Each week, during the season of Advent, we provide a snapshot of the ways that member congregations of AMRI are living out Pope Francis 2015 Encyclical, Laudato Si. We explore the concept of an integral ecological journey – animating how we understand the interconnectedness between ourselves, our ‘common home’ and humanity.

Episode 1 features a 15 minute short film narrated by Fr Brendan McManus SJ, shot in Co Fermanagh. During our day of filming, Fr Brendan took us to four locations: his family farm in Lisnaskea, Derryadd Quay, Holy Cross Church Lisnaskea and Marble Arch Caves / Cuilcagh Geopark.

At each of these locations Fr. Brendan reflects on his life’s journey to ecological consciousness, demonstrating the ways in which his life experiences, his spirituality and stewardship are essential elements.

We invite you to watch the video, share the link with others, and take an ecological journey of discovery with Fr Brendan as we reawaken our sense of connectedness to the earth.

Episode 2 “Walking the path of the Willow: the road to renewable energy at St. Patrick’s Kiltegan"

Responding to Pope Francis’ “challenge to protect our common home” encapsulated in his 2015 encyclical Laudato Si, the Fathers at St. Patrick’s Kiltegan tried to find ways of producing energy from renewable sources. They began by installing a wind turbine, solar panels and geo-thermal central heating. Recognising that more could be done, in 2018, they planted 13 acres of willow, followed by another 21 acres two years later for biomass fuel to replace their dependence on oil as central heating.

Episode 3: “Rediscovering my Space in the everyday – An Tairseach”

“My life has been fully committed to raising awareness of global injustices and in taking action, where I am guided, to ensure that the voices of those denied their fundamental human rights are represented. In recent years, that awareness has included climate justice and rights of our environment. It is only lately that I have awakened to the realities of the impact of biodiversity loss and its critical role in sustaining life on this planet…… Read More Below

(Re)Connecting with the biosphere – an evolutionary cosmic journey. Fr. Michael Long

Continuing with the theme of caring for our common home, we journey to the Cabragh Wetlands in Co Tipperary, where Fr. Michael Long SPS, explores our interconnectedness with the biosphere, along with our story of creation. Fr. Michael reflects on the vulnerability of all of nature and highlights the human impact on biodiversity and the urgency with which we must shift our consciousness toward an ecological conversion. He notes how this season of Advent is an ideal time to consider this transformation.

“At this time of year, you’re heading into winter. Nature is quiet. Nature is resting. The earth is resting… as it awaits the return of the sun to illuminate the earth and bring back life. At this time of Advent, we too are in expectant mode as we await the arrival of the Son of God.”

Fr. Michael Long, Cabragh Wetlands Centre