Global Healing

Our Common Home

Caring For Our Common Home

Pope Francis: “Living our vocation to be protectors of God’s handiwork is essential; it is not an optional or secondary aspect of our Christian experience. All of us can cooperate as instruments of God for the care of his creation”

There is no doubt that we are doing great damage to our planet – our common home. Pope Francis calls on all of us to respond, so a parish film and discussion in November 2018 was hopefully the springboard to help us respond together in our parish communities and families for the sake of future generations. There will be a follow-up film and meeting in January 2019 where anyone interested can bring their ideas for our parish response. If you missed seeing the film, you can watch it online at

How our faith helps us to care for our common home:
The Encyclical Letter of Pope Francis, Laudato Si, has opened the eyes of many people, both within the Catholic Church and beyond, to the serious and increasing damage that we are inflicting on our planet – our common home.

With his gift of connecting so many different aspects of our lives together, Pope Francis draws together pollution, climate change, poverty, economic migration, human dignity and other social ills and has challenged us to recognise what is happening. He urgently challenges us to set out ways in which we may restore our world.

Although he describes the current terrible state of the world he also declares that there is time and every reason to hope that matters can be reversed. Perhaps the biggest challenge of Laudato Si is being aware that each one of us has a responsibility and all of us can take up the challenge, whoever we are.
Bishop John Arnold

Fundamentally, there are only two ways in which we affect the rest of creation: by what we use, and by what we throw away. The basic rule of greener living is simple: think about those two things. But we need to do this in all contexts: at home, at school or at work, when we eat, travel, shop, build or vote.

• Do you notice, and give thanks and praise to God for, the beauty of the natural world?
• Are you are aware of and grateful for the animals, plants, land, sea and air that keep you alive?
• Do you say grace before meals?
• Are you mindful of those who have no access to green spaces, or who are suffering from environ- mental disasters?

• Could you waste less food, water, or paper, use less plastic, reuse more, recycle more, compost more?
• Do you sometimes abstain from un- necessary food, or eat fewer animal products?
• Do you buy things because you need them or because you want them?
• Could you choose greener products?

• Could you turn down the heating, fill the kettle less, improve your insula- tion, or save energy in other ways?
• Could you choose a greener source or supplier of energy?
• Could you walk, cycle, or use public transport instead of the car? Need you fly?
• What kind of holidays do you choose?

• How green is your workplace?
• How carefully do you dispose of potentially polluting waste?
• How well informed are you about sustainable methods in your area of work?
• Do you use your imagination to think of better ways of doing things?

• How well informed are you on issues such as climate change, GM crops, fracking, alternative energy, local building or transport plans?
• How seriously do you take your political responsibilities, whether voting or engaging with public authorities?
• Do you reflect on the ways in which ecological damage might affect the poor and future generations?

• How do you use spare land – gardens, churchyards, etc ? Can you encourage wildlife?
• How is your money invested?
• What is the carbon footprint of your family, school, parish, business?

Suggestions from Catholics and our Common Home by Sr Margaret Atkins