The Saint Francis of Assisi Environmental Movement (REFA) has been involved in ecological education in Poland for over 40 years. It especially cares about the ethical perspective in the recognition of environmental issues, shaping the attitude of respect towards nature and the proper relationship between man and the environment as indispensable conditions for sustainable and ecological development. Our association run educational projects, workshops and campaigns targeted at young people, adults and Catholic communities. We are environmentalists among Catholics, and Catholics among environmentalists.
Environmentalists among Catholics, and Catholics among environmentalists
Our deliberations and considerations give rise to the reflections:
- we need stronger cooperation and greater involvement of Catholic communities in Poland in initiating ecological activities and building ecological awareness of Polish society;
- ecological teaching of the Church may provide a response for Catholics (and not only) to local and global challenges;
- we need to document good practices, support and inspire each other as a network of people, local leaders united by a shared idea of integral ecology;
- everyone can engage according to their talents and abilities so that these actions result from personal calling and authenticity.
Integral ecology project
Aware of the socio-environmental challenges we face today, we hope that our actions will contribute to real changes, and integral ecology will become one of the most important perspectives on the modern world. A model for the implementation of the integral ecology project of Pope Francis, adopted on the 25th of November 2017 during the REFA formation meeting in Radomsko, can be summarized as follows:
- we protect nature – we support projects aimed at protecting Polish nature and the endangered species as well as activities aimed at banning bird hunting; we are developing the project of the Gardens of St. Francis; we teach others on nature walks to counteract the syndrome of deficiency in contact with nature;
- we care for the environment – we are involved in activities for healthy environment, we participate in anti-smog, climate protection and renewable energy campaigns; we cooperate with organic farmers and pro-life activists, we promote ethical, sustainable thinking about transport, the ecology of the city and human settlements;
- we serve people – we develop human ecology, bioethics, eco-ethics and promote Christian social reflection, we engage in activities for fair-trade and protection of human life from conception to death, we implement eco-education for families with small children;
- we love God the Father – we promote the Season for Creation, World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, the eighth works of mercy and the whole spiritual project of the encyclical Laudato si’, we invite you to pray through the intercession of the patron of ecologists St. Francis of Assisi for the victims of ecological and social catastrophes.