The Catholic Church across Yorkshire's historic West Riding since 1878

The Catholic Church across Yorkshire's historic West Riding since 1878

Laudato Si’ Animators at Hinsley Hall

As we approach next year’s tenth anniversary of Pope Francis’s 2015 encyclical Laudato Si’ – Care for our Common Home, ten Laudato Si’ Animators (Advocates) mainly representing the Northern Dioceses met at Hinsley Hall on Friday 14 June. St Walburga’s (Shipley) parishioner and Diocese of Leeds Laudato Si’ Animator David Jackson was there, and has sent this report:

LAUDATO SI’ FRATERNAL ENCOUNTER IN LEEDS

This ‘Community Encounter’ was part of a national, continental and then global Laudato Si’ Movement process of reflection and consultation round three connected questions:

  1. What have been your experiences of being part of LSM? The joys, surprises and challenges?
  2. What is the Spirit calling us to do to fully live the messages of Laudato Si’ in our parish and diocese?
  3. What dreams do we have for our diocese in the light of the last ten years of LSI’?

The aim being to contribute to global attempt to identify more clearly the Laudato Si’ Movement’s aims, mission, goals and values worldwide.

Laudato Si’ Animators from the Dioceses of Leeds, Hallam, Lancaster, Middlesbrough, two each from Hexham & Newcastle and Nottingham Dioceses, Shrewsbury and Westminster travelled to Hinsley Hall for this day of shared reflection, discernment by way of ‘Conversations in the Spirit’ and contemplation.

We used periods of guided silent contemplation and a mindful walk in the open air to open us to the breath of the Spirit – through the four elements of the natural world – air, water, fire and earth – despite, and even assisted, by the rain! We ended by presenting our experiences and hopes in picture/diagrammatic form.

We used the synodal method of  ‘Conversations in the Spirit’ as the framework for seeking answers to the questions: each person spoke uninterrupted for three minutes; each input then followed by a one minute silence. We then shared our impressions before agreeing a short joint set of conclusions. Like those who attended the first General Assembly in Rome last October, we found the method at first unfamiliar but then deeply fulfilling, formative and liberating.  It helped us make room for the Spirit!

The day gave us the opportunity to share the experience of often working alone or with limited support in parish and diocese. We swim against a current not so much of denial of climate change as the need to protect creation and respond to the cries of those most affected. The task is still to link our faith (love of God)  to sustainability (love of God’s creation) – and then ‘animating’ ourselves and the communities of parish and diocese to take action together. There is, after ten years, still a job to do to translate the teachings of Laudato Si’ into faith-based action on behalf of the poorest and of creation.

We came away grateful for the opportunity to have met face to face – many of us for the first time – and newly determined to witness to the fruits of the Spirit: love, joy, peace and, perhaps above all – patience!

Our thanks are due to all those at Hinsley Hall who made the meeting possible!

David Jackson, LSiA, Diocese of Leeds
June 2024

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