ECI Climate Justice Candle Visits Church of the Immaculate Conception, Kanturk, Co Cork

Don McSweeney sent us this report:

We had a Parish Mission in the parish (Kanturk & Lismire) facilitated by the Redemptorist Mission team from Limerick from 17th -23 September and each evening the mission team focused on a particular theme. We set aside one evening to focus on what we called ‘Creation/Harvest’. Here is a copy of the text that we used to introduce the candle.

A number of parishioners are very committed to the environmental and climate justice programme of Pope Francis and very much wanted to promote this. They also decided, as this is a very rural community, to integrate this with a celebration of harvest, and worked on a three-part liturgy/ritual for the evening.

The liturgy was as follows: firstly, a telling of the creation story from Genesis, with children bringing up in procession symbols at the appropriate moment (sun, moon, birds, animals etc). Secondly, we had a harvest procession of local produce of the land, and thirdly, having celebrated creation, we focussed on the threat to creation and the concept of climate justice. Here we brought forward the climate justice candle in procession and had it lit and displayed on the sanctuary for the duration of the Mission, and remaining in place until the Feast of St Francis of Assisi on 4th October, the last day of the Season of Creation.

People were invited to call to the church to pray and reflect at the candle during that time. We had a special prayer card printed for parishioners with a picture of the candle on one side and a Laudato Si prayer from Pope Francis on the other side.

Below is a photo of of artwork done by local school children which we had on display for the mission night.