Humanity has unhesitatingly devastated wooded plains and valleys, polluted the waters, deformed the earth’s habitat, made the air unbreathable … blighted green spaces, implemented uncontrolled forms of industrialisation, humiliating the earth.
– John Paul II, General Audience Address, 2001
Protecting the environment involves moderating our desires to consume and own more, which create lifestyles that bring death to millions of other people.
– NZ Catholic Bishops’ Conference, Environmental Justice, 2006
The goal of the Environment / Sustainability Committee is to encourage awareness and action on environmental issues in parishes. This includes encouraging a spirituality which includes respect for the integrity of creation and increasing the understanding of Catholic social teaching on environment among Catholics. For more detail, see the Committee’s Terms of Reference (PDF).
To date, the Committee has:
- Prepared slides (PPT) and a liturgy/prayer and action resource sheet (PDF) for parishes for World Environment Day (June 2011)
- Sent an Ecological Petition Prayer for parishes to use during the ‘Days of Creation’, the month of September to 4 October (feast of St Francis of Assisi)
- Sent a submission to Auckland City Council on its spatial plan, November 2011
- Released a 4-session environmental/social justice awareness programme, God’s Earth: For All Peoples and All Generations, to all parishes in the dioceses in June 2013. The sessions include prayer and reflection, Catholic social teaching, awareness activities, global and local environmental issues and ideas for action. The programme has also been sent to parishes requesting it in the Palmerston North and Christchurch dioceses.
The Committee is currently working on a project researching ways we can live sustainably in daily life. Members challenged themselves to live sustainably with regards to food, transport, power, water, etc for one week, and journaled their reflections.
The Committee is currently planning for greater parish awareness of Laudato Si’
Convenor: Steve Lincoln
Members: May Ajero, Estella Lee, Maria Kastler, Kirstin Howard, Alan Howard-Smith
The Committee always welcomes new members. If you are interested in environmental issues, and have background in related areas, please Contact us with a few lines of information about your Church and community background and any experience in the issues of the Committee. We are especially hoping to find new members with expertise in impacts of mining, oil exploration and other development.