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
Catholic Earthcare Australia is proud to be working with the Catholic Education office of South Australia on a number of exciting sustainability initiatives in 2013. Since the release of 'On Holy Ground- South Australia' in 2010, CESA and its school communities have worked diligently to embed sustainability into their everyday practices, with fantastic results.
This short video message from Earthcare Director Jacqui Remond (produced for the current edition of CESA News) celebrates CESA's achievements to date and the possibilities of tomorrow.
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.”
St Bernadette's, Castle Hill - March 19th, 2013
Yesterday afternoon's meeting of the Parramatta Learning Community for Sustainability was- as always- a pleasure to attend. Hosted at St Bernadette's Primary in Castle Hill, we were treated to fabulous home-grown and home-cooked fare and insightful presentations on a range of topics:
Michelle Donnelly- St John's Primary, Riverstone: recounted the success of their recent 'Immersion Day' at St John's and how the activities reinforced their focus on healthy living and sustainability
Nina Tan- Cancer Council: spoke on the newly launched Eat it to Beat It program being offered to schools in NSW
Jennifer Warren- NSW Govt: Introduced us to the new Sustainable Schools website, which offers a wealth of classroom resources for Earth Hour (and other key initiatives), as well as a 'how to' guide for schools taking on sustainability projects, to get Government grants or funding.
The next meeting of the Parramatta Learning Community for Sustainability is to be held at Delany College, Granville on Wednesday 22nd May @ 4pm- we hope to see you there.
For more information on the Learning Community and its activitiies- please visit 'Kitchen Gardens in Schools'
Catholic Earthcare recently had the opportunity to re-connect with the Murray River; first in Mildura and then again in Loxton, while attending a planning meeting for the upcoming Port Pirie Diocesan Leaders Conference. It was an amazing experience that allowed us to appreciate not only the beauty and importance of the river, but the passion it inspires in those living in the Riverina region and throughout the Murray Darling Basin.
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.
Catholic Earthcare Australia is offering the ASSISI Formation Program - Animators for Sustainabilty at a number of venues across Australia in 2013. Scheduled dates include:
PERTH: August 12th - 15th @ a venue TBC
This opportunity exists for leaders and emerging leaders in any organisation.
On Wednesday May 9th Archbishop Adrian Doyle lead the Eucharistic celebration in the Mary MacKillop Chapel, North Sydney, on behalf of the assembled members of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference. Current staff members of Catholic Earthcare read, offered prayers and the gifts.
At the close of the liturgy, Archbishop Phillip Wilson launched the most recent book by Father Denis Edwards by drawing attention to the skillful manner in which Denis combines sound theology and science in accessible ways.
The invited guest and friends of Earthcare adjourned to 'The Living Room' to continue the celebrations.
Jacqui Remond has returned, in a part time capacity, to the role of Director of Catholic Earthcare Australia. Jacqui will be engaged in Earthcare activities on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. She can be reached at the Catholic Earthcare Office.
Day one saw Jacqui and Luke attending the meeting for the Bishops Commission for Justice, Ecology and Development. Fortunately there was time for a 'welcome back' cake on day two in between other meetings!
Students led a tour of their garden. Pictured here with Catholic Earthcare's, Luke Edwards
On Wednesday 7 March, the Parramatta Learning Community (PLC) for Sustainability met at St Finbar’s Primary, Glenbrook to discuss learning opportunities for students around developing oral language skills through kitchen garden groups and environmental programs.
Those present at the meeting included principals, teachers and coordinators from several Catholic schools across the diocese, as well as Zhan Patterson from Western Sydney Regional Organisaton of Council’s (WSROC) Water in the Landscape Project; Damien Feneley from Department of Education and Workplace Training (DET); Jennifer Plaskett, Western Sydney and Nepean Blue Mountains Local Health Districts; Luke Edwards, acting national director from Catholic Earthcare; and head of environmental education at Abbotsleigh Anglican School, Helen Watkins who all spoke to the group about programs, initiatives and learning tools that can be implemented in their teaching.
As part of the meeting, St Finbar’s students from the Mountain Devils kitchen garden group led the PLC members on a tour of their school grounds, discussing their plants and herb gardens along the way.
The next meeting of the Parramatta Learning Community for Sustainability will be held 13 June at St John’s Primary, Riverstone 2-4pm. Interested schools, educators, business and community leaders should contact Clare Maloney via email: Clare.Maloney@parra.catholic.edu.au
More information about Kitchen Garden in Schools via: http://kitchengardensinschools.blogspot.com
|Several members from various educational and government organisations are members of the PLC for Sustainability
|Catholic Education's, Clare Maloney says students need to use all their senses to balance indoor learning with outdoor learning|
courtesy of Parramatta Catholic Education.
For the full article please visit www.parra.catholic.edu.au
Click here to read the March 2012 Edition
Learning Communities for Sustainability Gatherings
Sydney Learning Community for Sustainability scheduled for March 29 - venue TBC
If you are keen on establishing a learning community for sustainability, register your interest at firstname.lastname@example.org
You are invited to express your interest in participating in the formation opportunities available.
An Animators for Sustainability programs will be held in May. Click here to read more.
*Only 4 places remaining on the May program (Tasmania)
A Creation and Reconciliation immersion program will be held in partnership with The Broken Bay Institute and the Diocese of Broken Bay Catholic Schools Office in April . The 2012 program is closed. Click here to read more.
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.
Catholic Earthcare facilitated the formation program for Animators for Sustainability at Marymount Mercy Conference Centre, Castle Hill November 22-25.
I came to the workshop ready to be engaged and this happened
My expectatons were more than met
I valued the theory and information regarding systems approach to mission.
My overall appreciation for the workshop is high. You are doing a central and crucial work for our Church, society and planet. You bring a holistic approach, which is sound and theory based.
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.
St John of God Health Care recently took out the Corporate Business Leading by Example award at the WA Environmental Awards with its innovative ‘Safeguarding Our Environment’ program acknowledged as the best in the State.
The award reflects the depth and breadth of the organisation’s environmental sustainability strategy and its commitment to excellence in care, both for patients and the environment.
St John of God Health Care’s forward-looking environmental fund allocates $1.2 million annually for priority initiatives not covered in normal budget processes. This ensures that bright environmental ideas can come on stream immediately resulting in rapid benefits for the hospital or other operating division.
In addition, the organisation is the first health sector employer to have implemented and used
Energy Carbon Information System (ECIS) to electronically gather utility and waste data for
performance measurement and National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting (NGER).
Group Chief Executive Officer, Dr Michael Stanford, said the award reflects the hard work and dedication of the environmental teams and, critically, senior management buy-in that is vital to the success and sustainability of any corporate environmental program.
Dr Stanford said: “From our Board members and executives, who are pitching in by phasing out paper through the widespread use of tablet computers and taking part in sustainability leadership retreats, to our hospitals and other divisions who are enthusiastically embracing a number of environmental initiatives, we are determined to minimise the impact of our activities wherever and whenever we can.”
Some of the many success stories include the installation of solar hot water heating at our Murdoch hospital, with an anticipated 13% annual energy saving and the Travel Green program at our Subiaco hospital, which offers a daily allowance to those who use green modes of travel such as public transport, cycling or walking to get to work. So far, it has enticed 13% of the hospital’s caregivers to leave their cars at home and is now being extended to other operating divisions.
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.