Walking the Laudato Si’ path

Holy Family Parish in Emerton is hoping that its new Environment Walk will inspire other parishes in Parramatta Diocese to make environmental sustainability a priority.

‘All of us can cooperate as instruments of God for the care of creation, each according to his or her own culture, experience, involvements and talents.’ (Laudato Si’)

Map of the environmental walk

Map of the Holy Family Environment Walk

The Parramatta Diocese Earth Ministry Project was launched at Holy Family Parish in Emerton on 6 October 2018.

The project, which is conducted under the auspices of the Diocese’s Social Justice Office, aims to encourage parishes to follow the call of Pope Francis’ environmental encyclical Laudato Si’, to create a ‘green heart’ in the Diocese.

Holy Family Parish Priest Fr Greg Jacobs SJ celebrated a specially crafted creation Mass for the project launch. Fr Jacobs is part of the project team, along with Earth Ministry Project Officer Sue Martin and Sr Louise McKeogh FMA.

One of the initiatives of the Earth Ministry Project is the Holy Family Environment Walk, which will highlight the various sustainability projects that have taken place in the Jesuit parish. Among the points of interest in the parish are:

  • A worm farm, solar panels, shade house, and environmental and reconciliation art in the parish centre
  • A bush tucker garden and firepit for community gatherings at the Men’s Shed
  • A parish vegetable garden, producing food for locals
  • Water tanks, vegetable gardens and cardboard recycling at the Holy Family Primary School
  • Solar panels, water tanks and water-wise gardens at the Holy Family Church
  • Waste diversion activities at the Ignite Food Store and Op-Shop run by Jesuit Social Services

The tour also brings together the often overlooked aspects of Laudato Si’ around integral ecology — the idea that reconciling with creation involves not just our place in the environment, but also our relationships with each other, with special consideration given to the wisdom of those who are indigenous to any land. The walking tour takes in a meeting with Elders at Aboriginal Catholic Services, as well as the Baabayn Aboriginal Corporation.

‘The walk has been created as a self-guided walk, with environmental points of interest and reflection questions at each point’, says Martin.

‘It is hoped that Holy Family Emerton can become an ecological hub within the diocese.’

For more information about the project, contact Earth Ministry Project Officer Sue Martin sue.martin@parracatholic.org.au.