At the heart of the ASSISI initiative

Posted on Mar 18, 2015 in ASSISI
Share on Facebook0Tweet about this on Twitter0Share on LinkedIn0

4096px-MC_Olgas_panoASSISI (A Strategic, Systems-based, Integrated Sustainability Initiative) was developed by Catholic Earthcare to provide a framework for sustainable development and fulfilment of a transformative ecological vision for Catholic schools, parishes and church communities, agencies and congregations. 

The overarching aim of the ASSISI initiative is to provide a foundation for and a pathway to best practice in achieving ecological sustainability in Catholic schools, parishes, church agencies and organisations across Australia. The definition of ecological education which has been put forward for Catholic schools is relevant and appropriate for all Catholic organisations and agencies. It is described as:

 A life-long process of recognising values and clarifying concepts in order to develop skills and attitudes necessary to understand and appreciate the inter-relatedness of all creation, and to know of creation as a gift from God which requires equitable sharing and right relationship.

It also entails practice in decision making for living a life that is ecologically and ethically sustainable.

Long-lasting, deep change for individuals, organisations and communities takes time, and as such the ASSISI initiative was designed as a long term approach, inspired by Catholic teachings, values and beliefs. It is aimed at developing, implementing and monitoring the processes needed to facilitate the development of a spirituality of communion that is at the heart of achieving ecological conversion and ecological sustainability in the Catholic Church in Australia.

The approach we take is not one based on compliance with externally imposed models and frameworks. The ‘learning communities’ approach involves a co-created process that enables organisations to work meaningfully with broader sustainability frameworks and make autonomous decisions appropriate to their own context and that link with their strategic intent. This enables the deeper understanding required for full ownership and embedding of ecological sustainability into all aspects of organisational life in the context of, and in collaboration with, the broader community.

The integrated elements that inform the learning community framework for sustainability are captured in the ASSISI Model developed by Catholic Earthcare in 2008. This model is extremely useful as a roadmap for integrating the ASSISI principles and processes into your organisation.

ASSISI formation programs are held throughout the year, to find out more or register your interest in these initiatives – please contact us at 

Share on Facebook0Tweet about this on Twitter0Share on LinkedIn0

Important Announcement

Catholic Earthcare is the part of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference which promotes ecological conversion to achieve a loving and sustainable relationship with the natural world. It uses environmental education, national and international links and advocacy to achieve this goal.

In May 2017, the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference decided to incorporate Catholic Earthcare Australia into its sister agency, Caritas Australia. This change was made to strengthen the capacity of Catholic Earthcare Australia, particularly in advocating and educating about the principles of Holy Father’s 2015 encyclical, Laudato Si, and to achieve synergies with Caritas Australia’s extensive education and advocacy work around Australia, including parishes, schools and the wider Catholic community on environmental issues such as climate change.

Caritas Australia is the Church’s international aid and development agency.  As part of the global Caritas confederation operating in 190 countries, it works alongside marginalised communities in many countries and with 11 First Australian agencies here in Australia.  Promoting the principles of Laudato Si is at the centre of the global confederation and of Caritas Australia.

This website is being refined to reflect the new administrative arrangements for Catholic Earthcare Australia. For all enquiries in relation to the work of Catholic Earthcare Australia or to request assistance, please call  1800 024 413 or email

Thank you for your ongoing support of Catholic Earthcare Australia and your commitment to combating climate change and protecting the environment and ecosystems from degradation and pollution.