Lenten course organized by the Laudato Si’ Animators in the UK

Laudato Si’ Animators hail from all the different regions of the world. This story comes from the United Kingdom. Through Laudato Si’ Animator Virgnia Bell, we hear the experience they lived during Laudato Si’ Lent.

A Lenten course organised by the Laudato Si’ Animators in the UK

Dr. Carmody Grey

This Lent, with the expertise of the Global Catholic Climate Movement we, Laudato Si’ Animators in the UK, produced an online course in which we screened the Global Healing and Global Caring documentaries.

This series of webinars included talks and question-and-answer opportunities aimed at presenting the environmental crisis and encouraging participation in reversing it, through action and dialogue in our parishes, homes, and work. 

The course was very successful, with over 900 people registering to take part. There were six sessions, each with an inspiring speaker, such as Dr. Carmody Grey from Durham University, Graham Gordon from CAFOD, and many more. 

These talks embraced a range of topics including ecological conversion, living in harmony with God’s creation, and having hope for the future. We also shared prayers and readings. We sent out a handout after each session, with prayers, reflections, news, and suggested actions relevant to the session.

The feedback from participants was very encouraging. We received comments like, “It was just so brilliant”, “was a wonderful initiative,” and “I have been so inspired and in awe, a bit overwhelmed.” 

We have gained new supporters from the course, widening our network of people in the dioceses who want to be environmentally active.

What is Global Healing?

The Global Healing initiative is the Catholic Church in England and Wales’ response to Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si’, in which the Pope calls for dialogue and action concerning the care of our common home.

He urges all of us to make changes to our lifestyles so as to combat environmental degradation. He describes the Earth as looking “more and more like an immense pile of filth” (LS 21)

The Global Healing initiative is particularly relevant in the light of the reports from the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which tells us that unless governments and individuals immediately and significantly change their lifestyles in these major areas  land use, energy, transport and industry- the future for the planet is very bleak.

And we are given a very short time in which to act to avert disaster. As part of the Global Healing initiative, the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales have produced two films. You can watch these films here.

A Local Parish Global Healing Group

“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” (LS 217).

In Laudato Si’, Pope Francis urges all of us to take our duty to the natural environment and to animals seriously.What better way to engage in being “protectors of God’s handiwork” and expressing our mission of living communion “with all creatures and with nature” than by setting up a local parish group?

There are organisations that can help with setting up such a group. If you are based in the UK, Laudato Si Animators UK will give support and backup, providing a network of supporters and activists. They can be contacted through John Woodhouse, email:  [email protected] 

The Cafod Live Simply initiative will also support efforts to set up a local green group. They have plenty of resources and run a scheme which presents an award to parishes that fulfil an ‘Action Plan’ to green the parish. They also have a network of parishes which are trying to live simply, which is very helpful for advice and encouragement. Contact [email protected]