St Bonaventure’s Cathedral was the scene of equal parts celebration and reflection this June 18th as CAFOD supporters from Bristol and surrounding areas came together to celebrate one year since Pope Francis’s ecological letter, his Laudato Si’.
Activities focused around reflecting on his call for decisive action against climate change and a desire to educate others. In his letter the pope highlights the need to create an inclusive and open conversation about climate change and issues of poverty, climate and ecology development. As he writes;
“We need a conversation which includes everyone, since the environmental challenge we are undergoing, and its human roots, concern and affect us all.”
Part of this reflection was a talk by Susy Brouard from CAFOD’s Theology team. After Lunch her group explored the theology of migration, how they could share what they learned with others and committed to actions to help reflect the messages in Laudato Si’
This message was also echoed by CAFOD’s representative in Bristol, Elizabeth Baldwin. She said;
“On Saturday we had a fantastic group of dedicated CAFOD volunteers who travelled from far and wide across the South West region to learn more about Laudato Si’ and the interconnectedness of poverty, climate and ecology.
“We were well challenged to engage with the call from Pope Francis that the ‘cry of the poor’ and the cry of the earth are not separate issues but one combined and that this call requires a shared response from people of all faiths and none
“The commitment of this group of CAFOD volunteers really shone through as we listened, debated and confirmed our own responses and actions to take forward and ensure that Laudato Si’ is a living document, not a static response in our parishes and communities.”
Workshops in Sierra Leone, Colombia, Bangladesh, Ethiopia and England and Wales have also played an important part of this collective effort while supporters who took part in the talk in Bristol are now planning to spread the message of Laudato Si’ in their own local areas to inspire further change and action.
By Maxwell Dean