St Joseph’s Parish in Ansdell in Fylde has become one of the first parishes in the country to be awarded the Livesimply Parish Award, recognizing the ways in which it makes a difference in its local community and the world. The award reflects a commitment to live more simply and sustainably and to stand in solidarity with the world’s poor.
Members of the parish were presented with a plaque commemorating their achievement during the Mass celebrating the Feast of Christ the King at the end of November.
Paul Kelly, a member of the parish Livesimply Group, said: “This parish is fantastic at showing solidarity with poorer countries by raising money for CAFOD and missions such as the Bernadine Sisters in Burkina Faso; we’ve tried to emphasise the connection between that and the effect on the poor from each of our everyday lifestyle and shopping choices here at home.”
Inspired by the papal letter ‘Populorum Progressio’, livesimply challenges people of Christian faith to: live simply, sustainably with creation, and in solidarity with people in poverty. It has been supported since 2006 by 80 Catholic organisations. The livesimply parish award offers communities extra support, encouragement – and recognition for their successes in putting the three livesimply principles into practice.
Fr John Winstanley, the parish priest encouraged the move: “The Livesimply Award provides the parish with a real focus to live-out the simplicity of the Gospel message of love; to live more and more in the manner of Jesus himself, in our care and appreciation of each other, and in our care and appreciation of the earth and all its gifts.”
The Livesimply Award was developed in partnership with CAFOD and Eco Congregations, to offer support and encouragement to communities to put their faith into action.
Bishop Michael Campbell OSA sent a message of support, delivered by Maggie McSherry from the Diocesan Faith & Justice Commission, saying: “My warmest congratulations to the whole parish community of St Joseph’s on your achievement of the Livesimply Parish Award and for embracing the ethic to live simply, sustainably and in solidarity with the poor – both at home and overseas.
In this Year of Faith, you have demonstrated a tangible sign of your commitment to express your faith in an engaging and practical way.
Of course, it is only the beginning of a journey for you all, as you demonstrate a clear response to Pope Paul VI’s call in Populorum Progressio upon all Catholics, all Christians, all people of goodwill, not to talk – but to act.
The sign of hope that St Joseph’s Parish gives is much needed in today’s world and one which I hope others in the Diocese will be encouraged to follow.
I offer my support, prayers and good wishes to you all as you continue your journey of faith – in action – together.”
After the Mass and presentation, a coffee morning took place in the parish hall where members of the parish youth group, BASE 4:12, aimed to raise £50 for the 50 years of CAFOD’s existence. In fact they raised £139.18 – brilliant work! One of younger parishioners, Emily, had put together an excellent slide show celebrating the 50 years of CAFOD which played through the coffee morning.
Rosa Trelfa, from CAFOD, praised the dedication of St Joseph’s parishioners. She said: “The diversity with which St Joseph’s has given the Livesimply message is inspiring – from the nurturing of the parish’s flower meadow, to the involvement of the youth group in CAFOD’s Thirst for Change campaign, with their Recycled Fashion Show earlier this year. They can be justly and rightly proud of the start they’ve made. It’s a great encouragement to us all.”
Congratulations St Joseph’s Parish! We’re very proud of you.
For more information on what the Livesimply Award entails see http://livesimplyaward.org.uk/