Catholic Earthcare Australia is now accepting registrations of interest, from those in leadership roles within the Church and its allied organisations/agencies, for our 2014 Creation & Reconciliation Pilgrimage.
The Creation & Reconciliation pilgrimage is centered on the essential link between creation & reconciliation, which are both grounded in God’s creation of the world. God’s ongoing action of creating & reconciling means that all are called into a deeper relationship to reconciliation & healing.
The Creation & Reconciliation pilgrimage weaves together threads of contemplation, art, conversation, ritual, scripture, theology, science, anthropology and history - to offer an opportunity for interpreting an experience of personal transformation (through spending time on country), into leading social change for justice, reconciliation and the integrity of creation.
Program Dates: 6th - 12th October, 2014
Meeting Place: St Mark's College - Salesian House, 455 The Terrace Extension, Port Pirie, 5550
If you are interested in participating in the Creation & Reconciliation Pilgrimage in 2014:
Please submit a completed Expression of Interest Form
via email to Catholic Earthcare or post to PO Box 862, North Sydney, NSW, 2059.
Catholic Earthcare Australia
Phone: (02) 8907 9500
Street Address: Ground Floor, 19 Mackenzie Street, Lavender Bay, 2060
Postal Address: PO Box 862, North Sydney, 2059
As we come together to celebrate World Environment Day and reflect on this year’s theme of “Raise your Voice, Not the Sea Level” it is important to consider how we as Christians can support communities impacted by climate change and respond to Pope Francis’ call to be “protectors of creation, protectors of God’s plan inscribed in nature, protectors of one another and of the environment.”
The recent ‘Sustainable Humanity, Sustainable Nature, Our Responsibility’ conference held by the Pontifical Academy of Science and Pontifical Academy of Social Science at the Vatican in May reminded us that “human action which is not respectful of nature becomes a boomerang for human beings that creates inequality and extends what Pope Francis has termed “‘the globalisation of indifference’ and the ‘economy of exclusion’.”
The Christian response - environmental education and dialogue. The importance of this was expressed beautifully by Cardinal Oscar Andrés Rodríguez Maradiaga, SDB, of Honduras at the opening address of the ‘Sustainable Humanity, Sustainable Nature, Our Responsibility’ conference, “our primary environmental strategy should be environmental education… through an education on the environment, individuals, societies and states will become aware of the transcendent meaningfulness of the world around us. Education will thus enable us to constructively absorb the skills, the experience, the values and the determination that will prompt us to work to solve both present and future problems in this realm and address them as challenges pertaining to our responsibility for the sustainability of both the environment and mankind” (May 2, 2014).
Since 2002, Catholic Earthcare Australia has worked to stimulate and support ecological conversion among all people of good will, through a range of initiatives that focus on environmental education, transformation and advocacy at the individual, organisational and community level.
This World Environment Day, Catholic Earthcare is establishing 28 learning communities across Australia through the launch of the National Energy Efficiency Network (NEEN). The purpose of NEEN is to inform and support the energy efficiency journey of organisations that provide for those most at risk from social and environmental impacts. Through increased efficiency we hope to reduce carbon emissions and power bills, which in turn frees up funding for core programs and benefits both the country and the community.
Following successful learning community events in Canberra, Melbourne and Hobart, NEEN will be launching to South Australian community organisations at a free event to be held on World Environment Day, June 5th at the Adelaide Catholic Cathedral Hall. The event combines an energy efficiency seminar, a NEEN+ community workshop and a networking light lunch, to enable attendees to connect, explore, collaborate and take action on energy saving opportunities relevant to their organisation.
NEEN offers members access to a suite of resources tailored to the specific needs of community organisations from different parts of the not for profit sector, who are at different stages of the sustainability journey. NEEN secured funding from the Department of Industry, as part of the Energy Efficiency Information Grants program, to ensure FREE access to these resources which include energy efficiency fact sheets, case studies, an Online Opportunities Assessment tool, NEEN+ member events and a digital open-learning and networking forum.
Following the Adelaide launch, NEEN will be hosting events in Perth (Perth Town Hall, June 12th), Brisbane (Francis Rush Centre, June 18th), Darwin (Nightcliff Uniting Church, July 3rd) and Sydney (Carriageworks, July 16th) for more information or to register, please visit http://neen.org.au/events/.
