Members of the Archdiocesan Ecology, Justice and Peace Commission and its Committees came together for an online formation day on Saturday 16 October 2021. This is the second year the Commission has had to move from a face-to-face gathering to an online gathering, but people made the most of the opportunity to gather and reflect on our work.
Each of the Committees reported back some highlights from the year so far.
The EJP Commission’s Integral Ecology Committee held a “Three Dimensions of Laudato Si’” gathering in March, has made submissions to the Climate Change Commission and Ministry of Transport, and has extended conversations and dialogue with a number of groups in the Archdiocese, especially around Synod recommendation 8A to consider care for creation an integral part of the Archdiocese’s activities and decisions.
The Commission’s Bicultural Relationships Committee has made recommendations for and developed a workshop on addressing racism which is intended to be run for Archdiocesan staff in November. Each time the Committee has met, it has hosted a bilingual midday Mass. The Committee has also overseen submissions on the Aotearoa New Zealand histories curriculum review and the Ministry of Justice’s consultion on hate speech.
The Commission’s Poverty Committee has engaged with Select Committees through three submissions, in particular the Budget Policy Statement 2021, and a letter to the Minister of Immigration concerning fee waivers for visa applications for exploited workers. Each meeting of the Poverty Committee also includes a listening section, in which Committee members share aspects of poverty they have encountered or heard, which leads to identifying one small action, such as collecting DVDs for youth offenders at Remutaka prison.
Cardinal John Dew attended the formation day, and thanked the Commission and Committee members for all their work and intiatives. He spoke about the upcoming Synod on Synodality, and encouraged the Commission and Committees to use the discernment process to engage with the consultation and feedback process.
More information about the Ecology, Justice and Peace Commission and its Committes is available Commission for Ecology Justice and Peace | Archdiocese of Wellington (catholic.org.nz)