The Archdiocese of Wellington Ecology, Justice and Peace Commission (EJP) is made up of 12 members who meet bi-monthly to contribute to and participate in work for justice and peace inspired and informed by Catholic social teaching. The Commission’s key responsibilities are:
- Supporting the communities of the Archdiocese and wider community to hear and actively respond to the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor;
- Scrutinising all issues and institutions in society and in the Archdiocese in the light of Catholic social teaching;
- Encouraging and enabling the people of the Archdiocese to collectively deepen their understanding of the “peripheries” in order to respond and take action for change.
The work of the Commission is based on Catholic social teaching, which centres on the love of Jesus for the poor and excluded in the Gospel.
In 2019, following reflection on the 2017 Archdiocesan Synod recommendations and Pope Francis’ teaching on caring for creation, the Commission was given a new name, mandate and structure.
The Chair of the EJP Commission is Jim McAloon.
The Commission has three Committees:
Poverty Committee: The Poverty Committee focuses on the 2017 Archdiocesan Synod recommendation 1: Go, you are sent to the peripheries of society. Activities of the Committee have included scrutinizing legislation from the perspective of how government decisions affect the poorest, organizing a Mass for the Feast of St Joseph the Worker as part of the Archdiocesan celebrations for the Year of St Joseph; and reaching out to organisations of the Archdiocese to better understand the reality of poverty in our communities. The Poverty Committee Convenor is Fr Tom Rouse ssc.
Bicultural Relationships Committee: The Bicultural Relationships Committee focuses on the 2017 Archdiocesan Synod recommendation 5: Go, you are sent to deepen your bicultural relationship. Activities of the Committee have included hosting a bilingual midday Mass/Miha each time the Committee meets, reflecting on and advising the Archbishop on new understandings of racism, and supporting the New Zealand histories curriculum review. The Bicultural Relationships Committee Convenor is Monsignor Gerard Burns.
Integral Ecology Committee: The Integral Ecology Committee focuses on the 2017 Archdiocesan Synod recommendation 8: Go, you are sent to care for creation. Activities of the Committee include supporting parish formation on Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si’, considering and responding to government proposals regarding climate change, and organizing a 2020 election forum with young people’s questions about environmental policy. The Integral Ecology Committee Convenor is Estelle Henrys.