To be notified of future NEEN resource launches, NEEN+ Community events and energy efficiency opportunities, subscribe to the NEEN newsletter, or follow us on Facebook or Twitter. To learn more about NEEN, visit the NEEN website or contact your NEEN Regional leader.
The purpose of the NEEN Project is to educate, resource and connect small to medium sized, not-for-profit organisations across Australia in their efforts to reduce energy consumption, energy expenditure and ultimately their carbon footprint.
The NEEN Project will provide members with free access to energy efficiency information (tailored to the needs of the sector), innovative audit tools/resources to support change at an organisational level and the opportunity to join a community of their peers with whom they can share ideas, strategies and successes.
Catholic Earthcare Director Jacqui Rémond explains the rationale behind the project, “organisations in the not-for–profit space are often under-staffed and under-resourced. Our vision for the NEEN Network Project is to provide this important sector with practical, relevant assistance to transform their energy use and become more sustainable. It’s a very exciting project with the potential to have long-term benefits for the broader community as well as the not-for-profit space.”
The Australian Government’s Energy Efficiency Information Grants program will reach over 200,000 businesses and 70,000 community organisations through $34.3 million in funding. Forty-six projects have been funded by EEIG across the country, with more than half to be delivered at a national level.
The views expressed herein are not necessarily the views of the Commonwealth of Australia, the Commonwealth does not accept responsibility for any information or advice contained herein
To receive updates on the NEEN Network project and information concerning future events
please enter your contact information HERE
Archbishop Philip Wilson, Chair of Catholic Earthcare, is one of sixteen signatories on this important document. Archbishop Wilson fully supports the need for dialogue and asks all Catholics to develop an ecological ethic that will allow them to respond with sound judgement and resolute action to the reality of Climate Change.
At the launch event, held on July 4th, the religious leaders spoke of our interconnectedness with the natural world and called on Australians to become a part of the climate change solution and in doing so, help avert disastrous environmental, social and economic implications for future generations.
Here is the open letter from the religious leaders:
As people of faith, we draw attention to one of the most urgent moral issues facing us in the upcoming election.
The International Energy Agency and other influential bodies are now warning us about an unthinkable 4 degree Celsius rise in temperatures if greenhouse gas emissions continue to increase. Recent experiences of extreme weather events, both here and overseas, are a mild foretaste of what this will mean. We are despoiling the world given to us as a sacred trust for future generations.
The world is already moving to take strong preventative actions. Ninety countries, representing 90 per cent of global emissions have carbon reduction programs in place and Australia now has a price on carbon. However our country continues to be a significant contributor to the problem. With our small population, we are among the world's 20 largest emitters and one of the two largest coal exporters.
We must wind back our exports of cheap coal which are currently hindering the global drive for renewable energy. We must diminish our reliance on fossil fuels and replace them with clean, renewable sources of energy. As part of this, carbon pricing must be given bipartisan support. Only then will Australia be part of the solution.
For a full version of the letter, including signatories, please click HERE
Join the conversation @facebook.com/CatholicEarthcare - HERE
On World Environment Day (5th June, 2013), Pope Francis once again called upon us to cultivate and care for the earth and recognise the importance of human relationships, human ecology. Here are some key quotes and a VIDEO LINK of the general audience he dedicated to this important topic.
“Cultivating and caring for creation is God's indication, given not only at the beginning of history, but to each one of us. It is part of his plan. It means responsibly making the world grow, transforming it so that it becomes a garden, a place that all can inhabit.”
“But cultivating and caring for doesn't just refer to our relationship with the environment, the relationship between humanity and creation. It also concern human relationships. … We are living a moment of crisis. We see it in the environment but above all we see it in humanity. The human person is in danger. ... This is the urgency of human ecology!
“Consumerism has caused us to get used to the daily excess and waste of food, which we are no longer capable of seeing for its true worth, which goes well beyond mere economic parameters. Remember, however, that the food that is thrown away is as if we had stolen it from the table of the poor, from those who are hungry!”
“I invite you all to reflect on the problem of the loss and the waste of food … Let us all make the serious commitment to respect and care for creation, to be attentive to every person, to oppose the culture of wastefulness and waste, and to promote a culture of solidarity and encounter.”
