EVERY MONTH NEW, EXCITING DEVELOPMENTS EMERGE AROUND THE WORLD THAT OFFER A GLIMPSE OF A MORE SUSTAINABLE FUTURE.
From a multi-country collaboration to protect Africa’s coastal ecosystems to a $350 million fund for wildlife corridors in the USA and a partnership between an Earthshot Prize Finalist and a global fashion giant making sportswear with captured carbon, we’re spoilt for choice this month!
So let’s celebrate the positive progress being made towards repairing and regenerating our planet.
I’m a country girl at heart, raised in Butler Tanks (SA). My passions are faith, justice, ecology and peace, with a side obsession with running. For over 25 years I’ve been teaching but my work life has also included counselling, chaplaincy and parish youthwork. Through this I’ve focused on Reconciliation programs and advocacy for refugees, students of colour, the LGBTQIA+ community and those who are neurodiverse. My husband and I are blessed with three school aged children and I’m excited to support the important mission of the Catholic Justice and Peace Commission.
Understanding God’s love for humanity, the commandment of love calls forth a renewed commitment as a response to that love. This encyclical articulates the Church’s charitable activity as an expression of God’s love. Charity must be grounded in a personal encounter with Christ, who awakens the meaning of love of neighbor.
Pope Benedict XVI deepens the Church’s social teachings, by grounding them in love and truth. Justice is linked to charity and the faithful are called to practice justice for the common good. Building a future of peace, justice and love is dependent on fundamental values of justice and charity.
In 2015, Pope Francis wrote Laudato Si’ (The Letter); an encyclical letter about the environmental crisis to every single person in the world. A few years later, four voices that have gone unheard in global conversations have been invited to an unprecedented dialogue with the Pope. Hailing from Senegal, the Amazon, India, and Hawai’i, they bring perspective and solutions from the poor, the indigenous, the youth, and wildlife into a conversation with Pope Francis himself. This documentary follows their journey to Rome and the extraordinary experiences that took place there, and is packed with powerfully moving personal stories alongside the latest information about the planetary crisis and the toll it’s taking on nature and people. Because, in the words of the Laudato Si’ Movement chair Lorna Gold, “once you know, you CANNOT look away.” #LaudatoSiFilm Learn more about the protagonists and how you can take action at https://TheLetterFilm.org
The National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Catholic Council (NATSICC) has just released its resource booklet for Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Sunday on 3 July. It has resources for you to use including liturgy notes, homily notes, youth resources and lots more.
Refugee Week is 19 – 25 June. The theme of Refugee Week this year is Healing. The Australian Catholic Migrant and Refugee Office and the Office for Justice Ecology and Peace have collaborated to provide you with resources to help you celebrate Refugee Week. They have also organised a Refugee Week prayer service on Monday 20 June at 6:00 PM. You can register for the on-line service and find the resources at:
A Laudato Si’ Action Plan for the Archdiocese of Brisbane was launched on Pentecost Sunday which was also World Environment Day. The plan has been accepted by the Vatican’s Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development and is on its Laudato Si’ Action Platform. It contains a range of actions linked to the Platform’s seven goals. Further actions will be added in the coming seven years. Agencies within the Archdiocese will implement the actions. Resources and opportunities for parishes and individual Catholics will become available over the course of the next year. If you or your parish would like to know more and want to get involved at your pace and to suit your circumstances, please contact our Executive Officer, Peter Arndt, at email@example.com.
Signs of Our Times was officially launched on 31st May by Archbishop Coleridge. Signs of Our Times is a collaboration between the Commission and the ACBC Office for Justice Ecology and Peace. It seeks to promote a culture of encounter in Catholic social action. It encourages action which is grounded in prayer, scripture and the Church’s tradition.
A recording of the launch is available at:
At the launch, the Commission announced that it would undertake a number of initiatives including organising visits to Cherbourg Aboriginal community and offering help to parishes wanting to use the Signs of Our Times resources in their own context. If you want to find out more, plese contact our Executive Officer, Peter Arndt at firstname.lastname@example.org.
National Sorry Day is this Thursday 26 May. It is a day on which Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people remember the many years of forcible removal of children from their families and its immense cost individually and communally. Sorry Day ceremonies will be held this week at Stolen Generations plaque sites around Brisbane:
National Reconciliation Week is from 27 May to June 3. It’s a time to renew our commitment to build stronger relationships of respect and trust between First Nations Australians and non-Indigenous Australians. The theme for this year is Be Brave. Make Change. We are encouraged to make a commitment to deal with unfinished business so that change is possible.
An ecumenical reconciliation service will take place at St. Joseph’s and St. Anthony’s Parish, 30 Eldorado Street, Bracken Ridge, 7:00 – 8:00 PM, this Friday 27 May. All are welcome.
Don’t Forget to Register for the Signs of Our times Launch!
If you haven’t already registered for the on-line launch of Signs of Our Times by Archbishop Mark Coleridge on Tuesday 31 May, 6:00 – 7:00 PM, make sure you do so this week. Signs of Our Times is a collaboration between the Commission and the ACBC Office for Justice Ecology and Peace. It provides resources and support for Catholics to embrace a culture of encounter in their social action. It also encourages social action which is firmly grounded in scripture, tradition and prayer. During the launch, we will announce some opportunities for you to get a practical experience of what Signs of Our Times is all about. Register here.
