Fr Augusto Zampini Davies is an Argentine priest from the Diocese of San Isidro, Buenos Aires. He is currently working as Director of Development and Faith at the Dicastery for Integral Human Development of the Vatican.

On Monday morning he spent time with students of St Bede’s Catholic College, Bristol sharing his work with Pope Francis and the Papal Encyclical, Laudato Si.

Fr Augusto gave a passionate presentation to the students, sharing the theory behind Laudato Si, and the partnerships the Church has created with leading scientists and world leaders so that we have a voice to share the Gospel message of love and stewardship.

Some of the students who met Fr Augusto are currently taking part in the CAFOD Young Leaders programme and the Faith in Action Young Volunteers programme who will take FR Augusto’s message into their social action work.

Listen to Fr Augusto’s presentation below and some of the challenging questions the students asked him.

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Report on NJPN Networking Day in Bristol on 8th February in St Nicholas of Tolentino Church, written by Bella Harding 

A wide variety of 50+ people attended from around Clifton Diocese and others including Arundel and Brighton, Birmingham, Cardiff, East Anglia, Hallam, Liverpool and Westminster. They were joined by representatives of organisations, including CAFOD and Pax Christi, and religious, such as the Columbans.

After a welcome by Anne Peacey (NJPN Chair) and prayer, Fr Augusto Zampini gave an invigorating address where he urged us to convert our parishes to the message of Laudato Si, heard and quoted all over the world more than any papal document ever, but largely unknown in the pews. The need is to respond to the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor. He urged us to resist those who deny climate change, as all the best scientists with the most conservative consensus agree we are at a crucial tipping point and the last opportunity for urgent action. Conversion must be deeper than reason, or emotion, but involve our very deepest commitments, such as our faith. Our faith can counter prevailing utilitarianism about the world’s resources and people with the spirituality of contemplation, the individualism of society with the uniting focus of the liturgy, and the materialism with an aesthetic of beauty. He urged ‘injustice is not invincible’ and that our faith means that change is possible and we must want to leave the world a better place, which we are not doing at the moment. He emphasised the power of example, of prayer and of doing small things for God, in the little way of love of St Therese of Lisieux, contrasting the globalisation of indifference with radical transformative love for the planet and all its life.

Nikki Jones, chair of Clifton Climate Action completed the input, with news of powerful scientific evidence, making financial and investment institutions move radically in the last few months. The big lack is a change in consumer culture. She mentioned that a 10% cut in car use equals a 130% cut in emissions as much comes from production and transportation of oil. We should examine our use of energy, understanding our bills, cut our shopping, not fly, insulate our homes better. There is tremendous consumer power. Airlines have a 3% profit margin so are very vulnerable to changes in demand. She quoted ‘We are in a battle for our lives’ Antonio Guttierrez, and ‘This is our Third World War’ Joseph Stiglitz economist. Nikki set up the local charity Avon Needs Trees.

We then heard news from various parts of the country, and from the different networks present, including a major push for COP 26, the Conference of the Parties, seeking to ratify the Paris commitments world wide, which will happen in Glasgow in November 2020.

The meeting concluded with thanks to all who came and for all involved in the organisation.