At Masses on 16 and 17 November, parishioners of Sheffield’s Mother of God church celebrated Creation.
Mindful of Pope Francis’s encouragement to do so, we selected specific readings and prayers to focus on appreciating the amazing world we inhabit, recognising it as God’s gift to us and expressing our sorrow for our inadequate stewardship. In our bidding prayers we remembered Paulo Paulino Guajajara, a 26 year old Brazilian husband and father, shot and killed on 1 November in an ambush, while trying, non-violently, to prevent illegal logging and the destruction of his Amazon Rainforest home. A photo of this inimitably courageous Forest Guardian was displayed.
Year 3 children from St Wilfrid’s school provided beautifully coloured birds and fish to be taken up at each offertory procession, which also included a globe, soil and seeds, plants and a host of wildlife in the form of cuddly toys. These included tigers, whales, monkeys, giraffe and a polar bear among others. Everything was laid at the altar, on African cloths whose designs symbolised the earth and the seas. After the 10 o’clock Mass, homemade vegetable soup was available for all to share, with a Climate Information display, a quiz, a creation focussed ‘Grace before Meals’ and prayer cards to take away.
It is hoped to follow this up with a Creation and Climate event in the New Year, so watch this space. Who knows, perhaps the tiger will come again too.
* If any other parish is interested to know how the Creation Mass was put together and would like to organise one of their own, please contact Rita at firstname.lastname@example.org or look on the CAFOD website: Cafod.org.uk/climate.