John Paul II.2
This last quarter has been a very busy period for Earthcare. We have increased our staffing levels, moved forward on a new sustainability programme, commenced preparations for Earthcare’s WYD event, continued to provide support to Church Resources in its endeavour to supply environmentally responsible products and services through its Greening Communities initiative, closed in on the completion of a new interactive CD-ROM on Australia’s reefs and changed our URL to www.catholicearthcare.org.au.
I would like to extend a very warm welcome to both Megan Seneque, Earthcare’s newly appointed Programme Manager, and Ken Brown, the Project Manager of the “ASISI for Schools” programme - A Strategic Integrated Sustainability Initiative. Megan has extensive experience working in curriculum development, leadership and sustainability. Ken has kindly volunteered his services and with his passion and business experience will no doubt make a vital contribution to the success of the ASISI programme. As the Director of Earthcare it is very exciting for me to see this increase in the organization’s capacity to stimulate and sustain ecological conversion.
Megan, Ken and I have been working together on Earthcare’s new sustainability programme for the Catholic community in Australia. Through the “ASISI programme”, Catholic Earthcare hopes to bring about a change in people’s hearts and minds so that everyone learns to care for our environment and to live in harmony with God’s gift of creation. It is long-term programme to encourage humanity to live in an ecologically sustainable manner. Currently, Earthcare is working closely with the Sydney Diocese, the NSW Department of Environment and Climate Change, the Catholic Educational Commission of NSW, a variety of organisations with technical knowledge, and Greening Communities.
The ASISI programme will be first introduced in Catholic schools and later extended to parishes and church organisations. It will be piloted in six schools in Sydney Diocese over the coming months before being systematically introduced into Catholic schools across every Diocese of Australia. The “ASISI Parish programme” is being developed alongside ASISI for Schools, and will be followed by “ASISI for Church Organisations”, which will include aged care and health facilities.
Other important news from this quarter is that Catholic Earthcare Australia is supporting the Church Resources initiative “Greening Communities”. Greening Communities aims to provide environmentally responsible products and services to the not-for-profit sector. The first products to be offered will be rainwater tanks and solar panels. Catholic Earthcare is pleased to be able to work in collaboration with Greening Communities to achieve positive environmental outcomes in our Catholic schools, parishes, congregations, health and aged care facilities and other church organisations. Bishop Toohey will be speaking at the launch of Greening Communities later this month.
World Youth Day is fast approaching and Catholic Earthcare Australia is hosting an event, “Caring for God’s Creation.” Four fabulous speakers have been confirmed: Bishop Chris Toohey will speak for the first time about Faith and Science; Erica Spry, a young Indigenous woman from the Kimberley, will speak about her Bardi country, her faith and how we can care for country; Amanda McKenzie, the National Coordinator of the Australia Youth Climate Coalition will speak from a youth perspective about climate change; and Anne Kajir who is journeying from Papua New Guinea will speak about her work as an environmental lawyer, her faith and her inspiration from St Francis of Assisi. The SOUL band will play soulful timeless tunes and the evening will kick off at 8pm at the State Theatre, Sydney. I hope you can join us for this memorable occasion!
Finally, Earthcare has been busy preparing our annual environmental education resource, entitled “Reefs of Revelation’. This CD-Rom will soon be made available through our website. It will include an interactive lesson on Australia’s reefs for primary and secondary students, lesson plans for teachers, prayers with imagery for liturgy and reflections, and a film about the Coral Sea.
I hope that you take some time to reflect on the beautiful planet we have been entrusted with. Whilst marvelling at God’s amazing handiwork I encourage you to consider what you can do to more fully live out your ecological vocation. And may you feel the warmth of God’s love through all God’s wonderful gifts of creation!
