Executive Officer’s report: August 2020

30 August 2020 by

Welcome to Wattle Day, the first day of Spring, the first day of the Season of Creation, World Day for Prayer of the Care of Creation also known as the first of September.

In Pope Francis’ invitation to Care for Creation, he reminds us that our relationship with creation can be seen as part of the invitation to discipleship. Jesus invites all to follow him – to see the world as he does, to ‘catch’ the love of God and to allow that love to move us to acts of love. In Gospels, we see people deciding to be Jesus disciples because they experienced something of God in the way he was in himself and with others. Jesus extended people’s notions of who God cares for and today we can see that the whole of creation is loved by God and needs our help. I think the Global Catholic Climate Movement model (below) captures this sense of care for creation as coming from our discipleship which transforms our hearts and our actions. Seen from the perspective of discipleship, individuals and organisations can experience care for creation as a liberating experience of love rather than as another ‘should’ that leaves us feeling overburdened.

Looking back over August 2020, the AMPJP celebrated its fourth Annual General Meeting and published our 2019-2020 Annual Report. In previous years, the AGM dinner and Forum were valued as times of formation and also as opportunities for informal and one-on-one/small group catch-ups. This year, the AGM took place via videoconference and without an accompanying full-day Canonical Stewards Forum. Online gatherings do not have the same free-flowing and personal quality of these times together. However, we are making the most of videoconferences and are finding that they are also enriching our sense of community and mission in ways we hadn’t imagined.

Back in April 2020 when AMPJP members met via videoconference to discuss the impact of COVID-19 on MPJPs and their ministries, they also decided to meet more frequently via videoconference to build mutual understanding, support and to advance our mission. This decision doubled the number of AMPJP Councils and added quarterly formation sessions for MPJP Canonical Stewards and their key staff. As a consequence, COVID-19 has increased the frequency of our contact and made it possible for more MPJP people to participate in our gatherings.

During August 2020, we held the second of our videoconferences on Members with MPJPs. During these sessions each MPJP addressed the following questions

  • Who are my MPJPs Members?
  • What is the role of my MPJPs Members?
  • What works well with regard to my MPJPs Members?
  • What are the challenges of my MPJPs model of Members?
  • Why does my MPJP have this particular Member structure? (e.g., charism, influence)

I am now in the process of writing up these two sessions into a paper.


A Christian prayer in union with creation by Pope Francis

Father, we praise you with all your creatures.
They came forth from your all-powerful hand;
they are yours, filled with your presence and your tender love.
Praise be to you!

Son of God, Jesus,
through you all things were made.
You were formed in the womb of Mary our Mother,
you became part of this earth,
and you gazed upon this world with human eyes.
Today you are alive in every creature
in your risen glory.
Praise be to you!

Holy Spirit, by your light
you guide this world towards the Father’s love
and accompany creation as it groans in travail.
You also dwell in our hearts
and you inspire us to do what is good.
Praise be to you!

Triune Lord, wondrous community of infinite love,
teach us to contemplate you
in the beauty of the universe,
for all things speak of you.
Awaken our praise and thankfulness
for every being that you have made.
Give us the grace to feel profoundly joined
to everything that is.

God of love, show us our place in this world
as channels of your love
for all the creatures of this earth,
for not one of them is forgotten in your sight.
Enlighten those who possess power and money
that they may avoid the sin of indifference,
that they may love the common good, advance the weak,
and care for this world in which we live.
The poor and the earth are crying out.
O Lord, seize us with your power and light,
help us to protect all life,
to prepare for a better future,
for the coming of your Kingdom
of justice, peace, love and beauty.

Praise be to you!


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Feature photo by Lawrie Hallinan