A true ecological approach always becomes a social approach; it must integrate questions of justice in debates on the environment, so as to hear both the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor.
(Pope Francis, Laudato Si)
Environment a major concern from Vatican to CBD Parishes
Our Camberwell, Balwyn and Deepdene Parish Council have prioritised the environment as one of our major projects for 2020. Council member and Balwyn parishioner, Arthur Cheng, is leading the charge with members of the council joined by Our Lady of Good Counsel school staff and our Youth Engagement Project team members. The group have developed a draft policy for adoption by our parish and have set some short term goals with which to commence. COVID-19 has slowed things a little but soon we should expect to see our parish joining with our OLGC School to provide a battery collection point, ink cartridge collection point, toothbrush and polystyrene collection as well as fund raising for environmental and human rights causes. The group will also be taking stock of the impact of COVID-19 on both the planet and vulnerable human communities.
Promoting Integral Ecology
All this is taking place as the Vatican has just released a new 200 page document encouraging Catholics to put their faith into action to promote integral ecology and care for the earth. The new document, On the Journey for Care of the Common Home was launched at the Vatican in Italian this week and will soon be available in English. It is inspired by the apostolic exhortation of Pope Francis, Laudato Si.
Care for our Common Home
Our faith tradition and the spiritual heritage of our ancient land calls us to care for all creation and to embrace the challenges of ethical and ecological stewardship.
As Deepdene & Balwyn and Camberwell Parishes, we value and accept our responsibility as ecological stewards to care for and protect the earth and all its contains. We recognise that our changing environment prompts us to adopt new ways of living, as Pope Francis highlights in his encyclical, Laudato Si: On the Care for our Common Home.
Across our parishes, we are committed to developing environmentally friendly and sustainable practices across all our ministries and business operations, and to maintaining a sustainability-aware culture at all times. We wish to build on the good work that is already underway in our parishes, such as reducing our paper, energy and water usage; implementing responsible waste management practices; increasing our recycling efforts; and enacting sustainable and ethical procurement practices.
Using The Tradition to understand Ecological Stewardship
We invite you to engage in information-sharing and the exchange of knowledge and ideas about how we can expand and improve on our efforts. We also welcome the ongoing exploration, dialogue and discernment of how the Scriptures and Catholic Social Teaching can guide our endeavours and give expression to the petition we regularly pray at our Eucharistic liturgies: ‘Lord, send out your spirit, and renew the face of the earth’.