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Wednesday, 11 May 2016 15:55

A call to share transformed lifestyles for action

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ecojesuit square logoJesuits and work colleagues in the Asia Pacific region are gathering at the Culture and Ecology Center in Bendum, Bukidnon in the Philippines for a three-day environmental reflection workshop from 6 to 10 June 2016 to discuss and share how transformed lifestyles are moving a more meaningful and effective response to environmental and social concerns in the ministries in the region.

Organized and coordinated by the Reconciliation with Creation program of the Jesuit Conference Asia Pacific (JCAP), the workshop is developed from an acknowledgement that Laudato si’ has completely reframed the way Catholic communities view the one ecological and social crisis, as it calls for commitments to care for all life-giving relations. As such, Jesuits and partners in all apostolates are asked to accompany the vulnerable, who are usually in poorly sustained environments, while seeking and working with an integral ecology and experiencing anew God in all things.

There are three workshop topics: self and social inclusion, community and needs, and resources and society and the workshop intends to:

  • Support greater understanding and use of Laudato si’ and give substance to the Provincials’ joint statement
  • Seek greater clarity and practicality in engaging with questions of personal lifestyle, sustainability audits of Jesuit houses and institutes, and related advocacies such as on consumerism and consumption
  • Share current efforts in the various social, educational, pastoral and ecological apostolates and the connectivity of these actions as an integral ecology
  • Understand the challenges of climate change, biodiversity loss, water use and cultural change through greater sensitivity and better communication of the collective work needed in society in order to change
  • Consolidate commitments in communicating and championing the local Reconciliation with Creation agenda within each Province

As Michael Garanzini, SJ shared during a recent dialogue with the Stockholm Environmental Institute, the Society of Jesus is challenged to revise its perception of apostolates (high schools, universities, social work and parishes) as there has been no collective envisioning of how together, all these apostolates form the same mission representing one work to the world – and that is in using the intellectual life to help people change their hearts.

Fr. Garanzini says that this challenge needs to be faced as a corporate body and that as Jesuits and partners, we have “to think of ourselves differently in relation to the other apostolates and cooperate. We have an opportunity we have not used – to work as one. It is a globalized world and sustainability is an imminent challenge.”

If you wish to know more about this workshop, please email Ms Iris Legal at irisecojcap(at)gmail.com.

This was first published on 30 April 2016 in Ecojesuit.