International Year of the Reef 2008
The International Year of the Reef 2008 aims to raise awareness about coral reefs and the threats facing these vibrant ecosystems. Catholic Earthcare Australia is soon to release,'Reefs of Revelation'. This environmental education CD-Rom will soon be made available through our website. It will include an interactive lesson on Australia's reefs suitable for primary and secondary students, lesson plans for teachers, prayers with imagery ready for liturgy and reflections, and a film about the Coral Sea...more
ASSISI - A Strategic Integrated Sustainability Initiative
Catholic Earthcare has a new sustainability programme for the Catholic community in Australia. A Strategic Integrated Sustainability Initiative (ASISI) for schools, parishes, congregations, health & aged care facilities and other church organisations. To begin with Catholic schools are the focus as they are the learning hub of our communities and where we look to for generational change. The ASISI for schools programme is being piloted with six schools and Earthcare is working with the Sydney Diocese, the NSW Department of Environment and Climate Change, the Catholic Educational Commission of NSW, a variety of organisations with technical knowledge, and Greening Communities.
Catholic Earthcare’s vision is to bring about a change in people’s hearts and minds so that everyone learns to care for our environment and live in harmony with God’s gift of creation. A holistic, systemic approach is being taken so that everyone in the school community is included in the decision making process. It is highly participatory and people centred, bringing together the technical and the human dimension. The programme integrates ecological, catholic, technical and educational perspectives. One aim of ASISI for schools is to articulate the national and state framework in the local/school context. Another is to embed ecological values into the life of the school from the curriculum to the school grounds.
The six schools in the pilot programme range from a small Primary school that needs refurbishing in a multicultural community to a large Primary school that is new. And from a new Secondary Catholic co-educational school, to a Secondary Catholic single sex school that is heritage listed. Once the pilot programme has been carried out we hope to have a generic framework that can be applied, with some tweaking, to Catholic schools across each diocese in Australia. Catholic Earthcare’s Programme Manager, Megan Seneque, will then be working with Earthcare’s Director to modify the generic framework for parishes, congregations and church organisations. This is a long term plan that is envisaged to bring about a much called for change to our way of life and ecological sustainability!
Do you need a hand to make your school's environmental ideas a reality?
Green Schools Connect is a partnership between Conservation Volunteers
Australia and the Vodafone Australia Foundation to help make environment
projects on schools a reality. Green Schools Connect enables schools to get
the extra hands to get the project done.
This may be creating a native bush foods garden, demonstrating to students
how to monitor frog population in your school yard or cleaning up a creek
line adjacent to the school.
Nominations close Monday 30 June 2008. Interested schools should visit
Freecall 1800 032 501
A Parish in Action
An extra thousand dollars a year was not going to stop parishioners at St Declan’s Penshurst to go to 100% accredited Green Power. Nor will it stop St Brigid’s Marrickville.
Calls were put out in each of these parishes for someone to lead the way on sustainability matters, and now St Brigid’s is about to appoint a Sustainability Spokesperson on their Pastoral Council. Both parishes are also conducting energy audits to find ways of reducing their carbon footprint. ...more
Can this Grant help you?
Have you seen...
Let the Many Coastlands Be Glad.
A beautifully presented booklet from the Queensland bishops on safeguarding the Great Barrier Reef and the waters of the South Pacific. ...more
Catholic Earthcare Australia is very pleased that Church Resources is providing environmentally responsible products and services through the Greening Communities initiative. In doing so Greening Communities is able to work in collaboration with Catholic Earthcare in our Catholic schools, parishes, congregations, health and aged care facilities and other church organisations for positive environmental outcomes. Together we can reach our large target audience and make a difference to the way we live on our beautiful planet. Together we can promote looking after our atmosphere, our plants and animals, our oceans and rivers, and share our resources in a way that provides for all and leaves enough for future generations. Together we can encourage people to be ecologically responsible with their purchases, to use only what they need, to reuse whatever they can, and to recycle what they no longer need. In doing so we will foster a deeper sense of relationship with God, with ourselves, with each other and our environment. Essentially, in doing our work together we will more effectively encourage others to live sustainably. Hooray!...more
Prayer with Sr Monica Sparks
As the world becomes increasingly interdependent and fragile the future at once holds great peril and great promise”The following prayer may be used singly for prayerful meditation or for Community Prayer. As such it may be prayed as choir 1 and 2 with common responses. If used with schools it could well become a response to the children's project of collecting pictures and information on the Reef....more
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* May 2008 (PDF)