Shine a Light on Climate Justice

Bishop Martin Hayes and the Kilmore Care of Creation Group were delighted to host the Eco-Congregation Ireland Climate Justice Candle on Sunday 26 May 2024 at the celebratory Mass for the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity.   During the week, Catholics from all over the world celebrated the ninth anniversary of the publication of Pope Francis’ Encyclical letter, Laudato Si’ (Praise Be) on Care for our Common Home.

At the beginning of Mass, the Eco-Congregation candle was lit acknowledging the need to shine a light on climate justice and sow seeds of hope.  The sacred scripture included readings from Deuteronomy 4:32-40, Psalms 33:4-22 and Romans 8:14-17 and the Gospel, Matthew 28:16-20.

In his homily, Bishop Martin made reference to the upcoming elections and the Holy Trinity Icon displayed on the altar.  “We are already deemed elected children of God”,  Bishop Martin reminded us, and “that we, as children of God and caretakers of the natural world are part of the relationship of the Holy Trinity”. 

“In recognition that we are loved by God, we become people of hope and part of His creation on earth.  The science tells us we are not doing well.  Our negative actions on the planet are having detrimental effects on all that God has lovingly created.  However, as hope would have it, we are growing in awareness of our negative impact on the earth and through God’s help, we are receiving indications of a way forward”.

“In his Encyclical Letter, Pope Francis speaks of a way forward that embraces an interconnected relationship with each other, with the earth and with God.  He tells us that all that God has made is sacred and that what is happening in relation to climate change is impacting our natural world and this creates problems for people elsewhere resulting in harsh conditions for food production and increasing poverty.  Therefore, the cry of the earth is the cry of the poor, indeed the cry of our young people and what is happening today will impact upon future generations.  It means that climate justice is an issue for us”. 

“Today, we welcome the climate justice candle which is supported by the Christian churches in Ireland who aim to discover the lost connection between our Christian faith and care for our environment.  Christian churches are involved in joint projects with Catholic Church parishes throughout Ireland”.

“In the words of Pope Francis we must undergo an ecological conversion and enter into the interconnectedness of all life, human and natural.  The Good Lord speaks to us through the scriptures and through the natural world”. 

The Kilmore Care of Creation Group who organised the hosting of the climate justice candle are an ecumenical group.  They prepared the liturgy for this Mass including the beautiful display of a native Irish mini-forest in the sanctuary area.   They have been busy promoting simple actions at home during Laudato Si’ week and they included the A-Z of Laudato Si’ for distribution to the congregation at the Mass.  Among these simple actions, the Kilmore Care of Creation have sown a wildflower area on the grounds of the Cathedral as part of the Irish Bishops’ initiative to return 30% of church grounds to nature.

We give thanks for the Mass on Trinity Sunday; our Bishop, the congregation, the beautiful music, artwork and living nature displays, all of which communicate the love between the Blessed Trinity, the children of God and our natural world.  It is, in this reciprocal participation that we are inspired to go and carry out our praise, thanksgiving and worship in our daily lives.