April 17, 2019 — On April 22, 2019, we celebrated two events: Easter Monday and Earth Day. “Today, the waves of personal and planetary destruction roll back to sources of hope,” states Erik Oland, Provincial of the Jesuit Province of Canada, in a new letter.
This letter, entitled “Practice Resurrection!” is a call to pursue and promote an environmental conversion within the Jesuits and elsewhere. Indeed, to continue to seek, because even before the environmental issue became one of the Universal Apostolic Preferences, some Jesuits had already participated in a Mission and Environmental Commission. Today, Fr. Oland is asking the new Province of Canada to commit to reconciliation with Creation by progressively implementing certain recommendations made by the Commission.
Hence, he is inviting each community to adapt to their environment, but he is also proposing universal actions. First, by asking all Jesuit community ministries to enter the Green Churches Network. Then, by setting aside some time for spiritual conversation to better integrate the perspective of Pope Francis’ Laudato Si’ encyclical. Finally, by reducing the consumption of animal protein-based products.
The urgency of climate change is real. A combination of unsustainable resource extraction and global warming are driving desertification in more than 100 countries, causing, for example, the disappearance of more than half of China’s rivers. Canada is not immune. Our water supplies are declining. Eleven million litres of contaminated water are flowing into Alberta’s subterranean waters due to the impact of oil sands. And the excessive use of fertilizer is filling Lake Winnipeg with blue-green algae.
This letter from Father Superior thus encourages “the new Jesuit Province of Canada to a deeper reflection and to stronger action in the wake of the environmental crisis which our world faces,” to practise “resurrection with Christ by taking care of the world which he unites.”
The text is available here.