When people from all over the Diocese of Hallam gathered with Bishop Ralph at St Marie’s Cathedral for a Creation Celebration, he renewed Pope Francis call in Laudato Si, ‘Living our vocation to be protectors of God’s handiwork is essential to a life of virtue; it is not an optional or a secondary aspect of our Christian experience.’
The news reports show the increasing frequency and severity of the impacts of climate change across the world – including here in the UK. Bishop Ralph warned that we are rapidly approaching the tipping point. Yet we still have chance to mitigate the worst effects if we act now. ‘It is wonderful that the Diocese of Hallam is drawing up an Environmental Policy so that we can work together to change our lifestyles.’ Pope Francis speaks of the need for ecological conversion: a healthy relationship with Creation is an essential dimension of personal conversion because it entails the personal recognition of our faults and failures, and that leads to heartfelt repentance and the desire for change.
Following the Mass, people shared lunch in Holden Hall and heard from Allie Phillip, a CAFOD Partner from Caritas St Lucia, about her work preparing young people to assist their communities in the face of increasing hurricanes. They also enjoyed a surprising quiz with Maria Elena Arana from CAFOD’s Campaigns Team.
CAFOD is encouraging all parishes to hold their own Creation Celebration as part of the current climate campaign ‘Our Common Home’ – resources are available on line at http://www.cafod.org.uk The campaign is urging the Government to move further and faster to cut emissions and limit the rise in global temperatures to no more than 1.5 degrees C. People queued at the Cathedral after Mass to sign the petition. You can sign online and/or download copies of the petition to help your parish and community to play their part.
There is also an opportunity to meet with your MPs on Wednesday 26th June at the mass lobby, The Time Is Now. You can find out about it here and register and/or book a place on a Hallam Coach here or ring 0114 268 7817. (Cost £25 max) The journey will be something of a pilgrimage with a variety of activities to help our understanding of the issues and the coach will leave Meadowhall at 6.30am to be in London for the Interfaith Service at 12 noon before meeting with our MPs.