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Fr Kimi Vunivesilevu MSC and Fr Stephen Hackett MSC at St Clement’s Monastery in Galong, New South Wales (ACBC)

Staff from its General Secretariat have extended the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference’s commitment to its Laudato Si’ Action Plan with a spirituality day focused on “An Integral Ecology of the Heart”. Source: ACBC Media Blog.

Fr Kimi Vunivesilevu MSC and fellow Missionary of the Sacred Heart priest Fr Stephen Hackett, the general secretary of the Bishops Conference, guided staff through a four-part program.

The day, at St Clement’s Monastery in Galong, started with Scripture passages and other literature to help explore the Heart of God, followed by the opportunity for silent personal reflection and sharing on those reflections.

A similar pattern was followed for explorations of the Heart of Jesus, the Heart of Creation and the Heart of Each Person.

Fr Vunivesilevu, parish priest at St John the Apostle Kippax in Canberra, said the day explored, as best it could in that time, the broad vision of Pope Francis’ encyclical letter Laudato Si’, which can sometimes be reduced to the environment.

“Pope Francis speaks about an integral ecology – the interconnectedness of everything, and especially the connection between people, creation and the Creator,” he said.

“The spirituality day was a chance for those present to immerse ourselves in that reality, which isn’t something always easily achieved in the busyness of life.”

In 2021, the Bishops Conference made a commitment to developing a Laudato Si’ Action Plan – believed to be the first episcopal conference in the world to do so.

The Bishops Conference has since established a Laudato Si working party, made up of staff from the General Secretariat and led by Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv, chair of the Bishops Commission for Social Justice, Mission and Service.

Fr Hackett, a member of that working group, said the spirituality day was another opportunity to invite Conference staff to contemplate what an integral ecology means.

He said the Bishops Conference’s premises in Canberra have undergone changes in recent years to better reflect care for creation, including the installation of solar panels, more efficient lighting and appliances, and the use of composting and worm farms.


Bishops Conference’s spirituality day explores integral ecology (ACBC Media Blog)