‘The Lord has truly risen, alleluia’ (Invitatory antiphon)



Pope Francis on writing the encyclical, Laudato Si’ On Care for our Common Home wrote on the reality of ‘What is happening to Our Common Home’. He expresses the concerns of previous popes about ecological issues.  The picture is not good, but all is not lost.  Pope Francis offers the world the opportunity to work ‘Towards a New Lifestyle.’ He presents a map of what needs to be done by using phrases such as, ‘Unless, we do this’, ‘We need to…’, ‘We also need…’ throughout the text.

So readers learn for example, that if we want to build a better world we need to ‘avoid using plastic, reduce water consumption, separate refuse, cook only what can be reasonably consumed, show care for other living beings, use public transport, car pool, plant trees, turn off light, etc.’ (Laudato Si’, no. 211). These actions won’t change the world but will bring out the ‘best in human beings’.  This is a sign of hope for a better world especially those who suffer most in poverty. Our hope is that the sorrow now experienced with Covid-19 and its consequences will be turned to joy, knowing we are in the season of Easter and Jesus is alive.

The Gospel proclaimed at Mass today (Jn 16:20-23), may be heard via webcam or read in the New Testament. In this second farewell discourse, Jesus promises the disciples that their ‘sorrow will be turned into joy.’ (John 16: 20). An obvious question for the disciples to ask might be, ‘When will that happen?’ Jesus also promises ‘whatever you ask in my name he will give you.’ (John 16: 23). These promises are signs of hope for the disciples. They are also signs of hope for disciples today because Jesus is alive and present among us.

LAUDATO SI’ WEEK (16-24 MAY, 2020)

This is the seventh day, 22 May 2020, of Laudato Si’ week, to celebrate the fifth anniversary of Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si’, On Care for Our Common Home. The overall theme of the week is “everything is connected.”

Today we also celebrate UN International Day for Biological Diversity (IBD), to increase understanding and awareness of biodiversity issues.  This year in the light of Covid-19, it is evident that in spite of the many technological advances, human beings are completely dependent on healthy and vibrant ecosystems for their health, water, food, medicines, clothes, fuel, shelter and much more. The theme is ‘Our Solutions are in Nature’. The UN calls for people to work together in harmony with nature especially at this time of pandemic.

We keep in mind Sustainable Development Goal 15 objective of which is to halt biodiversity loss and promote the sustainable use of terrestrial and inland freshwater ecosystems. There are targets to be reached about this goal by 2030.

On launching Laudato Si’ week, Pope Francis put this question to the world, ‘what kind of world do we want to leave to those who will come after us, to the children who are growing up?’  (Laudato Si’, 160)

In his address for IBD 2020, UN Secretary-General António Guterres also spoke about the ‘future we want’, and said, ‘As we encroach on nature and deplete vital habitats, increasing numbers of species are at risk. That includes humanity and the future we want.’

With much to do, we continue to prepare and act on  Laudato Si’ challenges which were presented at webinars through the week in preparation for the celebration of the forthcoming ‘Season of Creation’ (1 September-4 October 2020), when Pope Francis invites Catholics to pray for our common home. The week connects the home, school, parish and the generations internationally. Participation in this dedicated week to Laudato Si’, enables the entire population, especially those most at risk from the consequences of climate injustice to hope ‘for a better world to come tomorrow.’


The idea of including Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si, On Care for Our Common Home into the Grow in Love programme helps the home/parish/school to understand the ‘Ecological Perspective’ informing ‘curriculum approach to content, the development of skills and the appreciation of values.’ (The Catholic Preschool and Primary Religious Education Curriculum for Ireland 2015, (CPPRECI)).

The care of the earth takes a prominent place in the curriculum and this is reflected in Grow in Love. The CPPRECI states that, ‘In the Catholic school, ecological respect and concern are rooted in a scripturally-based theology of creation and related ethical considerations. God creates and gives us the gift of creation to care for and celebrate, and the Christian hope for the final renewal for all creation at the end of time encourages our commitment to cultivate and care for the earth (CCC 1042)’.

