On 25 September 2016, Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Lee received the CAFOD livesimply award by working as a community to see how they could live more simply, sustainably and in solidarity with people who are poor. 100 people were present, among them Raymond, who writes about his experience of the event.
The award presentation
Our parish were so excited to receive the livesimply award. Although there were only about 100 of us at Mass, we made the Parish walls vibrate with applause as if there were 1,000 of us as Bishop Patrick Lynch presented the award. Our parish achieved the award through a number of actions including supporting Lee Oasis, a charity working on social inclusion, installing a water butt to harvest water for our garden, increasing the amount of recycling we do, promoting Fairtrade, and auditing our energy use so we could reduce our carbon footprint.
Living simply in my own life
Receiving the award was a momentous achievement, but Jillie Smithies from the live simply group assured us that this award represents a first steppingstone in a never ending journey.
This statement resonated with me as an invitation to have a look at my life, through investigating the consequences of my daily habits and how to improve so as to stamp myself a livesimply person, and also be a livesimply campaigner in my community.
How can I “work with generosity and tenderness in protecting this world which God has entrusted to us” as advocated by Pope Francis?
We only have one Earth, and by adopting a livingsimply approach, we are showing God our gratitude for such a beautiful gift and remembering the importance of living together as one big harmonious human family.