Dean of Identity | Mr Charles Brauer

Can the relationship with our common home be sustained for our children, grandchildren and their grandchildren?

Can this be sustained?

Can the relationship with our common home be sustained for our children, grandchildren and their grandchildren?

Our Terrace Family’s key strength is the willingness of each of us to commit to forming and nurturing relationships with each other for the benefit of each individual student and that of the common good. However, how is our relationship with our common home, Mother Earth, going? If we were to have Pope Francis around our dinner table tonight he’d say that we have some work to do. And I think we’d all agree.

Pope Francis has our modern world, and the Catholic Church, talking and asking some big questions. Of particular significance is his second Encyclical – a papal document concerning Catholic doctrine - Laudato si' ("Praise be to you") - On Care For Our Common Home. A key tenant of this document is highlighted in the following:

“...a true ecological approach always becomes a social approach; it must integrate questions of as to hear both the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor” (49) Laudato si’

Through the Encyclical, Pope Francis issues an urgent invitation to us all – to bring an end to environmental and social degradation through the practice of ‘integral ecology’; an interconnectedness with all people and the planet. The Maroon Outdoor Education Centre (OEC) is a wonderful example of how we are already practicing ‘integral ecology’.

Mr Toby Gowland, Director of Gregory Terrace OEC has initiated a ‘paddock to plate’ project for our young men while on camp and retreat at Maroon. Local school students sow the seeds of the project’s garden, giving the seedlings to Terrace to plant in the OEC gardens. Garden beds are an experiment in permaculture with chicken cages placed over the beds, turning over the old growth and promoting new growth. In other words, a self-sufficient garden which needs minimal intervention. Vegetables that are grown, are used in the OEC kitchen for meals or sold at the local markets, with proceeds directed back to the schools and so the cycle continues. See the behind the scenes of this fantastic program here.

Terrace has a marvelous tradition and a deep commitment to instilling in our young men a ‘spirit of service’ of others. Year after year our Terracians graduate and go on to lead wonderful community orientated programs and organisations. Our challenge is to be open to the idea of embracing our environment as much as we embrace and serve those in need.

I look forward to leading our Terrace Family in bringing to life an authentic response to Laudato si’, enlivening our commitment to caring for our common home. The manner by which we respond is articulated by Pope Francis in the following:

A sense of deep communion with the rest of nature cannot be real if our hearts lack tenderness, compassion and concern for our fellow human beings...Everything is connected. Concern for the environment thus needs to be joined to a sincere love for our fellow human beings and an unwavering commitment to resolving the problems of society. (92) Laudato si’

The Good News of Terrace

Our ERA for Change Group Leading our ‘Circles of Solidarity’ – standing in solidarity with refugees and asylum seekers