"Whoever believes in me believes not in me but in him who sent me. I have come as a light into the world,
so that everyone who believes in me should not remain in the darkness"
John 12: 44-46
I hope that you are enjoying the change of seasons.
This year began with a burst of beautiful energy that has generated much activity.
Pope Benedict’s World Day of Peace Message entitled, “If you want to cultivate Peace, protect Creation” is a timely reminder for us all to embrace a strategic and creative path that leads to sustainable development and peace on Earth. To enable this message to be received, Catholic Earthcare Australia has produced a powerpoint slide show that is available on our new resource, “The Awesome Cosmic Story.”
A new staff member has joined Catholic Earthcare’s team as Program Manager, Luke Edwards. Luke brings over 12 years experience in education including Formation Ministry. Luke was the Coordinator for WYD in the Newcastle-Maitland Diocese. Luke is currently developing Catholic Earthcare’s ‘ASSISI for Youth’ program. Luke is also working on Catholic Earthcare’s 2010 Environmental Education resource focusing on this years’ international theme of Biodiversity.
‘One Earth’ is Catholic Earthcare’s passion building program for Catholic Schools in Australia. ‘One Earth’ is offered as a discrete program of the ASSISI for Schools initiative. ‘One Earth’ has been designed to engage students of all ages to create songs, art, short films, and letters addressing political leaders to promote living a sustainable life on Earth. Students are invited to exhibit their work at an evening event led by students to which parents, grandparents, community members, students and staff are invited. The ‘One Earth’ program has been produced as a kit, which includes posters, an invitation flyer for parents, student speaking templates, entry forms, a step by step guide, a template run sheet and a template program with tips.
This year ‘One Earth’ has been chosen as an official activity for Catholic Education Week in Queensland, which is promoted by the Queensland Catholic Education Commission to 288 Catholic Schools in Queensland. As Ambassador for Catholic Education Week in Queensland, I look forward to being part of the celebrations that will support the week’s theme “Called to be Stewards of a Sustainable Future.”
Catholic Earthcare’s sustainability initiative, ASSISI, is gathering momentum through its pilot programs. The schools, parishes, hospitals, Catholic education offices, Diocesan offices, Catholic Agencies and Catholic Universities participating have responded positively to the ASSISI process. Resources such as the 2010 World Day of Peace Message, Catholic Social Teaching on Ecology, Science and Sustainability are input for the ASSISI process. The path that each Catholic organization takes is different because each organisation is located in a particular place in Australia that has a unique story and community of people. The ASSISI process of formation and information sharing enables the whole organization to plan together for a sustainable future. Once the desired sustainable vision of the organization is articulated specific projects for cultivating grounds, ethical resource use, learning processes, community involvement, whole organization planning and religious celebrations are captured. Stories about organizations implementing their action plans feature in this newsletter and can be found on Catholic Earthcare’s website. One such response that Catholic organizations pursue is reviewing their policies and practises, including reviewing mission statements, strategic plans and administrative processes. If you would like to know more about the ASSISI process and outcomes please contact Catholic Earthcare Australia or go to the ASSISI webpage to see some of the qualitative data that is being gathered.
Looking ahead into 2010, there are a variety of special occasions that Catholic Earthcare has been invited to be part of including the Catholic Secondary Principals Association Conference entitled, “Salt of the Earth and Light for the World,” in April; the Queenslands Catholic Primary Principals Association Conference in May; ASSISI Diocesan Days in Adelaide and Toowoomba in June, Catholic Education Week Queensland in July and presenting at Catholic Health Australia’s Conference in August… I feel blessed to do this work at this time and I look forward to walking with you on the journey ahead.
Take gentle care,
A very early Mentor-model of care for the land is Benedict of Norcia, a 5th century man who gave to Christian Western Spirituality a model of Monastic life. This was a counter balance to the ravaged state of Europe. It was in melt down after the Fall of the Roman Empire. There was chaos with the break- down of Law, Infrastructures and Administration. The condition of much of the land was destroyed and many people lacked direction. Benedict's Rule presented a model of sustainability, stability, and of a systematic reclaiming of and respect for the land...more.
On Wednesday 11 November, the school community of St Michael’s Primary, Blacktown South held a Blessing and Opening Ceremony to officially open the new Nano Cottage Kitchen Garden. St Michael’s Primary and Nagle College are located on the same site so they share the Nano Cottage Garden, which is named after Nano Nagle, the founder of the Presentation Sisters who established Nagle College...more.
St Anthony's Primary School, Greenmount
Over the past 15 years the community of St Anthony’s Primary School in Greenmount Perth, have been endeavouring to work towards creating a culture of sustainability.
The school was relocated from nearby Midvale and needed to vegetate the new site. Over a period of 12 years, the surrounds were planted with native trees and shrubs and gardens were established into which children could plant and harvest vegetables...more.
Father Brian Bainbridge passed away on 2 February 2010 at the age of 71. Father Brian was an "Open Space Parish Priest" and actively encouraged his parishioners to take control of their parish. Father Brian was the author of "The New Parish Priest", the story of his journey at St Scholastica's, Bennettswood...more.
At 8.30pm on Saturday, March 27 nearly 100 iconic landmarks in 1,000 cities and towns around the world will switch off their lights for Earth Hour 2010, joining hundreds of millions of people showing their commitment to the environment. Catholic Earthcare's ASSISI pilot schools and parishes are participating in this year's Earth Hour...more.
Environmental stewardship is a key component of St John of God hospital’s strategic and operational planning and environmental sustainability is part of our daily business operations. Through a range of activities we are limiting our impact on the environment...more.
There could not be a more significant moment of joy, hope, grief and anxiety at this time than the expectations that the world held for the United Nations Climate Change Conference. Local Catholics shared these expectations and some from the Tighes Hill Church decided to provide a focus for these expectations in the form of a prayer vigil on each day of the Copenhagen Conference. The prayer vigils were a faith response to the anxiety that arises from Climate Change and the hope that world leaders might be open to God’s call that they respond as science and justice indicate they must...more.
Called, 'The Case Against The Gas Plant', the book is about the proposed development of a massive LNG gas plant which will use a site near Broome as its preferred processing location instead of piping to the already industrialised region of the Pilbara.
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd says the Browse Basin joint-venture will be worth $50 billion to the national economy but there is a dispute among Western Australian Indigenous communities over support for the project...more.
Reefs of Revelation - "Reefs of Revelation" is a CD for Australian Catholic schools - responding to the international Year of the Reef.
The “Reefs of Revelation” CD-Rom comprises a multi-media interactive ecological spirituality lesson in five sections:
1. Reefs of Revelation:
2. Water Gardens
4. Signs of Hope
5. Ecological Vocations
The aim of the CD-Rom is to heighten awareness about all Australian reefs and lead the viewer to make a stronger connection with the gift of our beautiful reefs and to consciously care for them...more.
Luke Edwards to the
Catholic Earthcare Team.
We are pleased to welcome a new member to the Catholic Earthcare team. Luke Edwards commenced in his role as Programme Manager earlier this month in a part-time capacity.
As an educator, Luke brings with him experiences as a Ministry Coordinator within the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle and a teacher of English and religious education. More recently, he held the position of World Youth Day Coordinator for the Maitland-Newcastle Diocese, a demanding role that afforded him the opportunity for creativity and leadership in spirituality. It was during this time that Luke's passion for and commitment to principles of ecological conversion were harnessed.
As a father of 3 young boys, Luke is aware of the urgent need for a transformed world.
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* May 2008 (PDF)