Children are taught from the Grow in Love programme, which integrates the four Strands, following the spiral curriculum of the Catholic Preschool and Primary Religious Education Curriculum for Ireland (2015), about the ‘unique and special place of God’s creation, the interconnection of all creation and are encouraged to develop affection, and care for all creation as a manifestation of the divine. They are taught to contemplate and respect the earth in all its complexity and beauty. The Celtic tradition of respect for God’s creation is woven into the curriculum at every level. A Christian ecological worldview criticises patterns of consumption that relate to ecological degradation. Children are enabled to understand the concept of eco-sin and to develop an ecological conscience which calls for prophetic challenges to forces destroying the earth. (CPPRECI, p.24).

Given that Grow in Love is designed to be used at home and in the school, it provides links with the parish community. Families are encouraged to support their children by actively participating with the Grow in Love Children’s Book; to teach their child about the faith they chose for them in Baptism, and continue to pass on every day. With the support of the school and the parish community, it is hoped that parents/guardian will pray and accompany their child as they ‘grow in love’ of God and one another. (Grow in Love Fifth Class/P6, Children’s Book).

So this week, as the Church honours the fifth anniversary of Laudato Si’, the children are enabled to grow in familiarity with the teaching of Pope Francis in Laudato Si’, through Grow in Love. The work of each class level is built on a previous ones, so the Christian Morality Strand with Strand Units, ‘Human Dignity’, ‘Social Teaching of the Church‘ and ‘RSE in a Christian Context’ are built and taught on a solid foundation.


Pope Francis says that environmental education needs educators, ‘capable of developing an ethics of ecology, and helping people, through effective pedagogy, to grow in solidarity, responsibility and compassionate care.’ (LS, no. 210).

This year in FIFTH CLASS/P7 as children are formed in their faith it is God’s desire that they would; live and act with justice toward God and neighbour; would grow in appreciation of God’s world; recognise themselves as co-creator with God’s plan; appreciate how and why they should respect the world, themselves, other people and God; desire to act justly in their day to day lives; be inspired by St Patrick and their Christian ancestors.

Grow in Love FIFTH CLASS/P7, introduces the children to Catholic Social Teaching as a central element of the teaching of the Catholic Church. This teaching is an expression of God’s plan for all creation. God created each person in God’s image and likeness. God created us to live in harmony with all Creation. God desires we build relationships of love, care, mercy and that we live justly. As Jesus taught us.

In FIFTH CLASS/P7 children explore the Beatitudes (Mt 5: 1-12), in which Jesus taught his followers the attitudes by which people ought to relate to one another.

To act justly is a core theme for the children at this level. They are taught that social justice happens when a society is fair and just in its treatment of people. They recognise that many people are treated unjustly and without dignity. Many people are discriminated against. This is against the law and it is also sinful. Engaging with Jesus’ teaching on love, children recognise how the Church reflects the compassion, tenderness and love of God. Jesus didn’t discriminate, shown in his encounter at the well with the Samaritan woman (John 4:5-19, 25-30).  Jesus invites his followers to follow his way of welcome, love and serving others. Each person living the way of love transforms the world with the help of the Holy Spirit.

In FIFTH CLASS/P7 children read the story of Creation (Gen 1: 1-31), The Beatitudes (Mt 5:1-12), The Samaritan Woman (John 4:5-19, 25-30) and other Gospel texts that witness to justice and love.

As children grow in knowledge and understanding they, with their families respond to God’s call to become good stewards of creation. They understand the reason to make changes to their lifestyle by reducing, reusing and recycling goods. To do this, they take up the challenges to work on the Green Flag/Eco Schools Award. It is essential to eliminate waste and change the mind set away from ‘the throw away culture.’

Ultimately, an ecological conversion can ‘benefit society’ and ‘call forth a goodness’ that is capable of spreading like leaven in the dough (LS, no. 212).

Children’s engagement in Grow in Love journal activities help them internalise the Gospel values of love, respect and human dignity which are fundamental to Pope Francis’ message in Laudato Si’.

