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


Imagine a child wants something or to go somewhere and needs permission from parents/guardian, the strategy might be to go ask one parent/ guardian rather that the other. Many are all too familiar with the response, ‘Did you ask your mother? Or ‘what did your father say when you asked him?

The concluding Prayer for Morning and Evening Prayer in the Divine Office ends with the words, ‘We make our prayer through our Lord.’ We ask God through Jesus.

The Gospel proclaimed at Mass today (Jn 16:23-28), may be heard via webcam or read in the New Testament. In this second farewell discourse, Jesus promises the disciples ‘whatever you ask the Father in my name he will give you.’ (John 16: 23). Jesus speaks with assurance, ‘Whatever you ask the Father for … you will get it.’  The condition is to ask in the name of Jesus. Through their knowing Jesus in a spiritual way, the disciples know for what they should ask and he will give it to them.  In the same way, they will know what God wants to give or not give so they will not desire or ask. So by asking in Jesus name we ask the Father through Jesus.

LAUDATO SI’ WEEK (16-24 MAY, 2020)

This is the eighth day, 23 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.” On launching Laudato Si’ week (16-24 May), Pope Francis asked the people, ‘what kind of world do we want to leave to those who will come after us, to the children who are growing up?’

Yesterday, the theme of the presentation was, ‘Social Action: Integral Ecology and Community Building in Times of a Global Pandemic’. We saw inspiring videos and heard testimonies from  project workers, developed by Caritas, Aid Agency, engaged in social action and embedded in Laudato Si’ in the Pacific Islands, New Zealand and Uruguay. One project in Tonga showed the difficulties in distributing relief after cyclone Harold under Covid -19 restrictions, in the volunteers’ efforts to reach and support families whose homes were destroyed. Another video showed a project run by the Sisters of Mercy where they ‘grew a community around a garden’.

Such projects presented at webinars through the week invites people to prepare 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.’

During this week, Catholics everywhere are invited to reflect and pray for action. Resources are provided to help this preparation for action from 16-24 May 2020. Everyone is free to register for webinars on the Laudato Si’ website. It is never too late to make a promise to build a better world by changing one’s lifestyle. The world waits in anticipation for every small step taken.


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… encouraged to develop affection, and care for all creation as a manifestation of the divine. They are taught to contemplate and respect the earth…. The Celtic tradition of respect for God’s creation is woven into the curriculum… A Christian ecological worldview criticises patterns of consumption that relate to ecological degradation. Children are enabled… to develop an ecological conscience… (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. This year many young people in Sixth Class will receive the Sacrament of Confirmation. (Grow in Love 8, Sixth Class, Children’s Book).

So this week, as the Church honours the fifth anniversary of Laudato Si’, the children are enabled to familiarise themselves with Pope Francis and his teaching in Laudato Si’, through Grow in Love. Built on the spiral curriculum, the Christian Morality Strand with Strand Units, ‘Human Dignity’, ‘Social Teaching of the Church’ and ‘RSE in a Christian Context’ are 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).

In SIXTH CLASS, as children are formed in their faith it is God’s desire that they would; respond personally to the call to live justly by treating others fairly;  recognise discrimination and respect the human rights of others; grow in awareness of their responsibility to care for the earth and its most vulnerable people.

Grow in Love 8, SIXTH CLASS, introduces the children to the dignity of the human person and to the importance of upholding human rights, understanding that every person is made in the image and likeness of God. The children learn in song the words of the Gospel text (Mt 25:40).

God calls us to stand up for those whose human rights are denied or ignored and to witness to the love of Jesus especially to persons who are poor. Children identify eight of the human rights found in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

In SIXTH CLASS children read the story of Creation (Gen 1: 1-31), The Parable of the Good Samaritan (Lk 10:30-35), The Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus’ (Lk 16:19-31), and other passages of Sacred Scripture that witness to the Gospel values of justice, mercy, compassion and love.

