The Pacific Calling Partnership conversation “Pope Francis, us, and our common home in the Pacific” was held in Del Monte School Hall on Sunday 11th October.
The day was organised by a committee of members of religious congregations who have members in the Pacific.
Jill Finnane from Edmund Rice Centre (ERC) was the coordinator. Srs Jill Shirvington and Rosemary Kinne represented the Dominican sisters on the committee.
The conversation was facilitated by Jan Barnett SOSJ.
Perspectives on the Encyclical were presented by speakers familiar with the issues in the Pacific.
Sr Teresa Tebaia OP spoke about Solomon Islands. Teresa spoke about the impact of climate change Solomon Islands and the adaptations being made. She explained that most of the 500,000 population of this Melanesian country live in villages and grow their own food and catch fish. Most people are Christians. The king tides and more intensive cyclones are causing erosion, flash flooding and salt contamination of wells and gardens. Logging also causes erosion of soil. Teresa showed pictures of these effects. The Dominican sisters are involved in projects for providing water tanks and solar panels. They participate in education of adults and children in schools to promote sustainable lifestyle.
Fr Claude Mostowik MSC gave the Sacred Heart family view and Sr Joanne Fitzsimons OSC, the Franciscan view. They also spoke about reflections from Laudato Si.
The OLSH congregation group led by Sr Philippa Murphy fdnsc presented “One Congregation’s New Climate Change Direction and Stories from the Pacific Islands.”
Maria Tiimon from PCP, Kiribati sisters and friends contributed story and song.
The final presenter was a vibrant young speaker who is a Santa Sabina ex-student. Therese Corkish is the Youth Engagement Officer with Catholic Earthcare Australia. She spoke about her work in schools and parishes.
The conversation concluded with suggestions for action and commitment for individuals, groups and congregations.
Information for Dominican involvement : firstname.lastname@example.org
Links to :
Pacific Calling Partnership www.erc.org.au
Catholic Earthcare Australia : www.catholicearthcare.org.au
The Global Catholic Climate Movement : http://catholicclimatemovement.global