In 2016 Pope Francis declared an eighth spiritual and corporal work of mercy – Care for Our Common Home. As people of mercy, we made the decision to focus on this theme as it aligns with our commitment as a reGEN school to work towards a more sustainable and just future for all.

Throughout 2021, the Catherine McAuley College (CMC) community will fully explore what this means and identify the challenges presented to us as people of mercy in our current climate.

The evidence of climate change prompts us to stop and think about how we live on our planet. Pope Francis calls each of us to “be ‘protectors’ of creation, protectors of God’s plan inscribed in nature, protectors of one another and of the environment.” As a reGEN school, we are called to respond and adopt new ways of living. We hear the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor, recognising that the world’s poorest communities are most affected by the changes to our planet.

As people of mercy, we are called to stretch open our hearts with compassion to those who need our loving care. We know that if we work together to improve the wellbeing of all people and the health of our planet, we are building a home for ourselves and future generations that is just and fair for all.

As people of mercy, we are challenged to be agitators who shake things up, seek the truth and create change. Our choices have an impact. Our actions make a difference.

How can each of us make small behavioural changes to work for a more sustainable future?

What more do we need to know about global issues and movements for change?

How can we be agitators who stand up for our earth and for all living things, including the most vulnerable people, to be drivers of change in our families and community?

Our 2021 theme, Mercy for Our Common Home, encompasses everything that we do at CMC. This year, we are committed to exploring how we can bring about change both locally and globally. We commit ourselves to deeply consider how we shop and what we purchase, what we consume, what packaging is used and how we conserve or waste resources. As leaders in the college we must consider the legacy that we leave behind and how we want to be remembered.

As people of mercy, we continue to open our hearts and minds to recognise our interconnectedness with all people and all living things on our earth. As human beings we do not exist in isolation. We depend on connection, community, and interdependence. May we respond to Pope Francis’ challenge to be “stewards of God’s creation…called to make the earth a beautiful garden for the human family.