SUGGESTED PRACTICAL ACTIONS FOR PARISHIONERS DURING THE SEASON OF CREATION, 2019:
Spend some time outside each day.
Start to grow some of your own food; support local producers.
Compost your garden and food waste.
Avoid or reduce the use of chemicals in your home and garden.
Use (vinegar, baking soda) and buy eco- friendly cleaners (www.ecoverdirect.com)
Plant pollinator friendly plants in your window box or/ and garden at home or/ and in your parish grounds. www.biodiversityireland.ie
Shop wisely-Buy Fairtrade and buy locally made products when possible.
Avoid waste. Avoid, reduce, reuse, recycle, recover, treat, dispose
Learn how to read your energy bills and make your home more energy efficient.
Explore the use of renewable energy in your home, business and school, parish buildings (www.seai.ie).
Participate in the Think Before You Flush campaign (www.thinkbeforeyouflush.org) Display the Dirty Dozen posters in toilets.
Consider installing water butts in your gardens.
Pray in and with nature – Encourage Laudato Si’ themed gardens in your parish
Volunteer your time in some creative project. Join an existing group.
Offer a welcome to newcomers where you live.
Explore Trocaire’s 100 ways for Parishes to implement Laudato Si’ (https://www.trocaire.org/sites/default/files/pdfs/parishes/100-ways-to-implement-laudato-si.pdf)
Become an Eco - Congregation. www.ecocongregationireland.com
Take the Laudato Si’ Pledge (www.CatholicClimateMovement.global/petition )
Refuse single use plastics such as cling film, straws, plastic cutlery.
Switch to a reusable water bottle /travel cup.
Use cloth bags for shopping and Bring/Use your own containers when possible.
Check for and then avoid microbeads in products.
Refuse packaging – Avoid - Reduce - Re-use – Recycle - Upcycle
Check the new recycling list www.recyclinglistireland.ie
Organise a recycling workshop in your parish/community www.voiceireland.org
Show a film or documentary on the topic in your parish/community
Participate in a beach, stream, river, park, street, area, road cleanup.
Bishops alarmed at rush to remove rights of the most vulnerable
With the thousands of others who have voiced their concern in recent days, we wish to express our alarm at the unprecedented way in which the Westminster Parliament has used the Northern Ireland (Executive Formation) Bill to rush through legislation which will have a devastating impact on the right to life of unborn children.
The equal right to life, and love, of a mother and her unborn child is so fundamental to the common good of every society that citizens deserve the fullest participation in the democratic debate about the legislation which governs it. This also applies to decisions regarding the nature of marriage. What is happening in Westminster during these days recklessly undermines this fundamental right of citizens and the principle of devolution at the heart of the Good Friday Agreement. It should be a matter of grave alarm for every citizen in Northern Ireland and all who cherish the right to life as the most fundamental of all human rights.
We appeal to the Prime Minister and Westminster Government to move to overturn this hijacking of the Northern Ireland (Executive Formation) Bill for purposes for which it was never intended and to uphold the right of citizens in Northern Ireland, under the Good Friday Agreement, to decide these matters for themselves. We appeal to all citizens in Northern Ireland, to give expression to their commitment to the care of every mother and unborn child by asking their political representatives to ensure the equal right to life is upheld in our devolved legislation.
Archbishop Eamon Martin, Archbishop of Armagh and Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Dromore
Bishop Noel Treanor, Bishop of Down and Connor
Bishop Donal McKeown, Bishop of Derry
Bishop Larry Duffy, Bishop of Clogher
Clogher Diocesan Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation Group
Pollinator – Friendly management of Church lands, schools, graveyards etc.
(As advocated by the All-Ireland Pollinator plan 2015-2020)
Our Pollinators & Why We Need them
In Ireland some plants are pollinated by the wind –but most are pollinated by insects -mostly bees. There is one type of managed bumble bee and 98 different wild bees. To protect pollination we need healthy honeybees but also an abundance and diversity of wild bees and other insects like flies, moths and butterflies.
It is important we protect pollinators from chemicals that harm them. Insecticides harm them directly but equally harmful are the use of herbicides which kill the wild flowers that pollinators need to survive.
One third of the 99 bee species are threatened with extinction on the island of Ireland. If we want them to be there to pollinate crops and wild plants for future generations we need to manage the landscape in a more pollinator -friendly way.
Everyone from farmers, to councils, local parishes, business, schools garden and transport authorities have a part to play.
FIVE Ways to make the gardens and fields around churches pollinator friendly
1. Maintain native flowering hedgerows –Whitethorn, Wild Rose, Honeysuckle
2. Plant pollinator-friendly trees –Willow, Blackthorn, Rowan, Crab apple, Wild cherry
3. Cut the grass less often –to allow common wild-flowers like dandelions, clovers, Knapweed and Bird’s -foot –trefoil to grow in the long grass.
4. ELIMINATE HERBICIDE –many weeds like Knapweed are important sources of food for pollinators
5. Provide nesting places for wild bees- leave wild grass at hedges uncut from March until October
“Cutting, mowing and spraying so that the countryside looks tidy-to us -means that we are squeezing nature out and risk losing its important free services like pollination.”
Protect pollinators so that you can grow your own fruit and vegetables;
shop for local produce and have flowers and wild-life in your local landscape.
ACTION: HELP RAISE AWARENESS –USE SIGNS AT YOU SITE TO SHOW IT IS A POLLINATOR -FRIENDLY ZONE
(Fr. Seán McDonagh, Columban Eco-theologian has published a Guideline Document for Faith Communities last year. You’ll find a copy of this guide here.
THE NATIONAL BIODIVERSITY DATA CENTRE is an all-island organisation that collects and manages data about Ireland’s wild-life and is based in WIT West Campus, Carriganore, Waterford. The contact person is Dr Una Fitzpatrick.)