Laudato Si' Week: 22-29 May

Laudato Si’ Week has begun, marking the seventh anniversary of Pope Francis’ encyclical on the care of creation.

It features a series of global celebrations and a sneak peek of The Invitation, a new film featuring Pope Francis. See the full schedule here.

It takes place from May 22-29 to celebrate the progress made in bringing Laudato Si’ to life and intensify their efforts through the Vatican’s Laudato Si’ Action Platform.

Tomás Insua, Executive Director of Laudato Si’ Movement, said: "Amidst chaos and destruction globally, every day Catholics take urgent action against the climate emergency and ecological crisis. Laudato Si’ Week will serve as a fountain of inspiration and lessons learned for all people interested in saving God’s creation.”

Each day of Laudato Si’ Week will feature global, regional, and local events tied to one of the seven Laudato Si’ goals.

On the day celebrating ecological education, footage from The Invitation, a new feature-length documentary film on Laudato Si’, will be shown to the general public during a livestream. The Invitation will have its global release later this year. The event begins at 1pm on 27 May. Registration is required at this link.

Catholics are encouraged to inspire their community by registering their local events at LaudatoSiWeek.org. Read this full article at laudatosiweek.org

Watch: pupils and staff commit to Laudato Si'

Archbishop Cushley led an outdoor service yesterday for St Andrew's Fox Covert Primary School in Corstorphine, where pupils and staff have committed to becoming a Laudato Si' school!

We encourage all schools in the Archdiocese to join them. Watch the video below or on our YouTube channel.

Laudato Si is Pope Francis' encycical on caring for our common home. Read it here. Find out more about becoming a Laudato Si school here.

Laudato Si' week: a parish takes swift action!

We asked parishes across the Archdiocese to show us what they've been up to as we prepare to celebrate Laudato Si' week, which begins on Sunday 16 May.

The parish community at Ss Ninian & Triduana in Restalrig, Edinburgh, sent us the below video, highlighting their projects, including creating new homes for insects and swifts. Great work!

Laudato Si’ Week 2021, 16-25 May, is the climax of the Special Laudato Si’ Anniversary Year, and a celebration of the great progress the whole Church has made on its journey to ecological conversion. Find out more at laudatosiweek.org/

Mark Laudato Si' anniversary year with an online reflection group

Parishes across the Archdiocese can mark the fifth anniversary of Laudato Si' by setting up an online reflection group to learn more about the encyclical.

Published by Pope Francis in 2015, it highlights how environmental damage impacts most greatly on the poor and that there must be social, economic and environmental justice to help care for "Our Common Home".

The Archdiocesan Caritas, Justice & Peace commission has set up a working group on Laudato Si' which is preparing ways to help raise awareness and celebrate the Pope's message.

One parish already involved in promoting the encyclical is Ss Ninian and Triduana in Edinburgh, which has set up a weekly online meeting over six weeks.

A post on the parish Facebook page (above) states: "Each week you will receive a Reflection Guide that will link to a specific section of Laudato Si’. We will then meet to pray, share our insights and look at what action individually and as a community, we might be able to take in response to our reflection."

This programme of study is based on material from the Earthbeat section of the National Catholic Reporter, titled 'Digging into Laudato Si'.

Rab Burnett, a parishioner at SS Ninian & Triduana, helped put a version of the programme together and is encouraging people to become Laudato Si Animators. The role, highlighted by the Global Catholic Climate Movement, involves helping bring Laudato Si' to life in parish communities.

"I decided to become Laudato Si' Animator since I felt strongly that as a follower of Jesus, responding to 'the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor' is the fundamental challenge for the Church and indeed for all humankind. The programme helped me to gain new insights into the climate challenge and how it is impacting on the poor and then, based on prayer and discernment, seek ways to take action."

Fr Basil Clark, Vicar Episcopal for Caritas, Justice & Peace, has been highlighting the encyclical's anniversary year (24 May 2020- 24 May 2021) to priests in our diocese and has shared the anniversary year programme with them.

Parishioners reflect on Pope's message on environment

Over one hundred parishioners from across the Archdiocese gathered to reflect on Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si’ .

Speaking last Saturday, Dr Sara Parvis reflected on Pope Francis’ letter on caring for our common home, emphasising “the need for prayer, the need for God, the need to connect this to part of a bigger story.”

She said responding to climate change is not optional but is a necessary action which is firmly rooted in our faith, and in the mission given to us by God to care for his creation.

At the event, organised by the Archdiocesan Commission for Caritas, Justice and Peace, Dr Parvis added that “the poor are living with the consequences of our greed now.” With this in mind, she spoke of the “blasphemy of destroying the environment and destroying the world” by failing to respond to God’s call to action.

Pope Francis emphasised the need for action in response to the current climate emergency. Rev David Coleman, Environmental Chaplain for Eco-Congregations Scotland, addressed this noting that the response must be “spiritual, practical and global.”

Explaining how congregations across Scotland and further afield are inspired by Pope Francis, the example of the saints and by the message in the Gospels, he argued that “reducing our carbon footprint raises our Gospel footprint!”

Rev Coleman highlighted the ecumenical work of Eco-Congregations Scotland to engage parishes through their three-tier awards scheme. It is hoped that parishes across the Archdiocese will accept this challenge, and seek to take practical steps to address the climate crisis facing us.

Speaking following the event, Father Basil Clark, Vicar Episcopal for Caritas, Justice and Peace, said: “It's been a thoroughly thought-provoking day as we journeyed through Pope Francis’ Laudato Si’ considering what changes we might make as a Church community.

“The challenge is real, and we must live up to it. Our Catholic faith teaches us to care for God’s creation, and so we must respond urgently to that call. I would like to thank Sara for leading us in today’s reflection, and David for explaining some of the amazing work being done already.

“In my own parish, we are working towards recognition as an Eco-Congregation. This has been a very worthwhile journey, exploring the ways in which we can take small steps to address climate change in our parish communities, and how we can raise awareness of this important issue among our parishioners to ensure that this important message reaches everyone.”

Laudato Si': Discovering the Catholic response to caring for our planet

In a year when climate change protests have swept across the globe, how do Catholics respond?

For Dr Parvis, the answers can be found in Pope Francis’s Laudato Si’.

“It’s really one of the most important papal encyclicals of the last 100 years,” she says.

“It adds to the existing body of Catholic social teaching - it takes up the question of justice towards the poor but adds that to justice towards the environment.”

Dr Parvis is a senior lecturer at the School of Divinity at Edinburgh University, a city which has seen several recent climate demonstrations.

She said: “This is a year when the environment has gone up the agenda. “We’ve been led by the youth - many children as young as nine, ten, all across the UK calling on the older generation to repent, calling us to think what are we leaving for them.”

Dr Parvis will lead discussions on Laudato Si’ at an event organised by the Archdiocese of St Andrews & Edinburgh next month.

It aims to increase understanding of the encyclical and for Catholics to reflect and respond to its key messages.

“Sometimes we are afraid that some people are stressing the environment at the expense of human justice.

“But one of the key pitches of the document is that these things go hand in hand - caring for the poor goes hand in hand with caring for the environment.

“Faith is essential to the whole thing. That’s one of the cases I think the encyclical puts across nicely.

“It’s a day of recollection and a day to remind ourselves how urgent the whole situation is.

“The event is both for people who have read the encyclical but also for people who have never read the encyclical and are just interested to know what Catholic Social teaching is.”

Laudato Si: Day of Reflection, takes place on Saturday 31 August at the Gillis Centre, 100 Strathearn Road, Edinburgh. Register for free on Eventbrite here.