4th October marked the end of Creation Time, which began on 1st September. In his encyclical letter, Laudato Si’, Pope Francis urges us to review how we live in the face of the damage being done to our planet, now and in the future, through climate change. He reminds us that the consequences of climate change will affect us all, but will be worst for those in the poorer parts of the world, who have not only done the least to cause the problem but have also benefited least from the changes which have caused it.
The Creation Time Resource
CAFOD and the Liverpool Archdiocese Justice and Peace Commission have created a second resource for Creation Time, which gives parishes and other groups the opportunity to reflect on the Gospel readings for Creation Time in terms of Laudato Si’. This wonderful resource consists of gospel readings for the Sundays throughout Creation Time, excerpts from Laudato Si’, stories to illustrate some of the issues, prayers and some challenging questions for discussion. The aim is to help us to become better informed and to use this knowledge to work towards combating climate change, its causes and its consequences, just as Pope Francis has urged.
A poster showing information about the resource and sessions
Several parishes have participated in this year’s Creation Time, and have had some fantastic sessions following the resource. The resource has had some really positive feedback from the parish groups that have used it this year, especially from St Wilfrid’s in Widnes. Pauline Rolt, CAFOD volunteer, used the resource with members of the bible group, she said “most of the group have never used this type of resource before and they’ve really enjoyed it”. There was also plenty of positive feedback from other members of the group, with Mary describing the resource as “very good, thought provoking as it encourages open discussion, especially on today’s world”. Phil added, “It dovetails in well with our LiveSimpy initiative… I was drawn to go to the LiveSimply launch evening having participated in the Creation Time reflections”. Jean agreed, saying “We want more!”
The sessions themselves have also been particularly successful and the resulting discussions have prompted deeper considerations for the environment; following the sessions at St Edmunds, Sheila Cogley, CAFOD Volunteer, said “We are going to put a practical hint/Eco Tip into the newsletter over the coming weeks, for example this week’s will be to sign the Power to Be cards which we’re handing out”. She added, “We have found the materials to be very good at leading us through the issues from a number of different perspectives and as to be expected our discussions have also branched out according to individual’s knowledge and experiences.”
More positive feedback came from Peter and Julie Galloway, who arranged sessions at St Joseph’s in Leigh. The sessions were promoted to the parish by Fr Colin during mass and held weekly. Peter said “In the first session we spent a long time on reflecting on the gospel, and had a brief discussion about food and meat, before enjoying the closing prayer”. He concluded that throughout the sessions, the group “spent much time on gratitude for what we do have and we will all try to implement the action.” They have also sent a follow-up email to Michael Gove and to the local Council to encourage greater recycling of plastic.
Steve Atherton, the Justice and Peace Fieldworker for the Liverpool Archdiocese said “we recieved very positive evaluations from the St John’s group including “Thought provoking … Challenging … It helped to make us more conscious of the damage we do to the world … Encouraged me to find out more … The prayers are quite beautiful … Reinforces the idea that we are stewards … We need to develop habits of care … It’s the poor who always suffer …everything is interconnected and everything has a cost … Brings home individual responsibility and made me think about what we can do by way of shopping, etc … We would like more of the same.”
Details of the follow up meeting!
Following on from previous Creation Time courses, participants from all over the Archdiocese were keen to share their experiences of using the resource, and to exchange ideas for the next resource. This year there will be a follow up meeting for everyone who has taken part in the course. This will be held on 28th October 2017, 11am – 1.30pm at St Anne’s Church, Overbury Street, Liverpool L7 3HJ and there will be a shared lunch at the end. If you have taken part in Creation Time please do come along and share your ideas and food in a simple meal, everyone is welcome!
For more information please contact Steve on 0151 522 1080, or Ged on 0151 228 4028.