Marist Ecology - Tutu

Planting Nitrogen-fixing trees
Fr Petero Matairatu sm, Director of Marist Training Centre, Tutu, Fjii, sends this Report:     INTRODUCING SUSTAINABLE COMMERCIAL FARMING SYSTEMS AT TUTU AND IN ITS CATCHMENT AREA Soil Health Soil health is still Tutu's main priority for sustainable expansion of the formation of self-employment training for youth in agriculture. With the lessons learned from the previous soil school program, Tutu has integrated soil health into its course for the formation of young farmers and its staff. The continuous covering of Tutu land with mucuna beans, kaliyandra, drala and bainicagi as nitrogen fixing trees have helped the formation of Tutu's participants as custodian of the land. The ...
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Cook Islands - Laudato Si

Cook Island Children - Cosmopolitan
+Paul Donoghue sm, Bishop of the Cook Islands, former Provincial of Oceania Marist Province, sent this Article during the Season of Creation:  The Diocese of Rarotonga is one of those places where the document "Laudato Si" has gathered dust on the book shelf for 5 years. The excuse is that themes from Rome come a bit too quickly and it takes more time to do them justice than Rome allows. For example we spent nine months on the Extraordinary month on Mission in 2019 rather than just one month. We were finishing this theme keen to be joyful missionary disciples when our churches were closed for COVID-19. We moved into the reality of the Domestic Church - a church operating in families wit...
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Australia's growing list of 'Dodos'

Tasmanian Tiger - Dead as a Dodo
The Season of Creation: 01 September - 04 October: will soon be here for us to honor.  One of the key issues is loss of Biodiversity in our Common Home.  Our blog this week comes from Fr Jim Carty sm, on the increasing loss of biodiversity in Australia.  Australia's Shame If something is said to be as dead as a dodo, it means that it is not working, or obsolete, or has disappeared. It refers to the flightless and now extinct bird that was taken by sailors to their ship and kept alive for fresh meat. The Portuguese named the birds "doudo', meaning stupid. In a recent article in the Sydney Morning Herald writer Mike Foley asks: "Why is Australia a Global leader in wildlife extin...
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Covid & Ecology in Africa

Covid-Fr Modeste-Cameroun-Africa
Fr Albert Kabala sm, District Superior, wrote recently of news in Africa:  During confinement, Fr. Modeste in Bambili produced hand sanitizers and distributed to all confreres in Cameroon, And at the Colin District House in Yaoundé, we have a test kit for confreres and our students who wish to carry out individual and voluntary tests. Our Lady of Fatima Parish, Bambili, Cameroun: The family at work. In consideration of our situation in Bambili, the Our Lady of Fatima Parish decided to build the Parish hall. The building of the Parish hall is the business of all classes of people in the Parish as our family work pictures can attest.  The Laudato Si project: Two sows gave birth ...
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Cathedral of Hope - Oslow - Laudato Si

Elizabeth Golding - Oslow - Norway
Elisabeth S. Golding. Friend of the Marists in Norway, delivered the address below in the Cathedral of Hope, Oslow, on World's Environment Day Friday 5 June 2020  Five years ago, Pope Francis asked us all to take care of the Earth. Have we listened? After Pope Francis, five years ago, published his "Laudato Si" Encyclical (circular document) to the Catholic Church, to other Christians and to world leaders, as well as to all people of goodwill, many around the world became aware of the environmental challenges facing us all. The Holy Father said "The environmental challenge we are undergoing - and its human roots - is worrying and affects us all… As Christians inspired by this ...
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Marist Tutu Rural Training Centre

Shoreline at Tutu - Fiji
Fr Isaia Wairoga sm sends this news from Tutu, Taveuini, Fiji: a Prioritized Ministry in Oceania Marist Province, which has been developed over 45+ years:  The Aim of our Training Centre is to provide a Place and a Presence where the local People are empowered to become more autonomous, and take charge of their own lives in a rapidly changing world.  It involves a transforming and reciprocal outreach to the People of the Pacific. MESSAGE FROM THE EDITOR  [Fr Isaia]  Greetings and Bula vinaka to you all friends of Tutu. This year we have just launched a Tutu Bulletin to share our own stories with you. We are so blessed with the continuous support of all Tutu friends on wha...
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Home ecology - Marist college Suva

