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Friday, 31 July 2015 08:11

A small change to the environment can make a big difference to Creation

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Sr Carol Zinn Tas lectureSmall changes in attitude and behaviour towards the environment could make a big difference in our care for Creation, according to Sr Carol Zinn.

Based in USA and a member of the Sisters of St Joseph in Philadelphia, Sr Carol was explaining how parishes could address some of the issues raised in the Pope’s encyclical at a grassroots level.

She spoke to audiences in Launceston, at the Emmanuel Centre, and in Hobart, at Guilford Young College, as part of the 2015 John Wallis Memorial Lecture tour.

The lecture was part of a three-state six-date speaking tour in Australia.

‘’My hope is that parishes will take up the invitation Pope Francis offers to engage in reading and studying the encyclical, form discussion groups, reach out to people across generation lines, invite people from other faiths to join in the conversations, and include local politicians, business and media representatives in the conversations,’’ Sr Carol said.

‘’With careful reflection and conversation, it's likely that there are many and varied ways that local groups can act on the challenges contained in the encyclical.’’

Sr Carol explained that Pope Francis was building on the environmental messages of Popes John Paul ll and Benedict XVl in his encyclical.“Pope Francis invites all humans to consider the fragile and sacred nature of Creation, our respect and care for it, and the shift in human consciousness needed as we consider the health and well-being of the created, natural world and our relationship with it,’’ she said

‘’In the encyclical, Pope Francis appeals to each person and every human heart.

“He urges a serious reflection on lifestyles, consumerism, the plight of persons who are poor, the impact of industrial and digital progress on the environment and people, the condition of Earth's elements, air, water, soil, and the realities of climate change and global warming that seem increasingly irrefutable.’’

Sr Carol Zinn is on the leadership team of the Conference of Women Religious and the General Council of the Sisters of St Joseph in Philadelphia, USA.

She is also a former non-government organisation representative to the United Nations.

About 25 people attended her talk in Launceston and about 70 in Hobart.

John Wallis Foundation Executive Officer Liz McAloon, who travelled with Sr Carol, said Tasmanian audiences were eager to hear the lecture about environmental sustainability and justice.

“Sr Carol was extremely well received wherever she went, and in particular the rural and regional areas,” she said.

“In Hobart [Sr] Carol spoke quite a bit about the encyclical and you could hear a pin drop,” she said.

Sr Carol Zinn is on the leadership team of the Conference of Women Religious and the General Council of the Sisters of St Joseph in Philadelphia, USA.

She is also a former non-government organisation representative to the United Nations.

This article was first published in The Catholic Standard, the official newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Hobart.