The Sisters of Saint Joseph of the Sacred Heart, in collaboration with the Sisters of St Joseph Lochinvar, are delighted to launch their Explore~Embrace~Embody Laudato Si’ Action Plan for the Josephite Community on the anniversary of the death of their co-founder, Fr Julian Tenison Woods (7 October).

Explore~Embrace~Embody is a Josephite Action Plan for the next seven years and reflects the body of Catholic Social Teaching presented in Pope Francis’ 2015 encyclical, Laudato Si’. The Action Plan embraces all Josephite women and men associated with the Congregations and includes Sisters, affiliates, Boards, staff, companions and those involved in Josephite ministries.

Grounded in the Gospel and inspired by our Founders, St Mary MacKillop and Julian Tenison Woods, the lived witness of the Sisters of Saint Joseph who have gone before us and our growing understanding of the cosmos, Josephites everywhere are invited to ‘Explore, Embrace and Embody’ this Laudato Si’ Action Plan as our response to the ‘cry of Earth and its Peoples’.

Explore~Embrace~Embody focuses on four goals which incorporate the seven goals found in the Laudato Si’ Action Platform. These goals inform and guide our actions as together we work to encourage and support:

  • Nurturing Ecological Consciousness
  • Living Simply
  • Strengthening Ecological Economics, and
  • Increasing Community Engagement and Advocacy

View the Explore~Embrace~Embody Laudato Si’ Action Plan Launch Video here – Explore~Embrace~Embody: A Laudato Si’ Action Plan for the Josephite Community – YouTube

As Josephite women and men we acknowledge our role in caring for Earth, ‘Our Common Home’. This pivotal moment prompts us to respond, “to the awakening of a new reverence for life, the firm resolve to achieve sustainability, the quickening struggle for justice and peace, and the joyful celebration of life” (Earth Charter 2002) (Josephite Earth Sustainability Charter).

Both Congregations, at their last Chapter and at many previous Chapters, have made significant commitments towards raising their consciousness of the crises affecting people, other species and our common home. The publication of a Josephite Earth Sustainability Charter (2020) and the work of individuals and groups working on local and regional initiatives have provided a sound foundation for the adoption of the Laudato Si’ Action Plan.

The implementation of the Explore~Embrace~Embody Laudato Si’ Action Plan provides new impetus in responding to the call to renewal, to eco-conversion and sustainable living.

The named actions in Explore~Embrace~Embody will be developed by individuals and designated groups and turned into dynamic initiatives including:

  • Affirming and encouraging actions and choices which promote the thoughtful use of resources and energy
  • Profiling the Eco Heroes in our midst
  • Developing a forum for sharing recycling knowledge and expertise
  • Hosting eco-spiritual and eco-theological reflections and prayer
  • Affirming the commitment of all Josephites to reduce their ecological footprint
  • Encouraging Josephites to be advocates in their local areas
  • Continuing to develop and strengthen relationships with First Nations peoples

The Action Plan will evolve and be shaped by our ongoing reflection and discernment of the emerging needs, and our capacity to address these.