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MGA Cosmology/Eco-justice Committee Report from Newfoundland September, 2017

September 23, 2017

Celebration of the Season of Creation, Ecumenical Prayer Walk, Cosmic Walk, Summer Environmental Day Camp

Celebration of the Season of Creation
Two new Resources:

1. A Dialogue Guide for Laudato Si’ published by CCCB Publications
On August 31, the eve of the Season of Creation, an information session on “A Dialogue Guide for Laudato Si”, produced by the Jesuit Forum was held at the Mercy Centre for Ecology and Justice. A Jesuit and the Director of the Forum facilitated the interesting and informative session. In these sessions, the Forum encourages community building in small group meetings of 10 – 12 people which take place around a meal. In attendance there were three priests, one of our sisters involved in parish work, some Board members and a few colleagues. A very interesting and lively conversation gave further hope that this great work is taking root in the church and in society.

2. Living Out Laudato Si': A Commentary and Practical Resource for Canadian Catholics.
This second resource was published by the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops on September 1,2017 to mark the World Day of Prayer for the Season of Creation. This resource draws attention to the environmental issues facing Canada and challenges members to reflective engagement in dialogue leading to action. This resource is written to address each of the six chapters of the encyclical Laudato Si’ and has a series of reflective questions organized under the headings See, Learn, Pray, Act.
Members of different Canadian religious and church groups were invited to each put forth their reflections on one of the six chapters of the encyclical. Sister Mary Tee was invited to offer a reflection on chapter three. The 30-page document, is free and can be accessed here on the CCCB website. (30pps)

3. Ecumenical Prayer Walk:
To further awareness for the protection of Earth through the celebration of the Season of Creation the Mercy Centre for Ecology and Justice sponsored an Ecumenical Prayer Walk. This Walk focused on the four elements of Earth. The Walk, originally scheduled to take place through some of the downtown City streets with pauses for reflection and prayer along the way to the Waterfront, took place at the Basilica due to inclement weather. It was indeed a very meaningful event for all present as we processed around the Basilica stopping at various stations to reflect on each of the four elements. It was also encouraging to have the various parts of the service led by church leaders – the Anglican Bishop, the Vicar General representing our Archbishop, a minister representing the leader of the United Church along with a young woman representing youth. It is hoped that a similar service can be held in the various churches but this time with youth as the leaders.

Cosmic Walk:
The Cosmic Walk on the grounds of the Mercy Centre continues to gain interest. Individuals and small groups have been visiting the site, some making their way independently aided by a prepared script, and others receiving more direct guidance from those of us at the Centre.
Our Mercy Sisters, home from Peru to participate in our Chapter, have taken copies of the prepared script for the Cosmic Walk back to Peru to be translated into Spanish for their work for the protection of God’s creation in Peru. A United Church person who is a member of our Program Committee engaged people in a session on the Cosmic Walk at the United Church Conference held in Montreal in August. We will also present on the Cosmic Walk at the Canadian Catholic Development and Peace Conference to be here in St John’s in October.

Through these education sessions it is our hope that the long journey from the head to the heart will arrive to ignite a greater love and respect for God’s creation and turn people’s deep desire to the felt interrelated and interconnected reality that will restore our degraded planet and bring about the flourishing of all life on this planet.

Summer Environmental Day Camp:
The three-week Summer Environmental Day Camp program was a rewarding and exciting experience for all thirty-five campers who participated. The teachers hired to facilitate the camps were knowledgeable and experienced young women who provided a welcoming learning-fun atmosphere. As usual there was a different theme for each of the five days. Parents were delighted with the children’s new learnings and some told us that through their child’s excitement in sharing at home they, too, learned much about their deep connection to creation and the need to respond to the cry of Earth and its suffering people. We saw in the children some very good Earth Marshalls.

Messages to: Mary Tee rsm