Catholic Earthcare Australia launches virtual convocation

21 August 2020
Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv, Bishop of Parramatta, plants a tree at the Diocese of Parramatta Chancery building. Image: Diocese of Parramatta.


With a significant line up of renonwned speakers, Catholic Earthcare is hosting a Convocation; a virtual meeting place to bring our hearts together to ‘care for our common home’ this September. The Convocation will celebrate the Season of Creation and drive real change in our pursuit to care for creation.

The online delivery will journey participants through a process of formation, foundation and action with significant youth involvement across the entire program.

Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv, Bishop of Parramatta, will be speaking during the Convocation on Thursday 3 September from 2pm.

Bishop Vincent will be discussing the topic ‘Francis and Francis lighting the path: Franciscan eco-spirituality in light of Pope Francis’ during a session entitled ‘in relationship with God through formation of our heart: the theological and moral imperative to care for our common home’, which explores our commitment as Catholics, Christians and people of humanity in caring for our common home.

Bishop Vincent will be speaking alongside Dr Sandie Cornish from the Office for Social Justice of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, Dr Trish Hindmarsh, the former Director of Catholic Education Tasmania, and an advisor to Catholic Earthcare and Juliet Talarico, ecologist and former community educator at Rahamin Ecology Centre.

Bernard Holland, Manager of Social and Ecological Animators for Caritas Australia, said that using the impetus of Laudato Si’, the Convocation was designed to bring our church closer together for coordinated action, with the significant involvement of youth speakers to emphasise the future of our church. “Our Mother Earth will soon be in the hands of new generations of faith-inspired youth”, he said.

“If we do not create opportunities for intergenerational conversations we miss the opportunity to become transmitters of the faith with our youth, through meaningful catalysts such as social and ecological justice,” said Mr Holland.

The Convocation is focussed on all elements of ‘caring for our common home’ and includes a significant finance, economics and investment module lead by Professor Ross Garnaut, aimed to challenge participants to enact change and foster key stakeholder dialogue within their circles of influence.  Registration can be made here

Alice Carwardine, a teacher at Carmel College Thornlands in the Brisbane Archdiocese will also present at the Convocation. Alice supports the College’s Social Justice Committee and has developed her own Laudato Si’ family resource kit.

“Students at Carmel College are taught to listen to the cry of the Earth and the cry of the poor”, said Alice. “They do, however, demand change, and if we are not preparing them for their future at our Catholic schools, we are not living a culture inspired by Laudato Si,” said Ms Carwardine. Alice is also building her own home, inspired by Laudato Si’.

To play its part in helping protect the health of Earth, and its inhabitants, Catholic Earthcare Australia is mandated, through the activities of education, research and advocacy to provide leadership in responding to Pope John Paul II’s call to “stimulate and sustain the ecological conversion”.

As an ecological agency established by the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference. Catholic Earthcare is now a program stream of Caritas Australia after a recent restructure, bringing with it a greater access to specialist resources with a focus on an integral ecological response to caring for our common home.

To register for Bishop Vincent’s session on 3 September, click here.

To register for other sessions during the Convocation, click here.

With thanks to Catholic Earthcare Australia.


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