‘The Parish as Oasis’
The Parish as Oasis: An Introduction to Practical Environmental Care is the intriguing title of a book by Drs Ciara Murphy (pictured above) and Kevin Hargaden of the Irish Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice, published by Messenger Publications.
In this interview with Pat Coyle of Irish Jesuit Communications, they explain the sense in which a parish can become an ‘oasis’ using a striking example of how churches are conceived and built in Ethiopia. And they outline some of the 20 practical proposals in their book which communities can engage in as part of ‘caring for the earth, our common home’.
They also address the issue of ‘climate despair’ where people feel so overwhelmed by the enormity of the environmental challenge facing the world that they actually end up doing nothing. That’s not an option they say, and emphasise the radical and sysytemic change that can come about as individuals and communities start making small changes together – for example giving up eating red meat even once a week.
One of their strong recommendations is that book clubs and parishes get the book and study it with a view to making collective changes in their personal lives and local community. The interview is as practical as the book and both Kevin and Ciara say they are available to visit and work with any groups who want to help save the earth for people now and for future generations.