Catholic Earthcare Australia’s 2016 resource has been launched on World Environment Day to encourage the community to celebrate the first Anniversary of the papal encyclical Laudato Si’ by coming together to experience dialogue and stimulate action on caring for our common home.
Catholics are being invited to write down their actions about caring for creation and bring them together in the form of a new ‘Tree of Life’ resource. “The ‘Tree of Life’ is a wonderful opportunity to share the message of the Pope’s encyclical, Laudato Si’ and to enable dialogue and action within local Catholic communities,” says Jacqui Remond, Director of Catholic Earthcare Australia, the ecological agency of the Catholic Church in Australia.
The resource is simple, easy and economical to use: a downloadable pdf is printed and placed in the configuration of a tree in a central location for the community, such as in the parish church, school hall or reception area of a church agency. The local community is invited to write on leaf-shaped paper the actions they commit to taking to care for creation and add it to the tree. Gradually, a tree full of leaves is created, embodying the action plan of the community and available for all to see and collectively enact.
“It’s a really great activity that brings everyone together – it’s so simple and easy to use” says Simon Habel, Program Manager at Catholic Earthcare Australia, adding “each tree will be unique to its community, with many different ways it can grow.”
Catholic Earthcare Australia launched the Tree of Life resource last Saturday, June 4th, during the Archdiocesan Social Justice Gathering, organized by the Justice and Peace Office of the Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney. Children from St Columba’s Primary School at Leichhardt North, where the gathering was held, helped by creating a ‘Laudato Si’ Tree of Life’ in the Parish Hall.
“There are lots of wonderful messages, prayers and pledges from the children,” observed Simon Habel, pointing to one example on the wall: ‘[w]e all need a world that has clean air and clean water. Let’s do our best to protect our world.’
Catholic Earthcare’s 2016 resource was created with the first Anniversary of Laudato Si’ in mind and is designed to encourage the community to move into action in 2016 on caring for our common home. Available for download and implementation worldwide from the Catholic Earthcare website, the ‘Tree of Life’ resource includes a prayer card, gospel reflections, theological insights from Monsignor Denis Edwards and the Tree of Life activity.
Ms Jacqui Remond, National Director, Catholic Earthcare Australia, Telephone: 0413 715 375.