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Ecology and the following of Jesus (2010 )

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The 2010 National Assembly was held in Hobart from 29 June to 2 July. During the assembly, the 120 leaders from across Australia considered the integral importance that a commitment to ecology and sustainability places upon followers of Jesus.

They shared the work congregations are doing in this area and investigated and planned the future role of Religious in taking concrete action for ecological sustainability.

Keynote speaker was Father Denis Edwards, a priest of the Adelaide Archdiocese and senior lecturer in Systematic Theology at Flinders University.  Father Edwards is a prolific writer on topics relating to theology, science and ecology and has recently published a new book entitled How God Acts – Creation, Redemption and Special Divine Action.

Other speakers included Elizabeth Pike from the Catholic Aboriginal Ministry in Victoria and Senator Christine Milne, Deputy Leader of the Greens. Senator Milne spoke on the topic of ‘Values: the critical element in securing a safe climate’.

During the conference, leaders also spent time discussing the 2009 survey of Religious Life in Australia. The survey was undertaken on behalf of Catholic Religious Australia (CRA) by the Pastoral Planning Office of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference. The last formal survey of Religious in Australia was completed in 1976.

Father Frank Moloney SBD led delegates in a theological reflection of the survey, and a panel including Sister Anne Derwin RSJ, Father Steve Curtin SJ, Sister Patty Fawkner SGS and Father Tim Norton SVD led discussion on the future of religious life.