Seven years ago Pope Francis gave us his Encyclical Letter, Laudato si’, On Care for Our Common Home. In this encyclical Pope Francis presented a sobering picture of the many ecological and social challenges we face, and called upon “every person living on this planet” (LS, 3) to enter into a dialogue and a new solidarity towards building a better future for our common home. In recent years the truth of what he wrote has been evident to all of us. This situation is critical and the Church is uniquely placed to advocate, care for and transform our world.
Last year I officially committed the Diocese of Wollongong to engage in the Laudato si’ Action Platform joining the global Catholic family in a seven year journey of ecological conversion.
Today, I launch the Office of the Bishop (OOB) and the Catholic Development Fund (CDF), Diocese of Wollongong Laudato si’ Action Plan. In the spirit of subsidiarity, where real ecological and social change happens at the local level, this is the first of many action plans that will bring about lasting change in the Diocese of Wollongong. I thank the diligent working group who have produced this Action Plan and I encourage every member of the OOB & CDF to embrace it.
I also encourage and call upon every individual, family, parish, religious order, school, pastoral work, community and organisation in the Diocese of Wollongong to write and embrace their own Laudato si’ Action Plan.
As we do this, we recognise that we are not starting from scratch. There are many wonderful environmental and social initiatives and actions that have occurred and are continuing to occur across our diocese, but more can be, and needs to be done. Please feel free to use the examples in this Action Plan in your own plan of action or reflect upon throughout your journey towards total sustainability in the spirit of Laudato si’. Where applicable, as part of our diocesan approach to engaging with the goals of Laudato si’, it is my expectation that all mission partners in the diocese will support and promote all action plans developed.
As Pope Francis has said, “We need a new ecological approach that can transform our way of dwelling in the world, our styles of life, our relationship with the resources of the Earth and, in general, our way of looking at humanity and living life.” (24 May 2021) For the sake of younger generations and their future, and for the sake of all species, human and other, “we must choose to eat, travel, spend, invest and live differently, thinking not only of immediate interest and gains, but also of future benefits.”
Yours in Christ
Most Rev Brian G Mascord DD Bishop of Wollongong
Launched 1 September 2022
The World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation
The first day of the Season of Creation
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If there are insufficient clear funds available in your account to meet a debit payment:
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with your financial institution whether direct debiting is available from your accounts offered by financial
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with your financial institution before completing the direct debit request if you have any queries about how to complete the direct debit
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Our diocesan logo is theologically rich and very succinct. As a hand, it depicts our mission as a diocese and as individuals within the diocese, of bearing (bringing, carrying) Christ’s love to one another and to the world around us. In this, we are the hand of Jesus Christ, and we are offering ourselves to him so that he might work through us.
We can be the bearers of his love only as a response to his call and in the strength of his grace. We are reminded of this in two ways—through the symbol of the dove (the Holy Spirit) also present in the logo, and by the incorporation of the cross that segments the logo. The presence of the cross is a reminder that bearing the love of Christ will inevitably cost us if we live it authentically. However, in the way that the Cross is the portent of redemption and life—an echo of the tree of life in the book of Genesis—so becoming bearers of the love of Christ will also bring us to life.
The four fingers of the hand also represent the four regions of our diocese. The first is bluerepresenting the beautiful water of the Shoalhaven. The second is a blue and green combination representing the waters and escarpment of the Illawarra. The third is greendepicting the hills and plains of the Macarthur. The fourth is dark green illustrating the forests of the Southern Highlands.