Beginning at home -- caring for our planet

​ From Sydney, Australia, Ron Nissen shares an initiative of the Marist Family JPIC Committee… Living on the Pacific rim brings ecological issues very close to where we live, especially the dramatic effects of climate change on rising sea levels for our island neighbours. These people were the first we knew in the pioneer missions of the Society of Mary. Indeed, our own sunburnt and flood-ridden country is suffering as never before from environmental changes. And so we couldn't – nor would we want to – ignore the challenge of Laudato Si. It is a key ongoing item on our agenda. Two questions Beginning with our own domestic scenes we asked two questions: 'What are we doing?' and 'What mor...
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Season of Creation - sustainability practices

Fr William Rowland sm, President of Marist School, Atlanta, USA recently sent this plan from his Staff, for the Season of Creation.   " We met yesterday to discuss ideas on how we here at Marist can best observe and honor the Season of Creation. Our idea is to focus on different sustainability practices each week. Below is an outline of the schedule: Sept 2-6 – Introduction of the Season of Creation through morning prayers and announcements Sept 9-13 – "Sorting Waste" – We will send a video made by Emma McEvoy that instructs students on how to properly sort their waste at lunch to foundations and advisories for viewing. Members of the environment club will also help students s...
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Aquaculture Project – Marist Eco-Centre Fiji

Fr Donato & Seminarians - Aquaculture
Donato Kivi sm, Superior of Marist College Suva, writes:      As part of our development at the Marist Eco-Center Dawasamu - some 70 km north of Suva -  some of our community members took time out during their semester break to build two water dams for our aquaculture project. This is an initiative on climate change adaptation, where the aquaculture on land in ponds is an option for the impact of climate on coral reefs (rise in seawater temperatures) that has disturbed marine life. ​ Fish are becoming scarce living inshore where locals use to fish. At the Centre which is situated along the coast, we want to model aquaculture as another way of helping coastal peo...
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Marists in Tanna, Vanuatu

Mt Yasur, Tanna, Vanuatu, Oceania
​ Fr Ókustino Epokifoóu writes from Tanna Island, Vanuatu, where the Gospel first arrived in the 19 th Century but met strong resistance. Cargo cults are still active – especially the John Frum cult.It is one of the least developed islands in Vanuatu, and one of the most populated – with some 29,000 people who live mainly from subsistence farming. The Marists were called on mission there in the 1980's. Tanna was one of the Islands most devastated by Cyclone Pam [Category 5] in March 2015 – destroying homes, schools and Churches.The current Marist Community are Fr Eneriko Nacolarara [Sup/PP – Fiji], Okustino Epokifo'ou [VSup/Bur -Tonga], and Louis Maite [Vanuatu - Education]. I enjoy the work...
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Ecological conversion: the future of our world

Pope Francis & Greta Thunberg - 17 April Vatican
After the final no there comes a yes, and on that yes the future of the world depends . The above quote, and this article, are presented by Peter Healy sm, NZ, member of the SM Commission for Ecology. These words from the poet Wallace Stevens, are favourite lines of Al Gore the ex American vice-President. He uses them in his environmental campaigning.The nos we hear all around us are many and varied."No, things are not that bad.No, a solution will be found to all this. No, all we need is faith in God.No worries, I can carry on as usual, it's the really bad guys who need to change.No need to to do anything I'll be dead and buried by the time it's a real problem".We hope these nos are growing ...
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Eco Marist project, Cameroon, Africa

Fr Luigi Salvodelli sm & Albert Kabala sm
Fr Albert Kabala sm, District Superior of Africa, writes: The creation of the agricultural project at Nkoloman in the heart of the central African forest in Cameroon, by the African Marist District started in 2015 by the buying 5 hectares of land. Till date we have planted 7,000 plants of cocoa, 13,000 plants of banana plantains, 75 fruit trees (oranges, plums, avocado, pawpaw) in addition we have a vegetable garden, pineapple farm, a poultry farm, cocoa, yams, maize, sweet potatoes and a fish farm (2,200 three species of fish) where we are using natural methods respecting nature and without chemical products. We have started a well for drinkable water at the farm. " One particularly se...
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Lent, meat and planet

Eat Less Meat - Help the Planet
Lent is upon us, this coming Wednesday, 06 March.  In our Eco-Aware Age, and with the Call of Pope Francis, in Laudato Si, for us to grow in our Ecological Conversion, what can I do to make a difference?  One way is to eat less meat, or go without it for a selected number of days.  Global Catholic Climate Movement -  https://catholicclimatemovement.global/lent-2019/   tells us that according to Yale University and other experts, cattle ranching accounts for approximately 80% of deforestation in Brazil. Cattle ranchers cut down the forest–often illegally, and often by taking it from indigenous people–in order to graze cattle. Sources of deforestation in Braz...
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Beekeeping and our Common Home

​ Pat Brophy sm, NZ, writes:  I've always been interested in beekeeping. At the beginning of last year, reflecting on the call of Pope Francis, to go out to places, people and groups where the church isn't really present was an opportunity to begin beekeeping. ​ I began by attending a beekeeping course presented by the Wellington bee-keepers association .After completing the course I bought a hive last November. We now have four hives and two 'nucs'. The 'nucs' (nucleus hives) are five frames in a smaller box made up of bees, pollen and honey, and a queen cell. These are taken from an overcrowded hive, which is in danger of swarming. Out of the queen cell her majesty will emer...
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Ecological Conversion: low carbon lives

IPCC and Laudato Si...
Peter Healy sm , New Zealand Marist, names a "blessed unrest" and how a global perspective on Climate Change calls for 'ecological conversion' and the development of low carbon living…. The latest Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change Report (IPCC 2018) tells us we need to move to low-carbon lives immediately. In a prophetic appeal, this Panel of scientists is inviting humanity to transform. They are saying we need "rapid, far-reaching changes in all aspects of society". The IPCC is an international panel of scientists set up in 1988 by UN agencies to assess the science that helps us understand the risk of human-induced climate change. Since 2014 the reports have been saying we can see ...
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Eco-mangrove project, Suva

A special project of the Marian Ecological Centre, Suva, involves the regeneration of mangroves on the shore fronts of Suva, Fiji. Director of the Centre, Fr Donato Kivi, recruited staff and students of the Marist College community for a working bee to plant mangrove cuttings on the low tide mud flats by the shore.
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Marian Ecological Centre, Suva

Fr Donato Kivi sm, the Superior of Formation House, Marist College, has embarked on a mission to create a Marian-Ecological Centre and opening a door for people to learn that through a Marian spirituality, one can grow in awareness that our Marist Charism can provide an answer to our ecological crisis today. Marist Spirituality Based on Constitution 228: The spirit of Mary is the Spirit of Humility: "Intimate union with God, and the most ardent love of neighbour." We can add a third dimension which is the care and love of all creation. The Approach: The approach begins with the Spirit of Mary, the spirit of humility. Mary the humus, the soil of God from which the WORD was made flesh and beca...
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