Transforming lifestyles for greater social and environmental action

Jesuits and colleagues in the Asia Pacific region are gathering in the Philippines next month to discuss and share how transformed lifestyles are moving a more meaningful and effective response to environmental and social concerns in their ministries.  The three-day environmental reflection workshop will be held at the Culture and Ecology Centre in Bendum, Bukidnon from June 6 to 10, and is organized by the Reconciliation with Creation programme of the Jesuit Conference Asia Pacific (JCAP).

“The workshop is developed from an acknowledgement that Laudato si’ has completely reframed the way Catholic communities view the ecological and social crisis in the way it calls for commitments to care for all life-giving relations,” says Fr Pedro Walpole, JCAP Coordinator for Reconciliation with Creation.  “As such, Jesuits and partners in all apostolates are asked to accompany the vulnerable, who are usually in poorly sustained environments, while seeking and working with an integral ecology and experiencing anew God in all things.”

Through the four workshop topics – self and social inclusion, apostolic action and youth, science and society, and networking for justice – the workshop aims to:

  • Support greater understanding and use of Laudato si’ and give substance to the JCAP Major Superiors’ joint statement
  • Seek greater clarity and practicality in engaging with questions of personal lifestyle, sustainability audits of Jesuit houses and institutes, and related advocacies such as on consumerism and consumption
  • Determine what is working in education for sustainability (SDGs) and reconciliation with Creation in the social, educational, and pastoral apostolates, particularly in relation to the youth
  • Explore current Jesuit efforts and activities addressing the challenges of climate change, biodiversity loss, water use and cultural change and, where there are broader social engagements, communicate and collaborate better
  • Consolidate commitments from those willing to communicate for their province or region and champion the local Reconciliation with Creation agenda and to network beyond our own Jesuit system and contribute to a greater global movement for change

As Fr Michael Garanzini SJ shared during a recent dialogue with the Stockholm Environmental Institute, the Society of Jesus is challenged to revise its perception of apostolates (high schools, universities, social work and parishes).  This challenge, he says, needs to be faced as a corporate body and as Jesuits and partners, we have “to think of ourselves differently in relation to the other apostolates and cooperate.  We have an opportunity we have not used – to work as one.  It is a globalized world and sustainability is an immanent challenge.”

For more information about this workshop, email Ms Iris Legal at