On Care for our Common Home

As we near the end of the Easter Season in this Year of Mercy, St Augustine’s Priory has been inspired by Pope Francis’ encyclical ‘Laudato Si’’, published in June last year which urges us all to care for our planet and all that it contains.

At St Augustine’s Priory we are always conscious of our stewardship of our home; our grounds constantly remind us of the glories of creation and we delight in our Prayer Garden, our allotment, our pond, forest school and, of course, our chickens!  However, there is always more we can do and we always need to be aware of the importance of saving, for example energy, paper or petrol.

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The Pope begins his encyclical by explaining the origin of Laudato Si’:  ‘“Laudato si’, mi’ Signore” – “Praise be to you, my Lord”. In the words of this beautiful canticle, Saint Francis of Assisi reminds us that our common home is like a sister with whom we share our life and a beautiful mother who opens her arms to embrace us. “Praise be to you, my Lord, through our Sister, Mother Earth, who sustains and governs us, and who produces various fruit with coloured flowers and herbs”.

As the CAFOD website states, ‘Pope Francis’ encyclical, Laudato Si’, is a profound invitation to everyone on the planet to care for our common home.’ (To see the full encyclical please go to www.cafod.org.uk/Pray/Encyclical)

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Mrs McDermott and Mrs Costello attended a Diocesan INSET on the encyclical and were so inspired that they invited CAFOD to St Augustine’s Priory for a whole staff INSET.  This day resulted in the planning of our own ‘Laudato Si’’ week which will take place from Monday 20th June.

We are busy preparing and planning events and themes for our ‘Laudato Si’’ week and next week will be placing the following prayer in all our classrooms.

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Pope Francis ends his encyclical by saying,

‘In the meantime, we come together to take charge of this home which has been entrusted to us, knowing that all the good which exists here will be taken up into the heavenly feast. In union with all creatures, we journey through this land seeking God, for “if the world has a beginning and if it has been created, we must enquire who gave it this beginning, and who was its Creator”. Let us sing as we go. May our struggles and our concern for this planet never take away the joy of our hope.

God, who calls us to generous commitment and to give him our all, offers us the light and the strength needed to continue on our way. In the heart of this world, the Lord of life, who loves us so much, is always present. He does not abandon us, he does not leave us alone, for he has united himself definitively to our earth, and his love constantly impels us to find new ways forward. Praise be to him!’

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