Archived News Item

Ministries Collaborate for the Earth Community

Julia Trimboli (Group Executive Director Leadership & Mission, Mercy Health), Helen Monkivitch rsm AO, Dr Lisa Rasmussen (Project Lead Laudato Si’, Mercy Health), Sally Neaves (Eco-Education Coordinator, Rahamim Ecology Centre), Elizabeth Grady (Development Officer, Mercy Works), Stephen Cornelissen (Adjunct Professor, Group Chief Executive Officer, Mercy Health)


In their efforts to implement strategically the pillars of Pope Francis’s encyclical Laudato Si’ and the Institute’s  Sustainable Living policy, three ministries of ISMAPNG recently participated in a monthly “Friday Forum” for  staff at Mercy Health Support Services in Richmond, Victoria.


The Friday Forum featured a combined presentation from Sally Neaves (Rahamim Ecology Centre), Dr Lisa Rasmussen (Project Lead, Laudato Si’, Mercy Health) and Elizabeth Grady (Mercy Works) about the ways in which each ministry is responding to the cry of Earth and the cry of Earth’s people as one cry.


As well as distinctive approaches unique to each area ministry, the common thread underpinning the sustainable actions of each was the primary need for a shift in consciousness to ensure an enduring commitment to living sustainability into the future.


Elizabeth Grady from Mercy Works provided an overview of the impact of their work, highlighting the interlinked challenges for the human (such as eradication of poverty) and dependence on Earth’s life support systems (especially clean water). Current practices to manage water sources, particularly in communities of Papua New Guinea was presented as a reminder of the interconnectedness of all of life, and the necessity of a holistic approach to tackling the challenges which unite all three ministries.


Sally Neaves from Rahamim gave an introduction to the cosmology of universe and how that relates to our interconnectedness. She also outlined how Rahamim Ecology Centre was contributing to the knowledge and consciousness of sustainability and how it relates to spirituality.


Dr Lisa Rasmussen from Mercy Health outlined the organisation’s approach, as one that seeks to respond and bring to life the pillars of Laudato Si’.


Since the 2015 launch of Laudato Si’, Mercy Health have been working on a multi-faceted approach to put it into practice across their 35 sites including staff green spaces, sustainable structures, building materials, retro-fitting, and renewable energy. This has been the result of many reflections and forums, including the Mercy International Reflection Process in the Year of Mercy.


As part of their ongoing reflection and compassionate response to the ecological footprint of the health sector, Mercy Health is aiming to facilitate not only sustainable practices, but a shift in consciousness around the place of the human in relationship with the Earth community.


By implementing the pillars of Laudato Si’, it is hoped that the compassion, purpose and respect that inform the care Mercy Health staff deliver, may be expanded to include the whole of the Earth community upon which our human health depends.


Messages to: Sally Neaves


29 March 2017