Laudato Si

By Sr Mary Horan

“Don’t just pray, do something for God’s sake”

Four members of St Hilda’s Parish – Harry Baker, Eilidh Macintyre, Sr Angela Porteous, Sr Mary Horan – attended the ‘Climate Emergency’ Day at English Martyrs Church in York on Saturday September 30th 2023.

The day centred around the question: ‘What can we do to leave a better world for future generations? Don’t just pray. Do something, for God’s sake!’

To respond to that challenging theme, the opening session was an ‘ecological examination’ via video, from The Catholic Commission for Social Justice on how we see and respond to the earth, our Common Home:

Whilst being aware that the earth is in crisis, do we continue to see its beauty, and therefore CARE for its resources, and for all life human and non-human?

  • Do we realise that everything is gift, everything is interconnected, everything is sacred?
  • Do we pray, with hope, for the healing of the Earth and its people, and for peace to reign over all?
  • Do we pray for the grace to be deeply grateful for everything that comes to us, as gift, from the Earth?

Following a time of reflection, we had an excellent presentation, in response to the theme, from

Sr Margaret Atkins on Catholic Social Teaching and Care of our Common Home.

She focused on Laudato Si and its links to Catholic Social Teaching, referencing Papal encyclicals from as far back as ‘Rerum Novarum’ published in 1891. All had addressed issues rooted and relevant to their times, but all equally relevant today regarding human dignity and respect for life.

Rerum Novarum‘ Wikipedia

The same Spirit of God is in everyone and flows through everything. The cry of the poor today IS the cry of the Earth.

“Everything is Connected – The Cry of the Poor – is the Cry of the Earth”
Pope Francis

Laudato Si

How are we, as Christians, responding to that cry? It can be daunting. A ‘Live Simply’ poster, on display, read ‘Individual actions may seem insignificant, but together the small steps of many people can have an astonishing impact’.

So do what we can and entrust the rest to the Lord. A book by Hilary Cottam entitled ‘Radical Help’ was recommended – What can we do for you to help you help yourself?

Together we can leave the world a better place …

How can we keep Hope alive? In the words of Benedict in Deus Caritas Est “Hope is practised through the virtue of patience, which continues to do good, even in the face of apparent failure and times of darkness … Love is the light that can illuminate a world gone dim and give us the courage needed to keep living and working” that all may have life.

Main Speakers:

Sr Margaret Atkins of the Canonesses of St Augustine spoke to us about Laudato Si and its links to Catholic Social Teaching.

Glen Melvin our diocesan environmental lead spoke about his work across the diocese seeking to lower the Carbon Footprint of our churches and parish buildings. He helped us to understand how best he can support us in taking this work forward.

Paddy O’Neil

Spoke at length about heat pumps & other alternative forms of heating for homes.

Other Speakers: Barbara Hungin, Don Lillistone, Teresa Lyth, Carol Cross, David Cross

David Cross

“Virtuous Community”

Would you be interested in joining a “virtuous community” in the diocese of Middlesbrough as described by Sr Margaret in her talk. By this we mean staying connected with other people around our diocese who want to live out the messages of Laudato Si/Catholic social teaching?

This would probably be by email or social media, so that we can share ideas and plans and give encouragement or advice.

We look forward to hearing from you, and wish you well for the future,

For further information please contact:

Rev David Cross

Adult Formation Coordinator

Diocese of Middlesbrough


tel: 01642 850505 (Ext 241)

mob: 07507 768303