Pupils ‘Work with the Pope’

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Catholic Schools Week was launched in St John the Baptist Church in Drumcree, Portadown on Tuesday, January 31.

The theme this year is “Working with Pope Francis to Care for our Common Home”. Mrs O Hagan and pupils from St Ciaran’s College, Ballygawley attended the para-liturgy exploring Pope Francis’ message about caring for the Earth and all its wonderful resources. In 2015, Pope Francis issued an encyclical called ‘Laudato Si’ – On Care for Our Common Home. In it, the Pope criticises consumerism and irresponsible development, warns about climate change and environmental destruction, and calls all people of the world to take ‘swift and unified global action’.

During Catholic Schools Week the St. Ciaran’s College pupils are challenged by the question: ‘What difference does being a Catholic make to my life and how does it affect my attitude to the environment?’ For example, one of the greatest injustices in the world is the lack of clean water. Women and girls in developing countries can spend up to four hours a day drawing water. This is time that could be spent by girls in classrooms receiving an education.

In contrast, last year Irish people spent €76.5 million on bottled water. It takes nearly one thousand years for a plastic bottle to biodegrade. During Catholic Schools Week all pupils in St Ciaran’s are asked to reflect on their own use of water and they all have an important role to play.