Catholic Schools: Learning with Pope Francis to Care for Our Common Home
One of the features of Catholic schools in recent years has been the introduction
of a week dedicated to celebrating the unique role that such schools play in shaping
not just the students and all involved, but wider society, locally and universally.
This annual celebration gives expression to the ethos of Catholic education and acknowledges
the tremendous contribution that our Catholic primary and post-primary schools make,
not just to Irish society, but to the mission of the Church. Catholic Schools Week
begins on Sunday next, 29 January and runs until 4 February. All Catholic Schools
are invited to partake in the week. Parish communities are also invited to support
through reflection and prayer and continued practical support. The theme for Catholic
Schools Week this year is Catholic Schools: Learning with Pope Francis to Care for
Our Common Home. It is hoped that this theme will help schools to gain an understanding
of the Pope’s encyclical letter Laudato Si’. This is Pope Francis’ second encyclical.
Its title means ‘Praise be to you’ and it has the subtitle On Care for Our Common
Home. The encyclical letter, published on 24 May 2015, discusses the harm humankind
has caused on earth and calls on ‘every person living on this planet’ to make necessary
changes in our lives to protect our planet. Laudato Si’ deals with many environmental
issues including pollution, climate change, drought, loss of biodiversity and the
decline in the quality of human life. Pope Francis is asking us to work together
to create a better world for future generations and to take care of, respect and
value our common home. Pope Francis addresses his letter to ‘every person living
on this planet’ in order to start an inclusive dialogue about how we are shaping
the future of our planet. Pope Francis calls on the Church and humankind to acknowledge
the current environmental challenges and to join him in embarking on a new path.
This encyclical is written with both hope and resolve, looking to our common future. Catholic
schools can play an essential role in shaping the future of our planet by working
together to care for our common home. Our world is a gift from God and we are called
to act as both stewards and protectors during our time here. It is our responsibility
to care for our world and make it a better place for the next generation. Through
the encyclical letter Laudato Si’, Pope Francis reminds us of the necessity and importance
of caring for our common home.
During the week, there will be daily themes. Sunday 29th – Catholic Schools Week and
the overall theme to feature in prayers at Sunday Masses.
Monday 30th – Seeing the beauty of our common home
Tuesday 31st – Caring for our common home
Wednesday 1st – grandparents: Watching over our common home
Thursday 2nd – Protecting our common home
Friday 3rd – Sharing our common home.
The daily themes contain resources for the class groupings. Each day’s lesson begins
with a reflective quote from Laudato Si to put the learning into context. Suggestions
for the different strands are included in the resources, which can be accessed on
The resources are also available in the Irish language.
There will also be a thought for each day which will be available on the resources
site and which will be publicised through social media, including the Diocese of
Clogher Facebook and Twitter pages and accounts.