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 and 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.
We have taken great inspiration from Our Holy Father Pope Francis’ encyclical: “Laudato Si’ – On Care for Our Common Home” (2015)
The Committee is currently working on providing inspiration and information as to how we can live more sustainably. To inspire ourselves and the people in our parishes we have published “23 green tips” in a leaflet available to parishes during the season of creation 1 September – 4 October 2019, on this website and on https://www.facebook.com/Justice-Peace-Catholic-Diocese-of-Auckland-New-Zealand-145308722336400/
We are also working on a pilot project as to how parishes will be able to monitor power and water use and then make improvements (savings).
For world Environment Day (5 June) we prepared three inserts for Parish Newsletters for 19th May, 26th May and 2nd June.
The committee currently has 7 active members as of August 2019.
Convenor: Susanne Rehder Montgomerie;
The Committee is always open to 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.
Pope Francis encourages us to participate in the ”Season of Creation” through prayer and action: Pope Francis has established 1 September as the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation for Catholics, encouraging the Catholic community to pray for our common home. It is also the beginning of the “Season of Creation”, an ecumenical season dedicated to prayer for the protection of creation and the promotion of sustainable lifestyles. It runs until 4 October, the feast of St Francis of Assisi. Copies of the pamphlet ”23 green tips – small steps towards a sustainable life” will be available to Parishes over the next few weeks and is also available on this website.
Pope Francis’ Prayer for the Earth:
All-powerful God, you are present in the whole universe and in the smallest of your creatures.
You embrace with your tenderness all that exists.
Pour out upon us the power of your love, that we may protect life and beauty.
Fill us with peace, that we may live as brothers and sisters, harming no one. Amen
To download a copy of the 23 Green Tips..please click hereCopy of 23 Green tips