Environmental awareness second nature to Holy Spirit Parish, St Clair

By Chris Brenton, 21 May 2020
Holy Spirit Parish, St Clair, parishioner Jeanne posing for a photograph with the parish's waste management system. Image: Supplied.


Communities in Western Sydney showcase their care for our common home.

From May 16 to 24, Catholic communities around the world are celebrating Laudato Si’ Week.

Laudato Si’ Week – which marks the fifth anniversary of Pope Francis’ encyclical – is sponsored by the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development and is meant to encourage Catholic communities to take bolder actions for creation during the week-long initiative.

Ahead of Laudato Si’ Week, Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv, Bishop of Parramatta and Chair of the Bishops Commission for Social Justice – Mission and Service, recorded a video message, encouraging the faithful to “have the courage to align ourselves with God’s plan for the world.”

To commemorate Laudato Si’ Week, Catholic Outlook has reached out to parishes, schools and faith movements to share how they are caring for our common home.


Holy Spirit Parish, St Clair

At Holy Spirit Parish, St Clair, a 20 kilowatt solar panel power system has been installed. Recently an application for a grant to install an additional 10.89 kilowatt solar power system has been lodged under the NSW Government’s Energy Efficiency Program. The lighting is also being changed to LED, at present about 85% of the lighting has been changed over. The next project to be undertaken is to have rainwater tanks installed to water our garden. The hope is that a sprinkler system can be attached to the water tanks to make watering the garden easier.

Our parish is very multicultural so an annual Fiesta is held. Last year, the parish sourced recyclable plates/cups/cutlery for use at the food stalls. The plates were made from compressed banana leaves, the cups were cardboard and the cutlery was made from bamboo. On the night, the Social Justice Commission members oversaw the disposal of waste into separate bins, directing food waste into one, recyclables into the next and waste for landfill in the last one. On the whole, the response from the community was very positive with comments such as “There should be more of this” and “Well done!”. We will continue to make these changes for the good of the planet we live on.

Numerous groups in the parish have contributed to the changes including the Parish Council, the Finance Committee, the Cultural Ministry and the Social Justice Commission. It has all been done with the excellent support of our Parish Priest, Fr Michael Belonio. We see Laudato Si’ as a blue print for the future, a new way of life that extends compassion to all of creation – not just human kind. We need to ensure that the earth is healthy and cared for so that future generations can enjoy fruitful lives free from pollution.

Chris Brenton writes on behalf of the Social Justice Commission at Holy Spirit Parish, St Clair.

Keep an eye on Catholic Outlook and on the Diocese of Parramatta’s Facebook and Instagram social media channels throughout this week as we share stories to mark Laudato Si’ Week.


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