Response from the Vatican

Posted: 4th November 2016

Laudato Si’: On Care for our Common Home

Our celebrations of the one year anniversary marking the publication of the papal encyclical ‘Laudato Si’: On Care for our Common Home’, has resulted in a wonderful and surprise response from the Vatican.

In the Summer Term we held a ‘Laudato Si’ week, celebrating Pope Francis’ call to care for our world and focussing on positive action to demonstrate our commitment to our common home, the planet Earth. We marked the anniversary of the publication of the encyclical with a ‘no paper day’, a Walk to School Day, a ‘no electricity day’ and the Thursday of the week saw Junior lessons taking place outside with the Seniors following suit on the Friday.

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In addition, as part of our response to Pope Francis’ call to care for our planet pupils in the Junior School wrote to His Holiness and thanked him for Laudato Si’, sharing their thoughts on the situation existing in the world today and telling him of the actions they are taking to contribute to a solution. From a vast array of letters from throughout the Juniors (with many containing illustrations), here are a few comments:

Holly wrote, ‘Dear Pope Francis, I’m writing to thank you for your encyclical letter about Laudato Si’. It has really made me think about that is happening to the Earth (Our Common Home).’ While Vinaya added, ‘It has really opened my eyes about what could happen in the future’.  Jazmin wrote, ‘Richer nations make pollution, but it is the poorest communities that suffer the most’.

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All the girls told the Pope about the activities undertaken at school and also about the actions they would take.

As Jazmin said, ‘I will live more simply, try not to waste food and water, not use our cars as much and try gardening’ and Naomi added, ‘I am going to make an effort to recycle and reduce the amount of waste in the house’. While Mattie is going to ‘turn the taps off everywhere I go, walk to school more, do more gardening and turn off lights everywhere’.

Kara said, ‘Thank you for opening my eyes about what the world is going through’ and Sophie concluded, ‘I will get involved in more politics and groups to save our common home and do what I can to make a difference. I will start today’.

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We were overjoyed when, shortly before half term, we received a reply from the Vatican in which Pope Francis thanked the girls for writing to him and ‘sharing how you learned to care for the world, our common home’. The letter from the Vatican assured us that His Holiness ‘will pray for you and your teachers, and he sends you his blessing’.

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As Claudia wrote, ‘If we carry on being active and getting involved, our world will become a better place for everyone. I want to help our world become a better place for future generations.  We need to make a difference.  We need to start today’.

Thank you to all those in the Junior school who took the Pope’s message to heart and wrote so beautifully to him.

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Categories: Faith Life Junior Whole School
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