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New plan calls for ecological conversion


Catholic schools are being encouraged to connect with each other and the wider world to ‘care for our common home’ as part of a strategic plan that has been launched by Catholic Education SA.

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Call to Ecological Conversion and Action was developed by the SA Commission for Catholic Schools’ Ecology Advisory Committee over the past two years.

Drawing inspiration from Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si’, committee members worked with leaders in the field – Mgr Denis Edwards, the professorial fellow in Theology at Australian Catholic University; Paul Clarke, professor of Education at St Mary’s University College, London; and Jacqui Remond, director of Catholic Earthcare Australia – to devise the strategic plan for Catholic schools in the State.

The plan covers five key areas for ecological conversion and action – Catholic identity, resources, learning, leadership and systems.

At the launch of the plan on November 2, CESA director Neil McGoran said he was excited about the opportunities offered in finding the “connections in our work”.

“The call to ecological conversion reminds us that schools and other schools, parishes and schools, parishes and other parishes, our diocese and other dioceses are all connected. We are a system. We are joined in a splendid universal communion,”
Dr McGoran told the gathering.

“Through this plan, may we come to see the joy of our universal communion, may we act as one, may we come to make a profound difference to people, the environment and to all living creatures.

“The call to ecological conversion is both a reminder of our ‘systemness’ – and a call for us to act on behalf of all human beings and all creatures. If we can accept this call and if we can truly act as the system we are and called to be, then our earth, and all of us in it, will be transformed.”

Monica Conway from the Ecological Advisory Committee said it was hoped schools and the Catholic Education Office would use the plan to develop their school or office plan. The committee hoped schools would “aim high” about how they could collaborate with each other and the wider Church to respond to Pope Francis’ call to care for our common home.

“We want to be known in the broader community for our commitment and success in this area and for contributing to a better environment, community, State and world. Our hope is that the plan will inspire everyone in the Catholic Education community and be a road map to take us to a future we and God desires,”
Ms Conway said.


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