Fr Gregory Jacobs SJ, parish priest at Holy Family Parish at Mount Druitt, NSW, is among the contributors to a new book of essays co-published by Catholic Earthcare and Catholic Mission, The Francis Effect II.
The parish, he writes, is a natural place for prayer, liturgy and the sacraments; for the living out of human relationships and, as a community, going out into the world to fulfil our mission of caring for the poor. ‘But we have not always looked at the parish as the place and space for exploring our connections with the earth.
The Major Superiors of the Jesuit Conference Asia Pacific have offered a sincere and enthusiastic welcome for Pope Francis’ encyclical on the environment, Laudato si‘ (‘On the Care of Our Common Home’). In a joint statement, the Major Superiors said the Pope ‘draws attention to the urgent need for reconciliation with creation, already one of our apostolic priorities in Asia Pacific’.
The Province’s Reconciliation with Creation: A Survey of Environmental Activities has shown that many Jesuit works in Australia have already incorporated audits into their environmental program. Others are seeking to do a comprehensive analysis of their carbon footprint in the future.
Many Jesuit and partnered schools have already gone down the path of implementing an audit system for their school communities.
Australian Jesuit educators will walk the talk during this year’s Jesuit Conference Asia Pacific (JCAP) Colloquium on Reconciliation with Creation, to be held at St Ignatius’ College, Riverview in July: the conference will aim to be a waste-wise, fair-trade, low carbon event.
Jesuits in the Asia Pacific region have initiated a new carbon-offset scheme to reduce the impact of air travel on the environment, with the Australian Province one of the first to sign on.
At the recent Jesuit Conference of Asia Pacific (JCAP) assembly in Chiang Mai, northern Thailand, Jesuit Provincials approved Flights for Forests, which will require participants to commit $5 for each flight taken.