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Caring for our Earth... Year 8 take up the challenge (Issue 9 2016)

Written on the 23 June 2016

On May 24 2015, Pope Francis launched a special paper Laudato Si that explores human ecology and our relationship with the natural environment.

Major themes in Laudato Si include:

  • The intimate relationship between the poor and the fragility of the planet
  • The conviction that everything in the world is connected
  • The critique of new paradigms and forms of power derived from technology
  • The call to seek other ways of understanding the economy and progress
  • The value proper to each creature
  • The human meaning of ecology

A focus for Year 8 students this year is on developing knowledge, awareness and action in relation to our Christian imperative to care for the Earth. We learn in Genesis, the first book of the bible, that all of creation is indeed very good. All of creation reflects something of the creator. We are therefore called to care for and use all of the created world with respect and the ongoing need of sustainability.

In the last few weeks the Year 8 boys have taken great pride in planting out their courtyard. Their ownership and pride in this space has certainly increased together with their desire for the plants to be respected and allowed to grow to fullness.

A representative from the Marion Council involved the boys in an audit of the rubbish created each day within the school. Many items could be recycled, composted or not placed in the bin at all. The process was an eye opener not only to the waste that occurs each day, but also our call to be careful in how we manage our recycling.

During the coming Religious Education classes the boys' awareness of our need to care for the earth will be raised and they will be encouraged to be active in word and deed in caring for our shared home, planet earth.

If you wish to pursue Pope Francis' encyclical further, a reader's guide to Laudato Si can be viewed at

Jennifer Callanan
APRIM - Middle School

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