Working with the Trócaire resources, children explore the life stories of people who live in poverty due to global warming, climate change, loss of biodiversity, scarcity of water etc. They learn that the sacrifices they make during the Lenten season by donating to Trócaire gives witness to sharing, love and generosity.

In studying the life of St Patrick, children reflect how St Patrick and our ancestors were a deeply spiritual people who experienced the powerful of the divine in the natural world. They lived close to nature, close to the elements and close to God. Children reflect on their lives in the light of these values.

Resources are available including a Children’s Grow in Love e-book, on the VERITAS Grow in Love website to support the work of this Christian Morality Strand.

Logon: www.veritas.ie

Email: trial@growinlove

Password: growinlove

The following RESOURCES, for FIFTH CLASS/P7 may be helpful, in addition to the resources and online activities for Third class/P5, Fourth Class/P6, and Junior classes: Slide Show: ‘Prayer Services’, ‘Rescue of the Migrants’, ‘The Beatitudes’; Video: ‘Climate Change’, ‘Bees in Ireland’,  ‘Capuchin Day Service’, ‘Interview with Lt Daniel Cagney’, ‘Working Together for Social Justice’, ‘Laudato Si’, On Care for Our Common Home’, ‘Fruits of the Earth’; Interactive Activities: ‘Needs versus Wants’ Poster: ‘Map of Israel’: Script for Drama.

SONGS from Grow in Love related to the theme of Creation in FIFTH CLASS/P6 include: ‘Grow in Love’, ‘Close to You’, ‘Love’, ‘The Summons’, ‘Make a Good Choice’, ‘More Than Just’, ‘The Beatitudes’, ‘ God has Given us the Earth’ ‘The Wood of the Cross’, ‘Go Tell Everyone’, ‘Spirit Anthem’, ‘The Servant Song’, ‘The Welcome Table’, ‘We Come to Your Feast’, and ‘Reflective Music.

PRAY with Grow in Love/I nGrá Dé


Glory be to the Father,

And to the Son,

And to the Holy Spirit;

As it was in the beginning,

Is now, and ever shall be,

World without end. Amen.


Glóir don Athair,

Agus don Mhac,

Agus don Spiorad Naomh,

Mar abhí ó thus,

Mar atá anois

Agus mar a bheas go brách,

Le saol na saol. Áiméan.


God our Creator, you have given us

the earth, and the sky and the seas.

Show us how to care for the earth, not

just for today but for ages to come.

Let no plan or work of ours damage

or destroy the beauty of your creation.

Send forth your Spirit to direct us to

care for the earth and all creation. Amen.


A Dhia ár gCruthaitheoir, thug tú an

talamh, an spéir agus na farraigí dúinn.

Taispeáin dúinn conas aire a thabhairt

don domhan, ní hamháin don l atá inniu ann,

ach do na haoiseanna atá

le teacht freisin.

Ná milleadh aon phlean ná obair

againne áilleacht do chruthithe.

Seol do Spioraid chugainn chun

cabhrú linn aire a thabhairt don

domhan agus don chruthú ar fad.


Christ be with me,

Christ be beside me,

Christ be before me,

Christ be behind me,

Christ be at my right hand,

Christ be at my left hand,

Christ be with me, wherever I go,

Christ be my friend forever and ever.



May all the children

In the world

Share love

Share friendship and live

In the peace

Of God’s love

Now and forever.


Go rinne

Gach páiste ar domhan

Grá agus cairdeas,

Agus go maire siad

I síocháin ghrá Dé

Anois agus choíche.

‘In Jesus, we see one who is crowned now with glory and honour because he suffered death, alleluia.’ (Benedictus antiphon).

‘Your heavenly Father will give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him, alleluia’ (Magnificat antiphon).

‘God is king of all the earth; sing to him a hymn of praise.’ (Psalm 97:2).

‘In assessing the environmental impact of any project…. alternatives exist which at least lessen the impact of these projects, like the creation of biological corridors, but few countries demonstrate such concern and foresight.’ (Laudato Si’ no.35).


Optional memorial

St Rita of Cascia, pray for us.

Sr Anne Neylon