I go among the trees and sit still…
Did you know:
- that Mother Gonzaga Barry’s first school magazine was called ‘Eucalyptus Blossoms’?
- that the winner of the 2004 Nobel Prize for Peace was Dr Wangari Maathi, a Loreto past pupil and founder of Kenya’s Green Belt Movement?
- that in recent years Loreto schools in India have planted hundreds of thousands of trees to combat climate change?
- that the IBVM General Leader, Sr Noelle Corscadden, has invited every Province to undertake an environmental justice project as part of the August 2021-August 2022 Bicentenary Jubilee celebrations?
Today, National Tree Day, the Loreto Justice Network invites all members of our province ‘circle of friends’ to get involved in planting trees across our Bicentenary year. Whether in our backyards and balconies, on our school properties or by linking in with local organisations, we hope to honour our ‘green’ Irish heritage by greening the world for a more sustainable future. This project has been inspired by our sister schools in India and Kenya, where massed tree planting across the national school network has resulted in fantastic educational, social and environmental outcomes. In 2021 each Kenyan Loreto school is planting 100 trees to mark the centenary of Loreto in Kenya, and Indian schools actually tally their tree planting efforts on a national database, which now exceeds 100,000 new trees. Loreto students in India have engaged their families and local neighbourhoods in their impressive tree-planting efforts.
Loreto schools in Australia also demonstrate an extraordinary commitment to sustainability and environmental justice via strategic planning priorities, teaching units, waste reduction/solar energy/plastic elimination programmes, spirituality seminars etc. We make a special appeal to incoming student leaders in our Australian schools to engage with our Bicentenary Ecology Project with creativity, compassion and conviction. The Province is committed to ethical procurement of sustainable products and Mary Ward International Australia supports the greening of a retreat centre in Kenya. Environmental justice is one of five justice foci of the Loreto province of Australia and South East Asia, and, so our advocacy and action in this arena continue in ways, large and small.
Stay tuned for ongoing updates about our Bicentenary Ecology Project and for our ever-deepening attention and commitment to the Mary Ward Global Laudato Si Action Plan across the Church’s Season of Creation (1 September – 4 October 2021).
As winter trees start to bud, may this invitation to sit and ponder, stir our hearts and minds in ways of justice and peace …
I go among trees and sit still.
All my stirring becomes quiet
around me like circles on water.
My tasks lie in their places
where I left them, asleep like cattle.
Then what is afraid of me comes
and lives a while in my sight.
What it fears in me leaves me,
and the fear of me leaves it.
It sings, and I hear its song.
After days of labor,
mute in my consternations,
I hear my song at last,
and I sing it. As we sing,
the day turns, the trees move.
– Wendell Berry –
By using the Ecosia search engine instead of Google, we can support tree-planting projects around the globe.
Organisations that welcome donations for tree-planting
Ecological Justice resources