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Pope Francis has established 1 September as the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, encouraging the Catholic community around the world to pray for “our common home”.
The day is inspired by Pope Francis’ landmark encyclical Laudato Si’, which calls on “every person living on this planet” to care for our shared Earth.
He calls us all to celebrate this opportune moment to “reaffirm [our] personal vocation to be stewards of creation, to thank God for the wonderful handiwork which he has entrusted to our care, and to implore his help for the protection of creation, as well as his pardon for the sins committed against the world in which we live.”
Therefore, in response to this call, the CAFOD group of the newly formed Parish of the Good Samaritan in Burnley are organising a prayer vigil and everyone is most welcome to attend. The vigil will be held at St John the Baptist’s Church, Ivy Street, Burnley, BB10 1TB on Tuesday 17th September at 7pm.
During the vigil, led by the parish priest Fr David Featherstone, there will be a short time for Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. This is our opportunity, as stewards of the Earth, to pray for the promotion of living simply, sustainably and in solidarity with the poor. So please join us in prayer and reflection for “Our Common Home”. Tea and coffee will be served in the Parish Hall after the vigil.
This World Day of Prayer also falls at the beginning of Creation Time, which runs until 4th October, the feast of St Francis of Assisi. This is an ecumenical season dedicated to prayer for the protection of creation and the promotion of sustainable lifestyles.
Shortly after Creation Time this year, a Special Assembly of the Synod of Bishops will take place, focusing on the Amazon region and integral ecology. This will be an opportunity for the Church to listen to the people of the Amazon and respond with them to the devastation facing them and their environment.
Please feel free to download a copy of the poster to advertise the Care of Creation Prayer Vigil in your parish or school community:
Congratulations St Joseph’s! On 1 July, the pupils of Saint Joseph’s Roman Catholic Primary School, Todmorden, were presented with CAFOD’s Livesimply award. Our own Bishop of Salford, John Arnold, presented the award and commended the pupils, staff and parents for their efforts to live more simply, sustainably and in solidarity with the poor.
For the past twelve months, the whole school, including teachers and parents, have committed to reduce, reuse and recycle, while also thinking of ways to care for communities, both close to home and around the world.
This has included everything from selling bird or bat (BOB) boxes – which help to develop local biodiversity – to holding collections for the local food bank and speaking to members of the public at Todmorden market about sustainable living.
Assistant Headteacher, Mr Carr, said: “We were visited in May to be assessed for the award. The assessors were particularly impressed with the energy and enthusiasm shown by the pupils, as well as their commitment to live out the positive change they want to see, and how they have encouraged and inspired others.
“The school were delighted that Bishop John Arnold was able to visit the school, speak to the pupils and present the award.
“We would like to say thank you to both the parish priest, Father Peter McGiveron, and governor, Briege Sivills, for their support and guidance in the school’s desire to live simply.”
For many at St Joseph’s, the Livesimply award is only the beginning of their journey to live more sustainable lifestyles.
The school is now looking forward to planning more activities and are committed to responding positively to the challenges – such as avoiding single-use plastic and thinking of alternative ways to travel, such as using public transport – that come with living simply.
CAFOD in Salford representative for West Yorkshire, Simon Holleron, said:
“What an amazing achievement – St Joseph’s are one of the few Livesimply schools in the country. The work of both the pupils, teachers and parents over the past twelve months has really made a difference both here at home and around the world.”
If you want to follow St Joseph’s lead and become a Livesimply school or parish then just visit the CAFOD website for more details.
On a Saturday in July a small, but dedicated group of walkers, from the parish of The Good Samaritan in Burnley completed a memorial walk of 4.5 miles along the Leeds & Liverpool Canal. The walk raised an amazing £660 for the work of CAFOD around the world.
Twelve parishioners walked from Barden Lane to Junction 12 of the M65 in Brierfield along the canal and returned via the same route. The group were made up of people from the three churches of St Mary’s, St John the Baptist’s and Christ-the-King in Burnley, which now make up the newly formed parish of The Good Samaritan.
For over 35 years, the three churches of East Burnley have generously supported the work of CAFOD in the developing world. St John’s has had a CAFOD group who have met regularly over all those years, and of course as time has passed many group members and supporters have gone to the Lord. Therefore, the group members decided to mark the passing of all these wonderful people by having a “Memorial Sponsored Walk”. Parishioners were asked if they would like to make a donation towards CAFOD’s work in memory of a family member or friend who had been involved in or supported our work. Along with their donation they were to able add the names of their deceased family or friends to a memorial list or place the names within the donation envelope. All these names of loved ones were remembered at various points along the route.
During the walk, around 60 individual and four family names were read out and prayers offered up for them. It was decided that the money raised would be spent on the following items from CAFOD’s World Gifts catalogue/project: 10 trees for life (£8 x 10); 11 queen bees (£4 x 11); 2 batches of chirpy chickens (£20 x 2); 2 life-saving goats (£28 x 2); 10 supplies of water for a family (£33 x 10); 2 vegetable gardens (£10 x 2); 2 batches of wonderful worms (£10 x 2); 10 mosquito nets that protect (£7 x 10). All these wonderful ethical gifts added up to £660.
After the walk Anne Marie Coppock, a founding member of the parish CAFOD group, commented:
“On behalf of the entire CAFOD group I just wish to thank everyone for their amazing generosity. The money raised has purchased all these fantastic “gifts” for individual families, which will help to ensure they are able to feed themselves, have a better quality of life and be able to earn a small income. CAFOD’s work is about helping people to lift themselves out of poverty by their own efforts and with our support. All these “gifts” are sourced locally and are fit for purpose and local conditions. They will be allocated to those in greatest need, across Latin America, Africa and Asia, with the support of CAFOD partners on the ground, often through the Caritas International Network, of which CAFOD is a member.”