To celebrate World Environment Day, Catholic Earthcare Australia is proud to announce the launch of our 2013 resource- ‘The Awesome Cosmic Story’.
An interactive, educational program ‘The Awesome Cosmic Story’ explores the creation of our universe, and the world as we know it, through an inspirational blend of theology and science.
To experience 'The Awesome Cosmic Story'- please click HERE
The entirely carbon-neutral, pedal-powered Popemobile was originally commissioned by the Environmental Transport Association after Pope Benedict, expressed his desire for a green, all-electric vehicle.
Click HERE to view the full article on The Atlantic Cities website.
This week the Sustainable Australia Report 2013 was released by the National Sustainability Council. The first of its kind, it highlights and explores the key issues that challenge the sustainability of our economic, social and environmental wellbeing.
Here are some of the Catholic Earthcare team's favourite quotes from the report summary;
"Climate Change is a long term and intergenerational concern, with consequences that extend across our economy, society and environment... Climate changes at global and local scales are set to continue over the coming decades, with major consequences for Australia. In addition to rising average temperatures, climate change is expected to increase the risk of bushfire, drought, extreme weather events, rising sea level and ocean acidification."
"In addition to resources, natural environmental systems provide a range of products and services that are essential for life and underpin wellbeing. For Australia to sustain the wellbeing of its population over the long term, we need to find ways of supporting economic growth without degradation of the environment."
"Increases in food production in Australia, to meet the needs of our growing population and growing global demand, need to be managed carefully to avoid adverse environmental and social impacts. Increasing agriculture production risks placing greater pressure on our natural resources and will likely occur alongside expanding demand for these resources for other purposes, such as urban development, Climate change impacts are also likely to be significant."
To view the Report Summary -please click here: sustainable-australia-report-2013-summary
To view the Report in Full, please click here: sustainable-australia-report-2013-summary
"How many deserts, even today, do human beings need to cross! Above all, the desert within, when are lacking love for God and neighbour, when we fail to realize that we are guardians of all that the Creator has given us and continues to give us. God’s mercy can make even the driest land become a garden, can restore life to dry bones (cf. Ez 37:1-14).”
“So this is the invitation that I address to everyone: Let us accept the grace of Christ’s Resurrection! Let us be renewed by God’s mercy! Let us be loved by Jesus! Let us enable the power of his love to transform our lives too and let us become agents of this mercy, channels through which God can water the earth, protect all creation and make justice and peace flourish.”
"Peace to the whole world, torn apart by violence linked to drug trafficking and by the iniquitous exploitation of natural resources! Peace to this our Earth! Made the risen Jesus bring comfort to the victims of natural disasters and make us responsible guardians of creation.”
Ormiston, March 12-15th, 2013
We are very pleased to share a post from Resource Link which profiles first hand the discoveries and experiences enjoyed by the attendees of our recent 'Animators for Sustainability' program, held at the Santa Teresa Spirituality Centre.
If you ever had any questions, or were looking for insight, into the ASSISI program then this is a fantastic place to start. The respondents have been open, honest and the questions are diverse in nature. Worth a read.
Resource Link: http://resourcelinkbce.wordpress.com/
The new Pope’s works in social justice and his commitment to the poor anticipates a leader who will work for the ‘radical ecological conversion set by his predecessors’, says the Director of Catholic Earthcare Australia, Jacqui Rémond.
Ms Rémond is heartened that The Pope has dedicated his papacy to Saint Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of ecology, at a time when the natural environment is in crisis.
“We anticipate the papacy of Pope Francis will see the furthering of a global movement to make the Church at one with the natural environment, built on principles of sustainability and conservation in the generous spirit and action that characterised Saint Francis’ work with God’s lowliest people and outcastes,” says Ms Remond.
“Like John Paul II and Benedict VXI before him, Pope Francis grasps that the hour is at hand to lead by example and bring the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics along on this epic journey of restoring creation and rediscovering our place on Earth, even as climate change through human activity is tipping the balance,” says Ms Rémond.
“We welcome his call for all those in positions of responsibility and ‘all men and women of goodwill’ to serve as ‘protectors of creation, protectors of God’s plan inscribed in nature, protectors of one another and of the environment.’”
