I’m delighted to send you our September Through Shadows newsletter. A warm welcome to you all wherever you are reading, in Argentina, Lisbon, New Orleans, South Africa, and all around Ireland.

It has been a busy week! Last week, Cabra was buzzing with ideas, as the Dominican Sisters Cabra welcomed guests to a 1-day workshop on Doughnut Economics, called ‘Bring the Doughnut Local’. We started the day by physically stepping inside a rope circle representing the safe space for humanity, and then we got down to the work of seeing how the ideas of Doughnut Economics could be applied locally.

With facilitators Dee Murphy and Róisín Markham from the Irish Doughnut Economics Network (IDEN), over 40 attendees explored what we need to do to make sure that both planet and people can thrive, and how the sustainable economic model of Doughnut Economics can guide us.

Guests included owners of businesses in Dublin 7, Dominican Sisters from around Dublin 7, Wicklow and Galway, Senator Marie Sherlock, Neasa Hourigan TD and Green Party councillors, lecturers from Technical University Dublin, teachers and students from St. Dominic’s College, the CEO of Focus Ireland, RTE Junior Radio climate justice podcasters, representatives from Dublin 7 sustainability groups, Bohemians football club, the Young Mother’s Network, Le Chéile Schools Trust, Misean Cara, AMRI and other individuals and organisations working on environmental and social justice issues.

Below are some of the things we discussed while walking around and inside the rope ‘Doughnut’. Take the time to consider these questions yourselves and in your communities.

There was a real sense of energy and appetite for working together, with attendees dividing into working groups and leaving the workshop with action plans for various projects, including making a prototype planter harvesting rainwater from downpipes, campaigning for gender equality across the curriculum and in subject choices in secondary schools, making sustainable and affordable food available to everyone in Dublin 7, and creating a community hub in Dublin 7 for the whole community to use. Strong connections were made on the day between the Dominican Sisters and other activists and interested groups in Dublin 7, with lots of potential for future work.

Season of Creation: Celebration in the Cosmic Garden, Cabra

As the Season of Creation draws to a close, the Cosmic Garden/Jubilee garden group, in collaboration with Santa Sabina House and St. Dominic’s College, will hold an event in the garden in Cabra on Tuesday 3rd October at 10.30 a.m.

The focus of the celebration will be on gratitude for the gift of water, echoing the global theme for the Season of Creation, “Let Justice and Peace flow”.

Back to nature: Returning 30% of church grounds to nature by 2030

As mentioned before, the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference has made a commitment to return 30% of church grounds to nature by 2030. This extremely informative presentation has been prepared by the Bishops’ Conference for use by parish groups as they map their parish grounds and work out how to let biodiversity thrive. Could this be scaled down for use in our gardens, convent grounds, community spaces? Can we give back 30% to nature?

Let me know what you think, to congregationjusticeoffice@dominicansisters.com

Zoom seminar: Comhlámh’s First Wednesday series of talks

On Wednesday 4th October at 6.00pm Irish time, Comhlámh (the Irish association of development workers and volunteers) starts its Autumn Series of First Wednesday online talks on development and sustainability, held of the first Wednesday of the month. The theme of the Autumn Series is ‘Ecological Sustainability and Finding Ways In’.

October’s First Wednesday talk is on Transforming Our Relationships with Nature – In Conversation With Eoghan Daltun, author of ‘An Irish Atlantic Rainforest: A Personal Journey Into The Magic Of Rewilding’. The talk is organised in partnership with the Maynooth University Department of International Development.

You can book your free place at this online talk here.