On Thursday 17th of September the Diocese of Kerry’s Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation (JPIC) Committee, in conjunction with the Laudato Si’ Irish Bishop’s Working Group, hosted a webinar, as part of the Diocese of Kerry’s celebration of the Season of Creation. The theme of the webinar was ‘Cultivating Hope: A Faith Response to the Climate Crisis’ CLICK HERE
The introduction to the webinar brought us right into the world of God’s creation with beautiful scenes of Kerry by Karol Ryan and sounds of nature recorded by Fr Pat Ahern. Sylvia Thompson, as host and Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation Committee member, welcomed everyone. Lorna Gold, author of ‘Climate Generation’, acting chair of the Laudato Si’ Working Group and vice chair of the Global Catholic Climate Movement (GCCM), keynote speaker challenged us to Christian hope in the midst of the two crises of the global pandemic and the climate crisis while speaking of how nature gave her hope during the lockdown. Lorna Gold Text Cultivating Hope Lorna was joined by a panel of people all living in Kerry. These panellists were Niamh ni Dhúill who addressed the topic of biodiversity and simple actions for your garden, and parish grounds, David Tough described the eco garden in St John’s Church of Ireland, Ashe Street. Mary Burke told of ‘baby steps’ she is taking in her home and garden and poet Brid Ní Mhóráin brought us to silence with her very moving poem Slabhra Na Beatha or Chain of Life which she spoke in Irish and English. Judith Waugh, a 5th year student ,and member of Tralee Fridays for Future made a passionate appeal to us adults to act and to persuade our political leaders to act to save our common home for future generations. Bernie McCaffrey told us of her home retrofit and showed us a short video of what was involved and finally, we saw the prize winning short video on ‘Throwaway Culture as in the fast fashion industry and heard from its director 6th year student Aishling Rochford. The evening ended with the 5th Anniversary (Laudato Si’) prayer of Pope Francis: “Enable us to listen and respond to the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor”.
The topics for the webinar were those in this year’s Season Of Creation leaflet. This leaflet is available as gaeilge also IRISH. It is produced by the Diocese in conjunction with the Laudato Si’ Working Group.
166 participants registered for the webinar and the overall reaction to the webinar has been extremely positive and uplifting. Quoting one participant:
‘Thank you very much for the great webinar. It is refreshing to hear what is happening in Kerry. People are becoming much more conscious of creation and how we are treating the earth and all its inhabitants. Keep up the good work. What is happening in Kerry is a very hopeful sign for the future of our planet.’
For those who are already trying to live Laudato Si’ or/ and who wanted to learn more, this was an excellent opportunity to learn of ways to cultivate hope in practical actions and make a personal and communal faith response to the climate crisis. Enquiries about the work of JPIC or any of the resources referred to during the webinar can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org