WelCom November 2023
It is hoped the Palmerston North Diocese will soon have a Diocesan Justice Peace Development and Ecology Commission (JPDEC – Commission) up and running once again. Over the past 12 months a steering group (SG) has been working on the restoration and renovation of the PN JPDEC. It has formulated a constitution, terms of reference and a draft budget for Bishop John Adams’ consideration and action.
The SG has canvassed the diocese for people who are interested and would be suitable to be considered as Commission members. Their names will be provided to Bishop John.
The SG responded to a think-tank (T-T) that met over several months with the diocese’s former Local Administrator Fr Craig Butler, and which unanimously recommended the continuance of a JPDEC. The T-T recognised the particular role of education and youth involvement in JPDE issues. The proposed constitution requires all regions within the diocese are represented on the Commission.
In keeping with the recommendations of all popes from Vatican II onwards, the SG has provided for both an ecumenical and inter-faith outreach within the Commission.
While it is envisaged the Commission will assist the bishop in, at times, speaking out on issues of justice, peace, development and the ecology throughout the diocese, the SG strongly recommends that core action on Justice Peace Development and the Ecology springs from each and every parish, both large and small, within the diocese.
Rather than the Commission being a body ‘telling’ parishes what areas of JPDE the parish should be acting on, and when to act, the Commission is more open to listening and learning from each parish. Each parish is best placed to know what ‘the cries of the earth and the cries of the poor’ are in their own area, to read their own signs of the times and to take transformative action for the common good in their own area in their own way.
The Commission is to be a resource and support to parishes, and, in turn, it is resourced and supported by Caritas. Hopefully, each parish too will work with other Christian communities and inter-faith groups within their own area in addressing JPDE issues.
Vibrant beating hearts attuned to justice, peace, development and ecology, in every place throughout the diocese is a sure sign of Pope Francis’ ‘new evangelisation’ and effective mission. We pray for such renovation in the Diocese of Palmerston North and the Commission’s contribution to it.
See Seek out the Poor!