Catholic Earthcare Convocation

By Kerry Stone

The ‘journey’ consisted of eight sessions throughout the Season of Creation plus opening and closing reflection sessions. ‘Formation’ sessions looked at the theological and moral imperative to care for our common home; ‘foundation’ sessions explored the financial, economic, political and social spheres which influence our common home; and ‘action’ sessions explored the transformative ways in which we can realise the need to care for creation. 
The sessions were all recorded and can be found at www.youtube.com/channel/UCMwgitokr_0a8gdqTST6TCQ/videos. The speakers brought an amazing range of knowledge, experience, wisdom and commitment. I encourage you to listen to some or all of the sessions if you missed out. They are well worth your time.
I was asked to join a panel for the closing session of the Convocation, reviewing the journey. The questions and my responses follow.Earthcare Zoom Image 2 2

 

During this convocation; what has had the biggest impact on you … a quote, a fact, etc. ?

The whole world of economics and finance has never been an area of interest for me but, of course it’s so intimately entwined with the ‘things that matter’ that I’m now taking notice and realising how little I know!  So the economy and finance sessions made a big impact on me, particularly Tim Buckley’s presentation. It was hugely encouraging to hear the economic argument against fossil fuels which I had an inkling of but was so clearly presented here. A few quotes from Tim, “Coal is a dying technology … it’s a wealth hazard … Carmichael is a stranded asset!” will stay with me. A fact that stands out is that Mr Adani, such a well-known name in Australia, himself, sees the future in renewables and has far greater investments in renewables in India than in coal.

I was also impacted by a number of the other speakers (in the finance/economic sessions) showing the direction these economic facts were having on investment. And hearing Ross Garnaut saying, “Australia has the potential to be an economic superpower of the future post-carbon world” and speak of his involvement at Barcaldine – a practical application of his quotable quote: “Build it and they’ll believe it.”

And finally, another big impact is the huge frustration I feel that Australia has such untapped potential and that what was presented in the Convocation is not widely publicised and accepted in the broader Australian community.

[Note: Tim Buckley presented in Session 5; Ross Garnaut presented in Session 4]

What was the highlight of the convocation for you?

As mentioned, the economy and finance sessions were a highlight, so too is the fact that the speakers and the attendance numbers tell me that I’m not alone. In fact, there’s a very large, passionate, intelligent, motivated, active community out there.

However, I have to make special mention of Alice Carwardine. Her ecological conversion story, her interpretation of Jesus cleansing the temple which inspired her Overturn the Tables website and action, and her Lent that never ended – truly inspirational.

David Hutton was also interesting; provided me with some food for thought when he spoke of the tensions within CST – the push-down factors in subsidiarity and dignity, the push-up factors in solidarity and dignity, and I liked his comment “the test of spirituality is ‘does it move you out to make a difference?’”

[Note: Alice Carwardine presented in Sessions 1 & 7; David Hutton presented in Session 7]

 

What action will you be taking as a result of attending this Convocation?

I’ll continue to use the opportunities my Diocesan role offers to work with students, teachers, parishes and anyone who’ll listen. The Convocation has given me more personal knowledge and more resources to share as well as connections. My colleague from our Sandhurst Diocese ‘Care for Creation’ Group met the convenor of the Melbourne Archdiocese ‘Laudato Si’ Group in a chat room during one of the sessions, so we have since made connections and planned meetings between our two groups.
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As an ongoing action from the Convocation, I encourage you to join the Sandhurst Diocesan ‘Zoom’ gathering THIS FRIDAY 9 October 2.00-3.00 p.m. to discuss suggestions for action to ‘Care for Our Common Home’, including a Parish Environmental Audit tool to adapt for local situations, and further resources.
To receive the zoom link, email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. [Note: An evening ‘Zoom’ gathering will be offered later in October.]

Kerry Stone

Sandhurst Diocesan Coordinator
CARITAS / JUSTICE OFFICE

www.sandhurst.catholic.org.au/caritas-justice
www.facebook.com.au/caritasjusticesandhurst

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