2016-05-12 / Community News

‘Ecological spirituality’ discussed at workshop

Mark Tuttle, a candidate for the permanent diaconate from Kennebunk, repeated the words of Pope Francis as part of a special presentation highlighting the connection that the Holy Father makes between social justice, environmental justice, God’s call to help those in need, and the power of the human spirit.

“Christian spirituality proposes an alternative understanding of the quality of life, and encourages a prophetic and contemplative lifestyle, one capable of deep enjoyment free of the obsession with consumption,” Francis is quoted as saying.

Parishioners from several area parishes gathered at Most Holy Trinity Church in Saco on April 30 for a workshop entitled “An Ecological Spirituality.”

Using quotes from the Bible and Laudato Si’, Pope Francis’ encyclical on the environment, Tuttle discussed the importance of caring for God’s creation and how the encyclical calls us to live with a consciousness not only of the need to care for the earth, but the true human dignity of the person and particularly of those who are poor.

“Grace flows when there is a combination of purposeful community in sacrament, service, Scripture, and love,” Tuttle said.

Workshop participants discussed ways in which existing social ministries in the diocese can be connected and enhanced to better educate parishioners on how environmental justice is connected to those who live in poverty and to encourage parishioners to feel called to respond. An e-waste collection was also held for attendees and other parishioners to recycle electronics.

“Our actions and choices in life involve not only ourselves, but other human beings with whom we share the earth. It’s great to see so many parishioners embrace the call to not only care for the earth, but to also look after each other,” said Michael Smith, director of mission for Catholic Charities Maine.

Before the end of the session, participants wrote down what they would take away from the workshop. Submissions were linked together and placed on a cross while the Prayer of Saint Francis was sung.

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