A personal, on the ground reflection from Catholic Schools Diocese of Lismore Mission team on what Laudato Si’ means to them. They share their experience of ‘Standing on Holy Ground’ as they support each other to clean up after the floods and rebuild after catastrophic flooding where over 12 of their schools had damage to half of its buildings, and three completed inundated. You can support with prayers and responding to their appeal.
Retired Hong Kong Cardinal Zen was arrested on 11 May and faces charges “simply because he served as a trustee of a fund which provided legal aid to activists facing court cases” says Federation of Asian Bishops Conferences President Cardinal Charles Bo. Cardinal Bo has called for prayer for Cardinal Zen on 24 May, the Feast of Mary Help of Christians.
The Australian Catholic Council for Employment Relations has argued for an increase in the minimum wage of 6.5%. Working on behalf of the Bishops, ACCER submitted this recommendation to the Annual Wage Review saying that no Australian should live below the poverty line. Spokesperson Stephen Mackie said, “The problem is children are being brought up in poverty…the workers on national minimum wage have been waiting for a long time for a significant increase.”
Sandie Cornish, Director of the ACBC Office for Justice, Ecology and Peace reflects on Laudato Si’ Week, the Laudato Si’ Goals and the interconnected issues that an integral ecology must address. She highlights our feature article from Lismore diocese on Laudato Si’ and the effects and response of the floods, Reconciliation Week (27 May-3 June), Refugee Week (19-25 June) and talanoa sharing stories around the mat present in the Pacific Council of Churches.
Australian faith leaders including Archbishop Coleridge, then President of ACBC, have joined together to call for permanent protection for people on Temporary Protection Visas (TPVs). Even though many people on TPVs are refugees, they are still denied permenant protection and the stability of knowing they can make a long-term home in Australia. Campaign spokesman, Rev. Tim Costello urged political leaders to ‘do something that is ultimately good for all Australians’.
You are invited to join the Australian Catholic Migrant and Refugee Office and the Office for Justice, Ecology and Peace for an online prayer service on World Refugee Day. Registration to attend the prayer service which will be broadcast live at 6 pm AEST on 20 June is now open. The two Offices have also combined to produce resources to encourage the celebration of Refugee Week 19-25 June.
Sorry Day (26 May) and Reconciliation Week (27 May-3 June) both focus on alleviating personal, social and cultural injustice that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders have faced from non-Indigenous Australia. The onus of these weeks are on non-Indigenous organisations, people and groups to take steps to “Be Brave. Make Change.” This is the theme of this year’s week and Reconciliation Action Plans are a good first step.
A new resource exploring the relationship between the Uluru Statement from the Heart and care for the environment has been released, aimed at small group discussions in a parish setting. The resource is a creation of the South Australian Dialogue of the Roman Catholic and Uniting Churches and can be used across denominations. A leader’s guide is also available through their website to help preparations.
You are invited to a Talanoa Meeting and dialogue taking place on 27 May, led by the National Council of Churches Australia. It will be an update from the Pacific Ecumenical Community featuring Rev James Bhagwan, the General Secretary of Pacific Conference of Churches, who has been a key advocate for climate justice. Talanoa is a way of dialogue that seeks consensus and integrating decision making.
The Diocese of Parramatta has launched their Laudato Si Action Campaign in their communities. Releasing a video sent to all parishes, it combines schools, parishes and organisations to show their support of the Laudato Si Action Plan as well as highlighting the great projects already working in the diocese. Bishop Vincent committed to a base line assessment of the Diocese resources to guide its seven-year plan.