Ray Sanchez describes the work moving forward at St. Anthony in the Fields, at Terrey Hills, a suburb of North Sydney in Australia. The parish was the birthplace of the Passionist Family Group Movement, and is now taking a lead in becoming a green church that is implementing the teachings of Pope Francis’ encyclical, Laudato Si.
The post uses the words of those involved in the project, expressing their vision and hopes, the current state of their efforts and what has to be done.
“The church buildings are flexible, providing space for meetings, forums, gatherings and dinners. We hold forums on ecological issues and their related impacts and on other social Justice issues. We also hold gatherings and concerts with our indigenous friends and our youth use church and grounds for their activities. For a number of years, the church has been turned into a warm and welcoming environment for a gathering in solidarity with survivors of abuse."
In the midst of harsh unemployment, political gridlock, unprecedented violence in the streets of Haiti, we started a volunteering pilot program, following the model of the PVI (Passionist Volunteer International). We are calling this program Konbit Pierre Toussaint. Pierre Toussaint, a former slave of Haitian descent, is now a blessed in the church recognized for his generosity. Under his intersession we have invited 7 young adults who serve as alphabetization (writing and reading) teachers for the adults in the community. We have two of them volunteering at a local orphanage for children with severe mental and physical challenges. Our goal was to have our youth in the Konbit Pierre Toussaint inspire others through their service. So far, we can say for sure, that after 3 month of the program, our volunteers that are being inspired. They are realizing they can make a difference in the life of others. Read Hugo's full report here.
Fr. Joachim Rego, general superior of the Passionist congregation sent out Christmas letter to the Passionist family. His entire message is about the "Pact of the Catacombs for the Common Home." This is perhaps one of the most relevant and inspiring documents the church has produced in many years. The bishops were inspired by the style of another Catacombs Pact (The Pact for a Servant and Poor Church) signed before the Second Vatican Council in 1965.
Here's how Fr. Joachim describes the context: "Recently I attended the Union of Superiors General conference held here in Rome which was attended by almost 150 leaders of male religious orders and congregations. We also had the opportunity to meet and dialogue with Pope Francis. At the end of the final Mass of the conference, the leaders were invited to sign the Pact of the Catacombs for the Common Home For a Church with an Amazonian face, poor and servant, prophetic and Samaritan. This was a Pact signed on 20 October 2019 in the Roman Catacombs of Santa Domitilla by 40 Bishops attending the Amazon Synod about how they wanted to lead their particular churches in the Amazon region."
Fr Joachim's full statement is available here | Pacto en Español
Foto: Ghuillerme Cavalli
Following up Fr. Joachim's statement - Calls to Action