A Special Blessing for the Laudato Si Centre

Wednesday 15th May 2019

This morning we were privileged to welcome Archbishop Edward Adams the Apostolic Nuncio to Wardley Hall.

Archbishop Adams started his visit by blessing the Walled Garden at Wardley Hall. The garden is part of the initial stages of the Laudato Si Centre.

The Laudato Si Centre is an exciting and new initiative to be based at Wardley Hall. The Centre seeks to respond to the challenge of Pope Francis’s encyclical on the environment and human ecology, by creating a space for practical action to care for our common home, which will help to leave a sustainable world for future generations.

The final elements of the project will be agreed after a period of consultation with our parishes and schools. Ideas for the plan include space for a walled garden where vegetables can be grown, an outdoor classroom, chickens, a forest school and a wildflower meadow – and that is just for starters! It is an ambitious multi-phase project that will take at least 3-5 years to fully realise. It will be open to the public and we hope that it will inspire the local community, schools and parishes to transfer some of the ideas on display into their own communities.

Archbishop Adams was joined at the blessing by dozens of Cafod Reps from around the diocese and by pupils of Christ the King Primary, Walkden and St Ambrose Barlow High School.

Following the blessing all the guests walked the short distance to St Mary’s Chapel where Archbishop Adams and Bishop John concelebrated a Creation Mass organised by Cafod. They were also joined in the celebration of mass by Mgr Canon Dale, Mgr Smith, Mgr Brady, the Archbishops Private Secretary and by Fr Holman SJ.

The Creation Mass is part of the Cafod summer campaign, Our Common Home, each of the Cafod Reps present were encouraged to take ideas from the Mass back to their own parishes.

Speaking during the Homily Bishop John spoke of the commandment Jesus had asked of us: “He asked us to Love our Neighbour. But the damage we are doing to the environment and to the planet is damaging the lives of our neighbours.

But there is time for us to make a difference. Small changes that might not seem like they amount to much can be put together and will make a difference.

That is what the Laudato Si project can do. I hope it will be a resource for the diocese and beyond.”

Bishop John also reminded those present why it was important that we start our new environment projects and campaigns with a mass, he said:

‘By beginning with the celebration of mass we are asking the Lord to be with us. We pray our diocesan prayer, ‘Stay with us Lord on our jouney’. If he stays with is we know we are on the right path.

A path that will help us improve our understanding of the environment, care for our common home and love our neighbours.’

The pupils from Christ the King lead the congregation in singing and the pupils from St Ambrose Barlow provided excellent readers.

Archbishop Adams ended the mass with a few words including a greeting from the Holy Father. He said:

“The Pope reminds us it is our duty to love our neighbours and to share and protect our common home.

Today by celebrating this new initiative we promise to do our part to love our neighbours and care for the common home. ”

The mass ended with the pupils from Christ the King giving each of the adults present an individual pledge of environmental action for them to take home and to put into practice.

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