As the Citizens Assembly in Dublin convened to explore climate change, on Saturday 30 September, a number of groups also gathered in the Jesuit Centre of Spirituality & Culture to reflect and exchange views on the issue. “The place was buzzing,” says Moira McDowall, the centre’s Coordinator. “Climate change is a critical issue in our times and the people who came really wanted to share with, and learn from, each other.”
Downstairs in the centre there was a meeting of the Galway County PeopleTalk Jury, facilitated by Edmond Grace SJ, whilst upstairs with another group, members of the centre team were showing a DVD of the award-winning documentary Tomorrow. According to Moira, “The film highlights positive solutions to the environmental problems our world is facing. So as one group was watching and learning another group was talking and learning. Complementary ways of exploring climate change!”
The film showing was the latest in a series of events the centre has organised since the publication of Laudato Sí’, says Moria, adding, “We want to keep up the momentum around this ground-breaking document and discover more about the issues it raises.”
Moira stresses that Saturday’s meetings were far from being just ‘talking-shops’ with respect to climate change. “Both PeopleTalk and the Jesuit centre were keen to see what practical steps are possible,” she says.
She instanced a teacher, present on the day, who committed to showing the film to a group of her students, and to enable her and others the centre has now bought more copies of the documentary to lend out to those interested.
The centre is also going to reevaluate their garden in Ely Place with a view to eco-friendlier practise. Charlie Davy SJ is keen on creating a vegetable patch. “It may be just a small symbolic action” he said, “but it’s a beginning, and hopefully a tasty one at that, as we continue to grapple with some of the more difficult questions!’’
Like the members attending the Citizens’ Assembly in Dublin, Moira says the important thing is to keep going, to continue asking pertinent questions, and, “Work with others in whatever way we can to further the concrete and positive actions which are already working and can lead to a world we can all live in and enjoy.”