Pope Francis’ environmental encyclical Laudato Si’ has challenged all Catholic communities to do more to care for the environment on which we all depend for life.
In June 2017, the Australian Jesuit Provincial Fr Brian McCoy SJ announced that the Province would begin to move towards divestment in fossil fuels, and to commit to offsetting greenhouse gas emissions from air travel. The carbon offset scheme we are contributing to is Flights for Forests, a Jesuit-run initiative which supports forestry programs across the Asia-Pacific region.
The Asia Pacific Jesuit Conference has made ‘Reconciliation with Creation’ one of the key elements of its mission, calling on Jesuit ministries to develop concrete programs and initiatives to address environmental issues. More about these programs can be found at EcoJesuit.
The Province takes seriously the plea for Ecological Conversion in Laudato si’. The Centres of Ignatian Spirituality offer retreats and programs to help people connect with God in creation, e.g. Being with God in Nature 2018 Program. Many ministries encourage prayer and reflection by participating in the Season of Creation from 1 September to 4 October, and using the ecological examen tool.
A 2017 survey found that schools, social ministries, parishes and other ministries across the Province have a long history of reconciliation with creation. The Province Reconciliation with Creation Advisory Group supports the ongoing process of ecological conversion as well as local and National environmental initiatives.