In-service days were held in Barcaldine, Emerald, Mackay, Bundaberg, Gladstone and Rockhampton with staff from other Diocesan Agencies also invited to attend in each of the centres.
Bishop Michael McCarthy provided the keynote address which explored Pope Francis’s Encyclical Laudato Si dedicated to the environment and ecology.
Bishop McCarthy drew attention to the document’s reference to the interconnectedness of social, economic and environmental justice and the need for an integrated approach to combating poverty, restoring dignity to the excluded and protecting nature.
Rockhampton Catholic Education Director Leesa Jeffcoat said the Bishop’s In-service Days provided valuable professional development and networking, and a particular opportunity in 2019 for all staff working for Catholic Education to renew their commitment to environmental sustainability. Miss Jeffcoat also commended the organisation and coordination of the days by Ms Di-Anne Rowan (Assistant Director: Mission). “It is a massive undertaking providing such wonderful formation opportunities for over 3400 staff across our vast Diocese,” Miss Jeffcoat said.
“Through a range of initiatives and daily practices we are endeavouring to become even more sustainable in our care for and awareness of the environment. Our staff, students and all in our school communities commit to a clear and conscious effort to care for our surroundings, our local communities and our planet,” Miss Jeffcoat said.
In-service attendees were also able to attend a wide variety of workshops to further enhance and enrich the day’s environmental focus.
“Our guest speakers and workshop presenters provided very inspirational and reflective sessions. Participants have indicated in their feedback that they walked away with a renewed commitment to work together in their local communities across this vast diocese to better care for our common home,” Miss Jeffcoat said. 2019 marked the 40th year of the annual Bishop’s In-service Days which commenced in the Diocese of Rockhampton under the guidance of the Most Reverend Bernard Wallace in 1979.