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


When God created the world, God saw everything God created was good. Everything was connected and God’s vision was for every being to live in harmony. When God created humanity, God saw it as very good. God called every man and woman to be stewards of all Creation; but ‘the harmony between the Creator, humanity and creation broke down.’ ‘The rupture is sin.’ (LS, 66).

St Francis of Assisi, (1181-1226) loved God and God’s Creation so much that he said, ‘our common home is like a sister with whom we share our life and a beautiful mother who opens her arms to embrace us.’ (LS, no.1).

Moving through the centuries, Pope Francis heard the call of the earth, ‘she cries out to us because of the harm we have inflicted on her by our irresponsible use and abuse of the goods which God has endowed her.’ (LS, no.2) This is sad news for the people of the twenty first century. In our world we see the consequences of ‘the depletion of natural resources, loss of biodiversity, decline in the quality of life and the breakdown of society.’ Climate is a common good but climate change has reaped havoc particularly among people who live in poverty. Sadly, Covid-19 has added to the already existing crises. Patriarch Bartholomew spoke saying, ‘each one of us’ must ‘repent of the ways we have harmed the planet.’ (LS, no.8).

The three questions Jesus asked his apostles in the Gospel today are also addressed to us as disciples.

This Gospel proclaimed at Mass (Jn 16:5-11) can be heard via webcam or read from the New Testament. Jesus asks the apostles in this second farewell discourse three questions, ‘What is the world’s sin, in regard to me? … What is the path of righteousness? … What is the path of justice?’ Jesus calls the disciples to believe in Jesus and follow his way of love. The Holy Spirit will continue to guide them and Jesus’ promise to be with them remains forever.

LAUDATO SI’ WEEK (16-24 MAY, 2020)

This is the fourth day, 19 May 2020, of Laudato Si’ week, to celebrate the fifth anniversary of Pope Francis’ encyclical on care for our common home. The overall theme of the week is “everything is connected.”

Yesterday the focus was on Laudato Si’, an encyclical as ‘Prophetic and Relevant as ever’. Participants were reminded of the great need for an ecological conversion. This requires ‘individual behaviour change.’ The challenge for the future to address the crises of climate injustice and Covid-19, is to alleviate poverty and to immediately heighten awareness of those persons ‘who are under the line of dignity’. We have heard much, we have seen much. Now is the time to act.

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.

Work and study continue through participation in these online programmes. What is learned and acted on will be celebrated during the season of Creation, 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 climate injustices 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)).

Children are taught from the Grow in Love programme, which follows 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 teach their child about the faith they chose for them in Baptism, and continue to pass on every day. The role of parents and families in preparing children for the Sacrament of Reconciliation and the Sacrament of Eucharist is vital. Parents are invited to teach children about their faith in a way and in a context that is real and meaningful. With the support of the school and the parish community, it is hoped that parents/guardian will accompany their child as they ‘grow in love’ of God and one another. (Grow in Love, Children’s Book).

All of creation reveals God’s glory. Pope Francis says, ‘Our insistence that each human being is an image of God should not make us overlook the fact that each creature has its own purpose. None is superfluous. The entire material universe speaks of God’s love, his boundless affection for us. Soil, water, mountains: everything is, as it were, a caress of God.’ (Laudato Si’, 84).

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)’.

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 through Grow in Love. With the spiral curriculum, the work of one class level is built on a previous class level, 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.


Further to the content taught in Junior Infants/ Senior Infants/P2 and First Class/P3, in SECOND CLASS/P4 the children are encouraged to build on their exploration of the Creation story from the Book of Genesis (1:27-31). They discuss the story of Adam and Eve and what happened to them. It was God’s desire for the plan of Creation that all beings would live in harmony with God and with each other. Adam and Eve disobeyed God because they were tempted into believing that they were not made in the image of God. They thought they could become like God by eating the fruit from the tree. Sin entered the world. God in God’s goodness did not abandon God’s Creation. God promised to send a Saviour who would reconcile God’s people with God, with one another and with God’s Creation. The Saviour was Jesus.