Join Us for the Luminous Lantern Parade Welcoming Migrants and Refugees
Once again, the Commission is a community sponsor of the wonderful Luminous Lantern Parade. The parade will take place on Friday 10 June at Southbank Parklands (starting at Little Stanley Street). It kicks off at 6:00 PM, but contingents begin forming from 5:00 PM. For 15 years, we have been part of the parade which is a public expression of welcome to migrants and refugees. We encourage Catholics to join our contingent and help to carry our banner and lantern. Please register your interest in participating in the parade by e-mailing us at email@example.com.
Refugee Week 2022
Refugee Week 2022 is June 19 – 25. This year’s theme is Healing. You can find information and resources for Refugee Week at:
The Asylum Seeker and Refugee Assistance Program is urgently seeking donations to help a number of refugee families who have or will soon be evicted. Some do not have work rights. So, their situation is dire.
Donations can be paid to Communify: Direct deposit to the Communify Qld Gift Account: Reference: Asylum Seeker/rent BSB: 064123 Account: 10123138
Please email Communify’s Finance Team to request a tax-deductible receipt if you choose this method: firstname.lastname@example.org
Laudato Si’ Week is currently being celebrated in Australia – 16 – 24 May. The Office for Justice Ecology and Peace has produced some resources for you to use each day for prayer, reflection and action. You can use these at any time during the year:
In other parts of the world, Laudato Si’ Week is just getting started. You can find information about resources and events in which you can get involved, including a series of webinars, at:
The Season of Creation begins on the World Day of Prayer for Care of Creation, 1 September, and concludes on the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, 4 October. This year’s theme is Listen to the Voice of Creation. You can find out more and start planning what you will do on the website
Listening to the Voices of the Pacific
There are two opportunities this week for you to listen to the voices of the peoples of the Pacific. In both cases, the General Secretary of the Pacific Conference of Churches, Rev. James Bhagwan, will feature:
*A Pacific Islands Council of Queensland look at relations between Pacific countries and Australia. Register here.
*Talanoa 2022, an NCCA Assembly with the Pacific Ecumenical Community with Rev. James Bhagwan in Sydney or on-line. Register here.
Brisbane Laudato Si’ Action Plan
We’ve kept some of the best news till last! The Archdiocese of Brisbane’s Laudato Si’ Action Plan will be launched on World Environment Day, 5 June. The plan aligns with the Laudato Si’ Action Platform and will be the first of seven years of action to respond to Pope Francis for ecological conversion. Stay tuned for more soon!
This newsletter is authorised by the Commission Chair, Ms. Maree Rose.
The last few days have brought the devastation of flooding to our region and the horror of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Let’s pray and act in solidarity with all those affected by the floods in South-East Queensland and with the people of Ukraine.
As you know, the Russian military invaded Ukraine last week. Every day, we see the pain and suffering this is causing for the people of Ukraine.
Pope Francis has called for a global day of prayer and fasting in solidarity with the people of Ukraine on Ash Wednesday, 2 March. On Saturday, Archbishop Coleridge and Bishop Mykola Bychok, leader of Australia’s Ukrainian Catholics, supported the Pope’s call for prayer and also called on the Australian Government to provide generous support to Ukrainians who are forced to flee the violence.
We have spoken to Fr. Stefan Sapun, the Parish Priest of the Ukrainian Catholic Community in Brisbane. You are welcome to join the Ukrainian Catholic community to pray at 9:00 AM Mass this Ash Wednesday at Our Lady of Protection Church, 36 Broadway Street, Woolloongabba.
The Ukrainian Community of Queensland will also hold a rally this Sunday 6 March at 12 noon in King George Square, Adelaide Street, Brisbane. If you can, please consider standing with the people of Ukraine at this public act of solidarity.
Many Ukrainians have been injured and displaced. The Ukraine Crisis Appeal has been established to provide much needed support to all those affected by the invasion. The Appeal is a collaboration between the Australian Federation of Ukrainian Organisations, Rotary Australia World Community Service and Caritas Ukraine. Tax deductible donations can be made here.
You can keep in touch with further action and appeals by the Ukrainian Community of Queensland here.
Please continue to also pray for those in other parts of the world where violence and oppression continue – Myanmar, Hong Kong, Yemen, West Papua.
Responding to the Devastation of the Floods
Many people have been seriously affected by the floods. Some have tragically lost their lives. Homes and businesses have been devastated and some people have been displaced. The Aboriginal community of Cherbourg has been cut off. Please continue your prayers for all those who have been affected and reach out with practical support when it is safe to do so.
We have been encouraging participation in Clean Up Australia Day activities this Sunday March 6. The priority now will clearly be to offer help to those whose homes and businesses have been flooded. As the flooding subsides, plenty of hands will be needed to help our neighbours to recover from this devastation.
This message is authorised by Ms. Maree Rose, Chair of the Catholic Justice & Peace Commission of the Archdiocese of Brisbane.