Marian Ecological Centre, Suva

Marian-Eco-Centre-1018

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 became the new creation. In our Pacific context, the soil which makes up the land is vital to us. It is viewed as the extension of our people. In most of our cultures, it is understood as the vanua, fonua, fanua, , 'enua, whenua, as we call it in the Pacific. A theology that accompanies a renewed understanding of "the land and the people" - is needed in Oceania. In Laudato Si Pope Francis wrote, "The human environment and the natural environment deteriorate together" – Isn't this the broken vanua in a nutshell? As Oceanians what is our answer to this? What is our mission to a broken human environment and natural environment?

Aim of the Ecological Centre

To allow Oceanians to rediscover an ecological approach that will rekindle their call for the healing of the people and the land. The Centre will deepen one's cultural understanding of "land and people" in relation to Mary's call as the humble servant of God. It will use a Marian-ecological spirituality that sees Mary as the "soil," the "garden" and the "earth."

It will have the three inter-related disciplines: (Franciscan related)

  1. To have a scientifically informed ecology
  2. To have a sound theology of ecology
  3. The practice of reflective action


What are the practical things to be done?

  • Building an Eco-home- Following the design of famous Earthbag builder Nader Khalili.
    • "A shovel, bags, a little barbed wire and the earth beneath are all that are needed to build with earth-bags." Nader Khalili.
    • Earthbag construction offers a broad possibility for ultra-low-cost, low-impact housing, especially in regions where timber, cement, steel, and fuel are scarce.
    • Earthbag house is fireproof, can be exposed to hurricanes and other extreme weather. Solid as the earth, it holds excellent thermal mass and cannot rot or be eaten by insects.
    • Using renewable energy for electrical power – Solar, wind or hydro.

Creating a farm

    • Using organic and permaculture technique by mimicking how organic materials provide ground cover and nutrients on forest floors. This technique helps individuals to work with micro-organisms heal the soil. It is more exciting then conventional farming because it implements a "no-dig" and "no-weed" method.
    • It will teach farming without chemicals making a contribution to protecting human health and to restoring the diversity, integrity, and beauty of the eco-system which is our land.
    • We will use this Ecological Centre as a resource for education in how to live sustainably, delighting in the beauty and diversity of the natural world
Eco-mangrove project, Suva

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Comments 6

Guest - FR. MICHAEL MAHONEY sm on Friday, 18 January 2019 23:44

I think the JPIC group is very important, both for the SM and for our planet. The eco-home earthbag construction idea seems brilliant for contemporary needs. Congratulations to the confreres and others involved. I will see what we can do here in our parish in South Westland, NZ, a remote part of NZ, that will be motivated by the same goals. Chemicals are ruining our soils and rivers in this ex-pristine part of the country.

I think the JPIC group is very important, both for the SM and for our planet. The eco-home earthbag construction idea seems brilliant for contemporary needs. Congratulations to the confreres and others involved. I will see what we can do here in our parish in South Westland, NZ, a remote part of NZ, that will be motivated by the same goals. Chemicals are ruining our soils and rivers in this ex-pristine part of the country.
Ben sm on Saturday, 19 January 2019 09:18

Great to receive your comment Michael! We're on the same page in regard to the planet! We'll be keen to hear from you in South Westland, NZ, and if you get something going then we'll be very happy to put it up for you - for the benefit of all of us! Fraternally, Ben

Great to receive your comment Michael! We're on the same page in regard to the planet! We'll be keen to hear from you in South Westland, NZ, and if you get something going then we'll be very happy to put it up for you - for the benefit of all of us! Fraternally, Ben
FrRon on Saturday, 19 January 2019 09:22

An encouraging comment, Michael. This blog could well be the start of something big for the SM. Blessings. Ron

An encouraging comment, Michael. This blog could well be the start of something big for the SM. Blessings. Ron
Guest - James Carty on Sunday, 20 January 2019 04:26

Thanks Michael, great to hear from your place way down south- hope the pristine shore lines of southern NZ are plastic free- Check our our Darling river system here in sunbaked Oz- tens of thousands of fish dead, green algae and no water killed them- everyone is blaming everyone else- bad planning, too much water for irrigation especially for cotton farming- Cobby farm- massive use- and of course one of the hottest summers in history and prolonged drought. Oh dear what a report card. Much to do.

Thanks Michael, great to hear from your place way down south- hope the pristine shore lines of southern NZ are plastic free- Check our our Darling river system here in sunbaked Oz- tens of thousands of fish dead, green algae and no water killed them- everyone is blaming everyone else- bad planning, too much water for irrigation especially for cotton farming- Cobby farm- massive use- and of course one of the hottest summers in history and prolonged drought. Oh dear what a report card. Much to do.
Guest - Aisake Vaisima on Monday, 21 January 2019 10:53

We felt at times that our efforts, at least in the islands of the South Pacific, are only little drops in the vast ocean of the ecological crisis without making a difference. But we must keep going for every little drops would will make a difference when it is world wide. Thank you for getting this going for the whole society. We pray for more hands to join with their little drops.

We felt at times that our efforts, at least in the islands of the South Pacific, are only little drops in the vast ocean of the ecological crisis without making a difference. But we must keep going for every little drops would will make a difference when it is world wide. Thank you for getting this going for the whole society. We pray for more hands to join with their little drops.
Guest - Justin from Brisbane on Tuesday, 22 January 2019 01:22

Great to see the new blog site getting the conversation happening and all the comments!

Great to see the new blog site getting the conversation happening and all the comments!
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Sunday, 21 July 2019