Grow in Love SECOND CLASS/P4, invites the children as they grow in faith to appreciate their God-given gifts and talents. As children are formed in their faith, they develop the Christian virtue of a sense of wonder and reverence for God’s creation. They appreciate their dignity and worth as created and loved by God. Children grow in respect of their bodies and the bodies of others because they were created by God.

Children grow in their understanding of human dignity, as they hear the story of St Vincent de Paul (1581-1660) who was deeply committed to the work of justice and charity through collaboration with others. St Vincent de Paul is a household name. He founded the Vincentian Order of priests in 1625. With St Louise de Marillac (1591-1660) he co-founded the Daughters of Charity (1633). In the early years he established the Confraternities of Charity with his collaborators, which is now known as the Society of St Vincent de Paul (1833). The Vincentian Family lives out the Vincentian charism internationally today.

Children are encouraged to nourish their faith and have an active love for their neighbour through prayer and reading Sacred Scripture, making the world a better place and supporting Trócaire, the Society of Missionary Children and other charities. They learn that by their prayer, and their lived faith, goodness and love that they can care for our common home. The Holy Spirit will help them as will their parents/ guardian, teachers and others in the local parish community.

In SECOND CLASS/P4, children have a heightened awareness about the Green Flag Award. They, with their school colleagues are invited to participate in a seven-step programme covering a variety of topics from litter and waste to climate change. All of the themes covered by the Green Flag Award are explored by Pope Francis in Laudato Si’.

Resources are available including a Children’s Grow in Love e-book, with poems and prayers and activities on the VERITAS Grow in Love website to support this this Christian Morality Strand.

Logon: www.veritas.ie

Email: trial@growinlove

Password: growinlove

The following RESOURCES, for SECOND CLASS/P3 may be helpful, in addition to the resources and online activities for Junior Infants/P1, Senior Infants/P2 and First Class/P3: Slide show on ‘Our Gifts and Talents’, ‘St Vincent de Paul’: Videos on ‘Thank You for Making me’, God Created People’, ‘What God wants’, ‘Adam and Eve’,’ The Society of St Vincent de Paul’: Poem, ‘I am Unique’,: Online interactive Activity, ‘ Treasure Trail’, ‘Snake’ : Poster on ‘Adam and Eve’: Colouring Page on ‘Adam and Eve’;, ‘Vincent de Paul’.’

SONGS from Grow in Love related to the theme of Creation in SECOND CLASS/P4, in addition to those taught in Junior Infants/P1, Senior Infants/P2 and First Class/P3 : ‘When Creation Was Begun’, ‘Grow in Love’, ‘Quiet and Still’, ‘The Apostles’, ‘Baptism Song’, ‘Lay Your Hands’, ‘I’m Sorry God’, ‘Zacchaeus’, ‘This is the Day’, ‘When Jesus was a Boy’, ‘Jesus Loves Children’, ‘Circle of Friends’, ‘ The Lord, He is My Shepherd, Psalm 23’, ‘Alleluia, Alleluia, give thanks’ , Christ Be Beside Me’, ‘The Spirit of God is Upon Us’, Gifts From God’, and ‘This Little Light of Mine’ 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.

‘In a short time the world will no longer see me; but you will see me, because I live in you and you will live, alleluia.’ (Benedictus antiphon).


‘I tell you the truth: it is for your good that I am going because unless I go, the Advocate will not come, alleluia’ (Magnificat antiphon).


‘If I walk in the midst of trouble, you give me life. With outstretched arm, you save me from the wrath of my foes, with your right hand you deliver me.’ (Psalm 137:7).


“The violence present in our hearts, wounded by sin, is also reflected in the symptoms of sickness evident in the soil, in the water, in the air and in all forms of life. This is why the earth herself, burdened and laid waste, is among the most abandoned and maltreated of our poor…”

(Laudato Si’, 2)

Sr Anne Neylon