cafod.org.uk/News/Campaigning-news/Creation-Celebration-tips

CORONAVIRUS

As an act of solidarity during the coronavirus pandemic, CAFOD is asking you to sign its petition to the Prime Minister to support our sisters and brothers overseas do not have access to healthcare systems as brilliant as the NHS. You can access the petition at https://e-activist.com/page/59334/petition/1

Many thanks to Bernard White, our campaign volunteer coordinator for writing this blog.