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Caring for the Earth is close to home


The wisdom of ‘seniors’ and people from different cultures is being harnessed by a program established by members of the Croydon Park parish in response to Laudato Si’ and Pope Francis’ call to respond to the cry of the Earth.

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After attending the Adelaide Diocesan Assembly last year, Sister Catherine Seward rsm decided it was time for action at the local level and she set about forming small home groups to study Care for Our Common Home – an Australian group reading guide to Laudato Si’.

Written by Bill Huebsch and Trish Hindmarsh, the book breaks down the 184-page encyclical and offers reflections, discussion guides and Australian case studies.

Sr Catherine said seven leaders within the parish had “taken up the challenge” and had begun meeting in a variety of ways.

At the group sessions she has attended, the Mercy Sister has been “staggered by the wisdom already in action from group members”.

“I put this down to the amazing migrant backgrounds of so many: African, Indian, Polish, Vietnamese, Philippine, English, Aussie, Dutch, Hungarian…,” she said, adding there were nearly 40 ethnic groups in the parish.

“Many migrants have come from a background of poverty and know lots of ways of being sustainable.”

Maria Roscioli, whose heritage is Italian, said she had always been careful about things like electricity usage and recycling. And she walks everywhere.

“Now my granddaughter is learning from me,” she said.

Maria is part of a small group that meets on Mondays at Magda Miller’s home in Woodville North.

The group has nearly completed the reading guide and have come up with the idea of ‘wisdom posters’ for the three Croydon Park Mass centres to mark the Season of Creation.

They have been brainstorming creative suggestions and gathering materials for posters that they plan to make in coming weeks.

“To listen to what other people are doing, and learn from their knowledge, brings you out of your own little world,” Magda said.

“It brings the old into the new.”

Michele Cochrane recalled an ecological campaign run by radio station 5KA when she was at school and said it really impacted her.

“Ever since then I have been aware of making lifestyle choices such as riding my bike, catching the bus and recycling,” she explained.

Sr Catherine said the Archdiocese’s Council for Integral Ecology was a good way of connecting the Church to various government and ecumenical environmental initiatives.

“We need that outreach,” she said.

“Students learn about it all the time at school but the general Catholic population is not always as involved so we need to bring it to the notice of people in the parishes.”



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