In their response to God’s call to become good stewards of creation, children and families take up the challenges to work on the Green Flag/Eco Schools Award.

In their call to care for our common home in SIXTH CLASS, the focus of Laudato Si’ is on Climate Justice/Injustice. Children revisit the Trócaire Climate Justice Video and discuss their findings in terms of their own life experience. They read some Climate Change Stories of families in the Philippines and Africa. They watch a video on Greta Thunberg speaking to the COP24 Climate Change Summit in Poland in 2018.

Children’s engagement in Grow in Love journal activities help them internalise the Gospel values of 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 or any other time, by donating to Trócaire gives witness to their willingness to share and be generous.

In Grow in Love 8, SIXTH CLASS children are introduced to the lives of the saints and other Christian heroes/heroines who lived lives of holiness. They read about Fr Edward Flanagan (1886-1948) who set up ‘Boys Town’ in the USA for boys who were homeless. Pope Francis is also chosen as a Christian hero for his message in Laudato Si’.  In studying the life of St Brigid, children reflect on her response to God’s call to live a Christian life and dedicate her life to God by helping persons who were poor. The Sisters of the Brigidine Order continue to live in faith the charism of St Brigid.

In their inter-religious week of study, children are taught that social justice is part of the teaching of Judaism and Islam. Like Christianity, Judaism teaches that God wishes humankind to pursue justice and mercy, to have respect for each person and to make a contribution to better the social order. The Qur’an considers justice a supreme virtue.

Throughout all the lessons in Grow in Love there are daily opportunities offered for prayer, reflection and reading Sacred Scripture.

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 SIXTH CLASS may be helpful, in addition to the resources and online activities for Third class/P5, Fourth Class/P6, Fifth Class/P7 and Junior classes: Slide Show: ‘Prayer/ Prayer Services’, ‘Bible Searches’, Climate Justice Explained’ ; Videos: ‘Climate Change Stories’, ‘Reflective Music’, ‘God has Given Us the Earth’, ‘Take a Moment’, ‘Greta Thunberg’, Climate Activist’, ‘The Big Question’, ‘Curious Clare’, ‘Whatsoever You Do’, ‘Hymn to St Brigid’, ‘ Vox Pop: Interview with Young Travellers’, ‘the Good Samaritan’, ‘Laudato Si’, On Care for Our Common Home’,; Interactive Activities: ‘Human Rights’ .

SONGS from Grow in Love 8 related to the theme of Creation in SIXTH CLASS include: ‘God Has Given Us The Earth’, ‘Connected’,’ Creation Story’, ‘Grow in Love’, ‘Bring Flowers of the Rarest’, ‘ They’ll Know We are Christians By Our Love’, ‘Spirit Filled Day’, ‘Tar Anuas, A Spioraid Naoimh’, ‘Send Forth Your Spirit’, ‘Christ Be Our Light’, ‘ God has Given us the Earth’ ‘The Wood of the Cross’, ‘Go Tell Everyone’.

PRAY with Grow in Love/I nGrá Dé


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 lá 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.



Críost liom.

Críost romham.

Críost I mo dhiaidh.

Críost ionam.

Críost ar mo lámh dheas.

Críost ar mo lámh chlé.

Críost I mo chuideachta is cuma cá dtéim.

Críost mar chara agam, anois go buan. Áiméan.

‘I tell you solemnly, anything you ask from the Father in my name, he will grant it to you, alleluia.’ (Benedictus antiphon).

‘Father, I have made your name known to the men you gave me; now I pray for them, not for the world, since I am coming to you,, alleluia’ (Magnificat antiphon).

‘God is king of all the earth; sing to him a hymn of praise.’ (Psalm 46:8).

‘Some countries have made significant progress in establishing sanctuaries on land and in the oceans where any human intervention is prohibited which might modify their features or alter their original structures.’ (Laudato Si’, no. 38)

Sr Anne Neylon