JCAP Education Colloquium focus on best ecological practices
Father B.Juliawan from Indonesia highlighted the role of Jesuit schools in teaching justice to today’s generation, pointing that progress is one of the driving forces of the destruction of our planet.
The 2014 JCAP Education Colloquium titled ‘The Planet is Our Home’, held at St Ignatius’ College Riverview in Sydney from July 8 to 12, discussed the role Jesuit schools can play in promoting reconciliation with creation.
Nearly 100 delegates from nine countries across the Jesuit Conference of Asia Pacific – Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau, Indonesia, Cambodia, Philippines, Timor Leste, and Australia – participated in the Colloquium.
“There is no institution so old that it has nothing left to learn – and the Catholic Church must commit to learning about and changing its practices in relation to ecological issues,” said Colombian Jesuit Father José Mesa, Secretary of Primary and Secondary Education at the Jesuit Curia in Rome and one of the keynote speakers at the event.
Father Christopher Gleeson, JCAP’s Secretary for Basic and Secondary Education, said that a decision was taken in the early planning phase itself to focus the 2014 Colloquium on one of the Society’s highest priorities and greatest challenges – Reconciliation with Creation.
Each of the three days had its particular sub-theme: theology and spirituality of creation; reconciliation with creation globally; and best practice in reconciliation with creation.
Father Benny Juliawan from Indonesia highlighted the role of Jesuit schools in teaching justice to today’s generation, pointing that progress is one of the driving forces of the destruction of our planet.
There was also time to examine and share resources in best practice. JCAP Coordinator for Reconciliation with Creation, Father Pedro Walpole, opened the session with some powerful reflections on the importance of living a simple life. Award-winning Ann Austin spoke about the best practice in building construction and management, providing advice for those in the audience contemplating new school buildings. Maria Tiimon from the Pacific Calling Partnership shared her own moving story about the devastating effects of climate change on her family home in the low-lying Pacific islands of Kiribati and Tuvalu.
Each afternoon was devoted to two sessions of workshops on a wide variety of topics including ecological conversion and the Ecological Examen, an environmental walk around the scenic Riverview campus, First Nations spirituality, Ignatian listening to God in nature, teaching justice, energy audits and lowering one’s energy bills, sustainability in the Australian curriculum, bringing higher education to camp-based refugees, stimulating growth in low-income countries, visiting a coal loader, a Healing Earth Coordinators’ course, environmental best practice in building, climate justice, and empowering students to solve our waste crisis.