Laudato Si: trial partnership between college and Catholic Earthcare Australia

Irene McCormack Catholic College has embarked on a new partnership with Catholic Earthcare Australia, becoming a trial college in a certification process created specifically for schools.  

Students and staff have been working hard to take the first steps towards a more sustainable school community; through their efforts the College was the first school in Australia to receive the Level One Certificate this year. 

Through the schools program, Catholic Earthcare Australia aims to acknowledge the good works happening in schools, nurturing their development in addressing ecological challenges to take better care of the earth.  

The student-led program is faith driven and encompasses whole school formation, action and celebration. 

Led by Ms Francesca Christie, Assistant Deputy Principal Campus Ministry, the College staff formed an Earthcare committee and under the mentoring of Ms Vivian Bahbah, students formed a sustainability committee auditing current school practices (while also taking care of a worm farm). 

The staff Earthcare committee have started turning student ideas into school projects, while the annual all-staff retreat day this year is being dedicated to reflecting on care for the earth.  

Bishop Vincent Long of Parramatta, the Chair of the Bishops’ Commission for Social Justice, Mission and Service, congratulated the College community on their work 

Students and staff have taken inspiration form Bishop Long’s reminder that living the ideals set out by Pope Francis in his encyclical “Laudato Si” is not an added extra; rather, it goes to the heart of what it means to be people of the Good News and to follow Sr Irene’s McCormack’s example, making a difference in the world through attitude and actions, and serving the best interests of the environment, of the poor and future generations.  

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