Marist College Suva - home garden
Donato Kivi sm, leader of our Ecology Commission, and Superior of Marist College, Suva, Fiji, sends this report:     Outreach   29th May - Members from the Pacific Conference of Churches Programs Team visiting Marist College. The PCC programs team have been running the Green Church Project with their member churches in Tuvalu, Kiribati and our Secretariat Office; just recently with Vanuatu and Tonga. This started in 2013 after the 10th PCC General Assembly Meeting in the Solomon Islands. The initial aim of the project was to promote locally grown food and build healthy families and communities through the various activities associated with backyard gardening to the '...
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Laudato Si' - Judge - Act

On this 5th Anniversary of Laudato Si' we recall: For some fifty years science has been telling us of serious concerns for all life on Planet Earth: - Since the Industrial Revolution, some 200 years ago, the population of the world has had a 15x increase: from .5 billion to 7.8 billion - During the same time, with the use of fossil fuels, people use on average 20x as much energy / day as we did before the Industrial revolution. - This means that in the last 200 years there is a 300x greater use of energy to utilize, or exploit, the natural world's resources per day than there ever was before in the 200,000 years of human existence, and the 3.8 billion years it took the planet to evolve these...
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Laudato Si 2015-2020

Wisdom figure - NDF London
​ Sr Catherine Jones smsm, NZ-London, writes:    This beautiful tapestry of the Wisdom Figure, "who delights to be with the children of the earth" (Prov 8:31) welcomes you as enter Notre Dame de France Church, London, a Marist ministry. Wisdom is in our midst inviting us to live in respect and harmony with all of God's creation. Yet Pope Francis reminds us in Laudato Si (LS) that our Mother Earth "cries out to us because of the harm we have inflicted on her by our irresponsible use and abuse of the goods with which God has endowed her" (LS 2) The Pope has invited us to remember the fifth anniversary of Laudato Si, with a week of prayer, conversion and activities, 16-...
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Corona virus in a Time of Climate Crisis

Maori life-force stones
Fr Peter Healy sm, NZ, reflects on the new corona virus in a time of crisis:    At our last Māori mass here in Ōtaki, Aotearoa New Zealand we named and blessed three kōhatu mauri or life-force stones.This is a traditional Māori practice for helping people focus and ground their intentions. Our three kōhatu mauri called Te Whenua, Ngā Wai and Te Tuarangi, represented our land, our waters and our universe and heavens.The kōhatu when blessed were given the task of embodying for our community a collection of concerns and hopes.  The kōhatu Whenua was tasked with holding the corona virus within the context of the larger issues facing our earth community.We named inequality of incom...
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Australia down under & under attack

Koala in the Aussie fires 2019-20
Fr Jim Carty sm, Australia, writes this report on the 2019-2020 extremes of fire and flood:   Australia rarely makes the international News cycle - we are "down under" and out of sight. Sadly, when we do hit the headlines it is often for wrong or horrible reasons. At the moment we are big news and sadly here are the reasons why: 1. Australia is perhaps more than any other nation the "canary in the coal mine" when it comes to the reality of climate change world wide - and what an ironic analogy that is, because of our continued emissions from coal-powered power plants and the fact that Australia is one of the leading coal exporting nations in the world. FIRE 2. Bush-fires ...
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Beloved Amazon - Pope Francis

Pope Francis - beginning - Amazon Synod
​ A few days ago, Pope Francis released his post-synodal exhortation Querida Amazonia - Beloved Amazon. This week's blog is a 'taste' of a few gems of the four Dreams Francis offers us: a Social Dream; a Cultural Dream; an Ecological Dream; and an Ecclesial Dream. His concluding prayer is to Mary, mother of all creatures. The full text can be read   here    CHAPTER ONE - A SOCIAL DREAM "a true ecological approach always becomes a social approach; it must integrate questions of justice in debates on the environment, so as to hear both the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor". We do not need an environmentalism "that is concerned for the biome but ignores the Amazonian...
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Water: essential, fundamental