Catholic Earthcare Australia, established in 2002, is the Australian Church’s response to Pope John Paul II’s call for a “radical ecological conversion”. Its educational program with schools, parishes, congregations and church agencies is named ‘ASSISI’ (A Strategic Systems-based Integrated Sustainability Initiative). Education at all levels is the basis of its ministry.
“ASSISI is a comprehensive and holistic sustainability initiative for organisations to achieve ecological sustainability,” says Ms Remond. “Our ministry is driven by the gospel message to protect the earth and bring God’s people to the fullness of life. We consult with communities and train leaders so they may educate others in ecological sustainability. By his name and by his example, we look to the Pope to bless and foster all of our endeavours into the future.”
Nine animators for sustainabilty participated in the residential formation program facilitated by Megan Seneque and Luke Edwards of Catholic Earthcare Australia.
What participants said of their experience:
"The most valuable thing that I took away from this wonderful course was that with positivity, anything can be done. It was an excellent program that helped you value dialogue in its deeper form and with it comes a generative change to your perspective and others around you."
"I loved listening to the Earthcare Team – each bringing their own insights into the program – an excellent approach to the discussions."
"In particular, the theological dimension has enhanced my knowledge of the topic."
"I believe that the invitation to explore questions of sustainability that the program offers is very much answering our call as Catholics to “read the signs of the times”.
Click here to read more
Click here to read about the 2013 ASSISI Formation -Animators for Sustainability
'Pure Gift' is Catholic Earthcare Australia's latest resource. It is an animation of a legacy letter written by Luke Edwards [Program Manager] to his three young sons.
The 'Pure Gift' Resource Package is a growing series of formation and prayer exercises for adults and senior secondary students.
An updated library of Prayers of General Intercession is now available. This resource is intended as a guide and springboard for the preparation of intercessory prayers with an ecological and eco-justice flavour.
The draft plan for the Murray-Darling Basin has now been released.
In light of the release of this plan, we encourage you to revisit 'The Gift of Water' a statement endorsed by the Bishops of the Murray Darling Basin and released by Catholic Earthcare Australia in 2004.
Murray-Darling Basin Statement: "The Gift of Water"
Also below is a link to a statement from Catholic Earthcare Australia on the draft plan, endorsed by Bishops of the Murray-Darling Basin.
Click here to download a PowerPoint presentation (16.4MB) which summarises the main points of the Statement.
A number of environmental and community groups are working towards a brighter future for the River and all the human and non-human communities which depend on it.
For more information visit the Murray Darling Basin Authority website www.mdba.gov.au
The Friends of the Earth offer several ways to be involved.
The Garden Planet has made the transition from VHS format to DVD and is now available on You Tube.
Click here to access The Garden Planet on You Tube
At Catholic Earthcare Australia we believe that everybody has a role to play in creating a sustainable world. Our individual actions, whether large or small, have a collective impact that will ultimately determine our future.
By combining our efforts we can help reduce humankind's impact on the planet and be part of the solution for a sustainable future.
This tool will calculate your ecological footprint for a 12-month period (your 'baseline footprint') by asking you questions about your energy use, travel, waste, and food consumption. Your 'baseline year' is counted as the 12 months prior to the date of you first use the calculator. If you don't have all 12 months of data for some questions don't worry - the calculator will estimate your annual emissions based on the data that you do enter.
Each part of the calculator has help available. Hovering over the label for each question will provide you with information on what data to enter, and clicking on the "Help" button for each question will provide you with additional information.
To navigate through the calculator just click on the tabs at the top. You can navigate between these tabs at any time. Information on your total footprint and tips on how to reduce it are displayed at the end of the calculator in the 'Summary' and Recommendations tabs.
Click here to LOGIN to the personal calculator.
Catholic Earthcare invites you to host environmentally sustainable events on a sustainable budget.
Please use this guide to host environmentally sustainable events at your school, parish, congregation or church organisation that will lead to reduce the ecological footprint of your meetings, events and conferences.
This information can be implemented today with immediate results. Click here to download the guide.
"Let us be 'protectors' of creation,
protectors of God's plan inscribed in nature, protectors of one another and of the environment.
Let us not allow omens of destruction and death to accompany the advance of this world!"
Pope Francis I
Installation Mass Homily- March 2013
Please click here for more on this very important and powerful peace message.