Caring for our Common Home
February begins with St Brigid’s day, the patron saint of ecology reminding us of our need to live sustainably and in harmony with nature. In this piece Shiela Curran RSM talks about the importance of ecology and how Laudato Si’ helped to change our spiritual vision of the world around us.
Sheila’s ministry and research has been shaped by her experience of living and working in Peru, particularly her involvement with the Institute Bartolome de las Casa, a non-governmental social justice and human rights organisation founded by the liberation theologian Gustavo Gutiérrez. She says that when you look for voices on the margins, you often find women’s voices as well as voices for the earth.
Giving the example of the statue of the Amazonian woman representing Earth, who was stolen from the Amazonian Synod, she said it showed a hostility towards the earth and towards women. Shiela says that the image was designed to bring us closer to God, but that whenever these images are presented as women or the earth, it’s seen as pagan. Drawing on Pope Francis’ own teachings and prayer, she says there is a need to promote equality a vision of working together to build a “Common Home”.
Explaining how her work in South American made her feel great empathy for those who had put together the image, she said she wanted the world to focus more on the plight of woman and the plight of the earth. Miriam Gormally began by asking her whether the promotion of women’s voices could help raise awareness of our current environmental crisis.