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Reflection: Mercy for our Common Home



Our College theme for 2020 is Mercy for our Common Home. This theme will be present throughout the College during the year and aligns with the school’s goal of moving towards a sustainable future.

Catherine McAuley College is taking steps to reduce our carbon footprint. We have recently seen destruction and devastation around the globe, in all parts of the world, from the poorest countries, to our own backyard with disastrous bushfires and floods. Our planet is threatened as never before, including the potential for mass destruction of all its lifeforms. People are suffering from natural disasters, which is why we need to start caring for our common home, to avoid more devastation. Let us commit ourselves to taking concrete steps towards ecological conversion.

The Sisters of Mercy of Australia released a policy in 2016, An Integrated Approach to Sustainable Living, that addresses energy use, water use, waste, transport, procurement, investment and infrastructure throughout the institute and its ministries, setting measurable targets to follow to reduce damage to the earth. The policy includes a commitment to measure and monitor the impact of its sustainable living activities. This policy includes simply daily steps that every person can actively do, including buying local produce, cutting water usage and choosing to consider how we travel.

Pope Francis states in his 2015 encyclical, Laudato Si’:

As individuals, we have grown comfortable with certain lifestyles shaped by a distorted culture of prosperity and a “disordered desire to consume more than what is necessary” and we are participants in a system that “has imposed the mentality of profit at any price, with no concern for social exclusion or the destruction of nature”. Let us repent of the harm we are doing to our common home.

He expresses that every person living on this planet “lives out of deep interconnection and relationship with the natural world and each other, that we shall be a community which feels the pain of Earth and the cry of the Poor with a new ecological consciousness reflected in attitudes, habits, structures and actions”.

Charlotte Brook, Faith Captain