Fr Luigi Savoldelli's Well - Cameroon
Water: essential, fundamental, universal human right. With this title Fr Luigi Savoldelli sm, Italian Marist in Cameroon says "I wanted to start this, my first article, on the experience that I am living with my brother Africans and the people of Cameroon, resuming a passage of the encyclical "Laudato Si" by Pope Francis. In the context of this encyclical, the agricultural project that we are sharing is part of the Marist community of Cameroon and a group of local poor families. Among the elements of the project an important aspect is that of water, a vital and essential element for human life; In order to respond to the need to be able to guarantee to the local community, which will gather ...
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Laudato Si - Marist Family 2020

Cristina smsm, Anne sm, Ben sm, Ángel fms
This Year, 2020, is the 5th Anniversary of 'Laudato Si' and the 50th Anniversary of 'Earth Day'. On 11th January members of our Marist General Councils - Cristina Giustozzi smsm,  Anne McCabe sm, Ben McKenna sm, and  Ángel García fms,  met together to reflect on: 1. What are our General Chapters calling us to do? 2. What is happening in our Branch of the Society?  3. What Resources are we using?  and 4. How can we support each other and work together?     What are our General Chapters Calling us to do?Each member shared on their work and commitment to 'Laudato Si' within their branch of the Society...
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SMNZ Draft Sustainability Policy

Kiwi Marists: Phil Cody & Peter Healy
​Peter Healy sm, a member of the Ecology Commission, has been working, in dialogue with the SM NZ Provincial Administration, to develop the following Draft Sustainability Policy Preamble: This policy sets down for the Society of Mary practical steps for our involvement towards the creation of a life sustaining world.Care of our common home is an intrinsic part of living the gospel today. We will take inspiration and direction from Laudato Si. Mary and her talent for homemaking and gardening in the village of Nazareth can be a model for our endeavors.  Principles: We will live the Spirit of the Society authenically by attending to our way of life and how it impacts on our planet home. We...
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Web of life - ecumenical - inter-religious

The web of life
​Donato Kivi sm, presented the following homily [abbreviated here] at an ecumenical and inter-faith celebration at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Suva, 17th September:       We are here because environmental protection is a concern for all of us – we are concerned about the well-being of our environment because it touches our very being as humans living on this planet we call home. Our environment covers many areas like food security, health security, energy security, economic security, social security, cultural security and so forth. This all comes down to our human security. The first couple, Adam and Eve who Jews, Muslims and Christians believe as their first par...
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Saving Economy or Saving People?

'You are concerned about saving your economy in Australia … I am concerned about saving my people in Tuvalu,'" - Mr Sopoaga [Prime Minister of Tuvalu, South Pacific].​Ross Flint, Anglican Priest and Marist Associate, writes from Launceston, Tasmania: ​ Pacific Islands Forum: How Enele Sopoaga and Scott Morrison lost when Australia scuttled Tuvalu's hopes  at the Pacific Island Forum, Tuvalu. 13-16 August 2019 https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-08-18/pacific-islands-forum-2019-climate-change-focus/11417422 The Prime Minister of Tuvalu went fishing on Thursday morning. Up before dawn, he'd arranged for a dozen Tuvaluan men to join him in a demonstration of traditional fishing methods for th...
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Eco-Retreat - “Laudato Si – What is mine to do?”

Retreat Group - Anne & Terry front centre
​ This small report is from Ben McKenna, on the joy, privilege and challenge in attending a recent Eco-Retreat, at An Tairseach Ecology Centre, Wicklow, Ireland. It ran from 15-20 July, and was given by Anne and Terry Symens-Bucher, husband and wife team, Franciscans, who hail from Canticle Farm, California. "An Tairseach" is Gaelic for "Threshold" – a word rich in meaning for growth and progress in life, personally, communally, and globally – in this era of the Anthropocene where we are being called to Care for our Common Home. The Dominican Sisters began their project some 20 years ago: an Organic Farm and Ecology Centre, for Education, Sabbaticals, Retreats, Courses and Acc...
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