On Saturday February 21, 2015 a group of Sisters and lay people assembled in the Niland Centre to reflect on Climate Change and why it matters. The speakers were Susy Brouard and Sarah Hagger-Holt from Cafod.
The day began with a beautiful reflective meditation on climate change and some of its consequences. This was followed by Susy’s talk on the theology of climate change. She reminded us of our responsibility to stand in solidarity with people around the world and to ensure that future generations in the UK can enjoy the things we all love.
Together we can….
Susy said that there are many reasons why we should take action on climate change, but as Catholics, the issue goes to the heart of our faith. The idea that Creation is good is rooted in the first book of Genesis, with humanity being given a special place and responsibility within that Creation because we are made in the image of God. Creation is a gift to us but we are also a part of Creation, not above or separate from it.
She used the parable of the Good Samaritan to illustrate this teaching. The concept of neighbour is used for the Earth. The Earth is our neighbour. We are called to love our neighbour. The Earth is also seen as the Good Samaritan .The Earth nourishes, provides for us and heals us.
Susy said that the time has come to take positive steps to repair the damage we have caused to God’s creation and find a way to live in harmony with the world again. She illustrated this with some devastating slides. She made us aware that this will take a colossal effort; all of humanity must act now, have one shared goal. We cannot do this without the grace of the Holy Spirit and the life of Christ within us. She also showed us some of the positive results of projects Cafod has been involved in and the benefits and new life brought by solar paneling.
In the afternoon Sarah gave us a challenging questionnaire on our knowledge about climate change and the efforts being made to change things. It was surprising how many incorrect responses we made.. We became more aware of the efforts already being made throughout the world. Cafod has produced great material on this topic and there were samples available. Some of these resources, including material for schools and beautiful prayers, can be found on Cafod’s website. Attention was drawn to the Lobby of Parliament which will take place on June 15th 2015. It will consist of an Ecumenical Service, a meeting with Members of Parliament and a Rally. The day finished with a beautiful prayerful video.
Sister Anne W