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


Sometimes it is easy to make a promise and difficult to keep it. Each person knows one’s own life pattern in making and keeping promises.

To celebrate the second anniversary of Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si’ (June 18, 2015), the Global Catholic Climate Movement (GCCM) launched ‘a Laudato Si’ Pledge campaign to keep the Pontiff’s message alive and encourage mass Catholic action to address the climate crisis.’

This pledge is a way for Catholics to commit to a new way of living Laudato Si’. The Catholic Church had/has a significant role to play in addressing the climate crisis. Hence, people, parishes and organizations were invited to sign the Laudato Si’ pledge, and promise to heed the Pope’s call to pray for and with creation, live more simply, and advocate to protect our common home.

God never gives up on the promises God makes. Pope Francis spells this out clearly in Laudato Si’, God is always present. ‘He does not abandon us, he does not leave us alone, for he has united himself definitively to our earth, and his love constantly impels us to find new ways forward. Praise be to him!’ (LS, no. 245).

It is only by working together towards true conversion and true lifestyle change, by opening ourselves to “hear the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor” that we can make the changes that we need. This encyclical calls each of us to action, as individuals and a church, and gives us hope that by working towards change together we can protect our common home.

The Gospel proclaimed at Mass today (Jn 1612: 15), may be heard via webcam or read in the New Testament. In this second farewell discourse, Jesus explains to the apostles that he still has ‘many things to tell’ them but not now. The Spirit of truth will come and ‘guide them to the whole truth.’ Disciples today believe that the Spirt is with them. The promise is fulfilled and so disciples pray daily to the Holy Spirit to ‘enkindle in us the fire of your love.’

The Holy Spirit has much to tell Christians yet, through Pope Francis and the GCCM about ‘how faith convictions can offer Christians…ample motivation to care for nature and for the most vulnerable of their brothers and sisters.’ Jesus says, ‘Blessed are your eyes because they do see, and your ears because they do hear.’ (Mt 13: 16). The Holy Spirit will guide our action and prayer, in the mission to care for our common home.

LAUDATO SI’ WEEK (16-24 MAY, 2020)

This is the fifth day, 20 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’, on Eco Spirituality: ‘Deepening Our Communion with Creation’. The focus was on Chapter 2 of Laudato Si’, ‘The Gospel of Creation.’ What was very worthwhile was the practical applications that were offered 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 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 doing the activities in 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 Third Class/P5, 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.


Grow in Love THIRD CLASS/P5, invites the children to develop a heightened awareness of the need to care for the earth and all God’s creatures. They also grow in praise and thanks for the gifts of creation. They realise and accept that they are called to cooperate with God in building the Kingdom of God. They live their faith through prayer and action and they are inspired by the faith of their ancestors, St Kevin and St Patrick and Confession of St Patrick.

The children in THIRD CLASS/P5 are invited to read the story of Creation (Gen 1: 1-31). They strive to understand that God desires to live in relationship with all those whom God created.  God called people throughout history to co-create with God’s plan. God continues to call disciples today. When God called the people he made a covenant with them. He gave Moses the Ten Commandments to help the people remain faithful to the covenant.

The children explore the first three of the Ten Commandments that help them build their relationship with God and they are taught about the Sabbath and how Jesus taught in the synagogue. A week -long lesson on Judaism is found in the section on additional lessons.

God sent Jesus into the world.  Jesus shared with the disciples the Good News about God’s love. He made a new covenant with them when he gave them the gift of his body and blood at the Last Supper. He said, ‘Do this in memory of me.’ He taught them the New Commandment of Love, the Great Commandment of Love and the Beatitudes.

‘The Eucharist joins heaven and earth; it embraces and penetrates all creation.’(Laudato Si’ no. 236).

Children are encouraged to praise God, the Creator by reading or singing Psalm 148. They invite other creatures and living beings also to praise and thank God.

Children with their families become good stewards of creation as they grow in awareness about the Green Flag award. They understand they must make changes to their lifestyle.

In school, children are introduced to the encyclical Laudato Si’, On Care for Our Common Home. They read an extract from the Canticle of St Francis of Assisi, who saw the earth, fire, wind and water as his brothers and sisters. Children see a video on Climate Change and reflect on the story of a family in Ethiopia whose lives were badly affected by the lack of water due to climate change. However, with the help of Trócaire funding an irrigation system was built which helped the families of the area.

Children also explore reduce, reuse and recycling suggestions to avoid waste.

Children also hear about people like Frederic Ozanam, Jean Donavan and Ruby Bridges, who took up the mission of working to build a just and Christian society. They deepen their knowledge and understanding of the life and the work of St Vincent de Paul and the Society of St Vincent de Paul. They identify ways in which they too can experience God’s call to uphold human dignity and respect in their work for justice. The Holy Spirit will help them as will their parents/ guardian, teachers and others in the local parish community.

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 the work of this Christian Morality Strand.

Logon: www.veritas.ie

Email: trial@growinlove

Password: growinlove

The following RESOURCES, for THIRD CLASS/P5 may be helpful, in addition to the resources and online activities for Junior Classes: Slide Show: ‘Prayer Services’, ‘Psalm 148’; Video: ‘Climate Change’, ‘Nature Walk’, ‘Make the World a Better Place’ ‘The Society of St Vincent de Paul’, ‘Celtic Blessing’; Images; ‘St Kevin’,’ The High Crosses’, ‘St Vincent de Paul’, Jean Donavan’, ‘Ruby Bridges’; ‘Portrait of an Old Man and his Grandson’,’ Pope Francis sets an Example’.

SONGS from Grow in Love related to the theme of Creation in THIRD CLASS/P5, : ‘Psalm 148’, ‘Sign of the Cross Chant’, ‘Take Off your Shoes’, ‘The Neighbour Song’,  ‘When Creation Was Begun’, ‘Grow in Love’, ‘Love’, ‘The Spirit of God is Upon Us’, ‘Parish Anthem’, ‘Shalom Aliechem’, ‘Baptism Song’, ‘Lay Your Hands’, ‘I’m Sorry God’, ‘Zacchaeus’, ‘This is the Day’, ‘Jesus Loves Children’, ‘Circle of Friends’, ‘ The Lord, He is My Shepherd, Psalm 23’, ‘Alleluia, Alleluia, give thanks’, ‘Hail Glorious Saint Patrick’, Christ Be Beside Me’, 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.


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

Gra agus cairdeas,

Agus go maire said

I síocháin ghrá De

Anois agus choíche.

‘I still have many things to say to you but they would be too much for you now. When the Spirit of truth comes he will lead you to the complete truth, alleluia.’ (Benedictus antiphon).

‘The Spirit will glorify me, since all he tells you will be taken from what is mine, alleluia’ (Magnificat antiphon).

‘Sing a new song to the Lord.’ (Psalm 148:1).

Hymn of St Francis of Assisi

“Praise be you, my Lord, with all your creatures,

Especially Sir Brother Sun,

Who is the day and through whom you give us light.

And he is beautiful and radiant with great splendour;

And bears a likeness of you, Most High……”

(Laudato Si’, no. 87)

Sr Anne Neylon