Lay faithful across the Archdiocese now have the opportunity to explore Pope Francis’s latest encyclical Laudato Si’ – On Care for Our Common Home – through an exciting series of events.
The first of these events was last weekend launched at the Redemptorist Monastery Church in North Perth.
Beginning with a smoking ceremony and Welcome to Country facilitated by Noongar Elder ‘Aunty’ Marie Taylor, the launch featured a presentation by Melbourne-based Redemptorist priest Dr Bruce Duncan, a lecturer at the Yarra Theological Union where he coordinates the social justice studies program.
In his address for the occasion, Fr Duncan commented that the release of Laudato Si’ presented a ‘golden moment’ for the whole human family.
Fr Duncan emphasised the urgent need for everyone to respond to the challenges presented in Laudato Si’, taking as their model Pope Francis’ own action and leadership on the issue of care for the environment.
While the extent of environmental degradation and the challenges before us can be overwhelming, Fr Duncan insisted that we can take full confidence in knowing that ‘God is on our side’.
Director of the Centre for Faith Enrichment, Dr Michelle Jones said that a particularly moving component of the launch was a lament for the earth sung by Grace Reid, a member of the Redemptorist Monastery Choir.
Accompanied by images of environmental destruction and restoration, the lament echoed the words of the encyclical, ‘This sister [Mother Earth] now cries out to us because of the harm we have inflicted on her by our irresponsible use and abuse of the good with which God has endowed her’ (Pope Francis, Laudato Si’, 2).
A series of five Wednesday-evening workshops will now follow on from the launch – the fruit of an unprecedented collaboration between the Centre for Faith Enrichment, the Redemptorist Community of Oceania, the Justice, Ecology and Development Office, Catholic Earthcare Australia, Caritas Australia and Catholic Mission.
The workshops explore various aspects of Laudato Si’ and how ordinary people can respond to the challenges of the encyclical in their daily lives.
The workshops take place from October 28 to November 25 at the Redemptorist Retreat House, North Perth, from 7pm-8.30pm and are free of charge ($5 donation per session welcomed).
For more information about the Archdiocesan exploration of Laudato Si’, contact the Centre for Faith Enrichment on 9241 5221 or visit www.cfe.org.au, or contact the Redemptorist Monastery on 9328 6600.