St Mary’s Cathedral leads the way

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With grateful thanks to Don for this report on the first Creation campaign event.

Don prepares to collect signatures for our petition from parishioners

As the result of the positive response by Mgr. Gerard Robinson, Dean of St Mary’s Cathedral, to CAFOD’s Creation Celebration campaign, the Mass at the Cathedral on the morning of 19 May 2019, the fifth Sunday of Easter, incorporated hymns and prayers that celebrated God’s creation.

The Mass was celebrated by Fr Richard Marsden, who, in his introduction, explained the Mass as having a special focus on the Care of Creation and he reminded the congregation to keep that intention in their prayers.

In his homily, the Rev Ken Senior, the Cathedral deacon, spoke of the ‘vastness of God’s love’ and pointed out ‘One of the ways that God has shown his love for us all is by giving us a fantastic world in which to live. Sadly, partly through lack of knowledge, and partly through things out of our control, we have done many things to harm our world.

This is something Pope Francis has become acutely aware of and deeply concerned about. So much so that he wrote an encyclical on the subject, Laudato Si’, his message being that we need to care for our planet and to do everything possible to reverse the damage we have done. So, as we think about how we love those around us, we also need to think about our love for future generations and for the legacy that we will leave them.’

The Children’s Liturgy Group studied St Francis’s Canticle of Creation and considered why God’s creation is so special and what we can do to look after it. The children read out the following prayer to the whole congregation: “Dear Lord, help us to see your beauty and likeness in all created things, so that we may follow St Francis in showing care for creation. Amen.”

Before the final blessing, Don Lillistone, the parish CAFOD representative, spoke of the Creation Celebration campaign and encouraged parishioners to sign CAFOD’s petition asking the Government to commit to a net zero greenhouse emissions reduction target by 2045.

After Mass, Carol Cross, CAFOD Community Participation Coordinator for the Diocese of Middlesbrough, helped Teresa Lyth, the Chair of the Cathedral Justice and Peace group and other members of the group to deal with the enthusiastic response to the petition and to answer any queries. 112 parishioners signed the petition.   

Parishioner’s showing their concern for Our Common Home, eagerly signing the petition.

Weathering the changes on the Humber Bridge Cross

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Smiles of anticipation as we waited to set off

The sun was shining brightly and the birds were singing as Christian Aid and CAFOD volunteers set off for the annual Humber Bridge Cross. There were many friendly faces greeting us as we passed each other walking to the Barton side. You could see for miles all around from the elevated vantage of the bridge as we made the first crossing. I think Sam the dog could sense a change was coming!

Refreshments on the Barton side, Sam the dog was eager to get going again!

The thing about walking across the Humber Bridge is you are exposed to the elements. Grey clouds were descending as we set off again, soon turning into a heavy downpour driven by a gusty wind! Bernard was walking with the aid of two sticks when we met Margaret, who’d left her coat at home but bravely continued the first cross and lapped us on the way back to the Hessle side! For us, it was a real case of heads down into the wind and endure the torrent until it abated – we were soaked through!

A little rain didn’t dampen their spirits – Margaret and Bernard smiled through!

As we got back to where we started, the rain stopped and the sun came back out! The other walkers had already left for home as we claimed our certificates from Teresa and Norah and bid farewell to the friendly teams in the registration tent as they packed up for another year. No doubt we’ll be back to do it all again next year!

Our Common Home

Climate change affects our homes, our health, our heritage and our beautiful landscapes. We have already made huge progress on climate change and scientists know more than they ever have but things are urgent now.

Ten years ago, the UK Government took a global lead and passed the pioneering Climate Change Act, committing us to reduce carbon emissions by 80% by 2050. We have come a long way since then and recent research by climate scientists has stressed this is no longer enough.

We need to go further, faster. Unless we make dramatic changes, the damage caused by climate change will be irreversible. We know that to avoid the worst effects of climate change, we must limit global temperature rise to 1.5C. Going above this could multiply hunger, migration and conflict.

We are calling on the UK to reach “net zero” emissions by 2045 at the latest. This means only putting the same amount of emissions into the atmosphere as we take out. Did you know that since 1990 the UK has cut emissions by 42% while our economy has grown by two-thirds?

Joseph, Brianna and Sione, the Pacific Climate Warriors visiting Romero House, London.

CAFOD hosted a recent visit by three Pacific Climate Warriors who are drawn from across the Pacific region and represent grassroots, frontline and indigenous communities. With support from around the world they build capacity among young people in their communities and abroad to respond to climate change.

Joseph said, “There is that imagery of the canary in the coalmine. The Pacific is the canary in the coalmine right now. So, we’re the first to go, if nothing happens but eventually it’s going to affect you guys too if you don’t curb these habits of consumption which is driving your addiction to fossil fuels.

We would like our parish communities to start a climate conversation by holding a Creation Celebration, a great opportunity to bring your parish and community together to act on the biggest issue of our time – climate change. We are all part of God’s creation and we are called to care for, protect and restore our common home, the earth. By organising a Creation Celebration, you will be joining a global Catholic family, campaigning for change.

Join us at our Mass Lobby of MP’s in Westminster on 26th June. For more information or resources visit: https://cafod.org.uk/Campaign/Climate