Year 7 Religious Education has been studying what it means to be a ‘steward of creation.’ This unit explores Catholic Social Teaching with a core focus on the environment and how in the beginning God gave humans dominion over the earth – to care for all that God has created. Our boys have been exploring environmental issues and the work of various organizations who work to preserve and conserve habitats under threat and who also work with people who have been devastated by natural disasters or environmental issues.
At the start of this unit, our boys watched ‘The Lorax’- a Dr Seuss classic. The original film was made in 1972 with a remake in 2012. The messages are relevant for audiences of all ages as it addresses what would happen when consumerism and greed over takes our care for creation. We are bombarded with images, clips and advertisements which seek to promote what we as consumers ‘need’ – today more than ever we are exposed to these on all media platforms. We can very rarely switch off from it all. The Lorax’s production of ‘The need for a ‘thneed’ captures this perfectly as the thneed represents all things that we are told that we want and need, what we covet and work for. The thneed is at a cost – and that is the world around us and the relationships with those closest to us. The Lorax calls us to take action and do the small things which can make up the big things, “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s just not!” one of the many quotes from Dr Seuss- who presents a simple yet powerful wisdom that transcends time.
Of a similar theme and also covered in this unit is Pope Francis’ ‘Laudato Si’ which explores the interconnectedness of social, economic and environmental justice in caring for our common home. ‘Laudato Si’ means ‘Praise Be’ and takes its name from Francis of Assisi’s Canticle of Creation. This beautiful hymn praises and gives thanks for the beauty of God’s creation- in life and in death. All elements working in perfect harmony and with purpose.
In this unit, our boys are learning about their role in the environment and what we as individuals can do. We are called to care for our neighbors and our environment. Below is St Francis of Assisi’s Canticle of Creation. May we be reminded of the beauty of creation and our duty to protect the life that inhabits it.
CANTICLE OF CREATION
St Francis of Assisi – c.1225 AD
Be praised Good Lord for Brother Sun
who brings us each new day.
Be praised for Sister Moon: white
beauty bright and fair, with wandering
stars she moves through the night.
Be praised my Lord for Brother Wind,
for air and clouds and the skies of every season.
Be praised for Sister Water: humble,
helpful, precious, pure; she cleanses
us in rivers and renews us in rain.
Be praised my Lord for Brother fire:
he purifies and enlightens us.
Be praised my Lord for Mother Earth:
abundant source, all life sustaining;
she feeds us bread and fruit and gives us flowers.
Be praised my Lord for the gift of life;
for changing dusk and dawn; for touch
and scent and song.
Be praised my Lord for those who
pardon one another for love of thee,
and endure sickness and tribulation.
Blessed are they who shall endure it in
peace, for they shall be crowned by Thee.
Be praised Good Lord for sister Death
who welcomes us in loving embrace.
Be praised my Lord for all your
creation serving you joyfully.
Carmela Wilson (Head of Religious Education)