WelCom March 2019:
A new name, mandate and structure has been given to the Commission of the Archdiocese of Wellington charged with ‘promoting care for our neighbours and all of creation’. The former Justice Peace and Development Commission is now named the Commission for Ecology, Justice and Peace. This follows recommendations of the Archdiocesan Synod 2017 and Pope Francis’ call to care for creation. Cardinal John Dew commissioned its members at a Mass at St Teresa’s pro-Cathedral on Saturday 26 January. Sr Ruth Coleman has been appointed as Chair.
Cardinal John asked the Commission to study and consider how to bring ‘integral ecology’, as outlined by Pope Francis in his encyclical Laudato Si’ on the Care of Creation, more to the fore in its work. Pope Francis says the world faces one complex crisis that is both social and environmental, and which requires a united approach to combat poverty, restore dignity to the excluded and protect nature.
Sr Ruth Coleman says the Commission’s new name reflects this new priority. ‘Integral ecology means considering the whole of life, our environment and life in all its forms, as one.’
The Commission will also give priority to the Archdiocesan Synod message about supporting and enabling parishes to reach out to people on the peripheries. To provide more opportunities for involvement and participation in the Commission’s work, Sr Ruth says its new structure will involve a large group of people in the Commission and its sub-committees.
‘The wider scope will enable people to join in activities relating to their own interests, and it is our hope more people will be able to actively work for ecology, justice and peace through our Archdiocesan Commission.’