NICK HOLT | Catholic Leader
BRISBANE - Kenmore parish has furthered its commitment to Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si’: On Care for our Common Home by turning recyclables into foreign aid donations.
The parish has collected more than 4,000 recyclable containers like bottles, cans and cardboard, which earn 10 cents per unit under the Queensland government initiative Containers for Cash.
The funds collected by the parish were used to buy a boat for a Papua New Guinean bishop.
“We had a parishioner come to us last year about helping buy a small boat for Fr Sam Phasz, a priest of the Province of Milne Bay in the Diocese of Alotau-Sideia,” said parish priest Fr Mark Franklin.
“The parish is mainly water, so it would enable the priest to get around the islands and see his diocese.
“The boat is also used for delivery of food and medical items and taking people to hospital.”
Fr Franklin said he started the project about two months ago as part of a communal partnership with Kenmore Rotary Club.
“One of our parishioners who is a member of Rotary came to us a while ago about being in partnership with the Kenmore Rotary regarding (the parish) being a distribution point for Containers for Cash,” he said.
“There are distribution points all over the place in the city, but because we’re a bit isolated out here the Rotary (club) decided to take it on as a collection point in Kenmore.
“The parish keeps 50% of the funds, which we then hand on to the Diocese of Alotau-Sideia.”
Fr Franklin said the Containers for Cash initiative was a practical way to raise money while also raising environmental awareness in the parish.
“It’s an opportunity to care for the planet, because this all goes into recycling – it doesn’t go into landfill, and they recycle it to be used again,” he said.
“It’s the call from the Pope – Laudato Si’ – Care for our Common Home.
“All our light fittings have been changed to low-energy lighting – whatever we can do to reduce our footprint.
“This is a wider thing in the sense that people in the parish can contribute to reducing the footprint, but they’re also contributing to recycling and to helping a parish in PNG.”