Oceania – islands and oceans

ERI has been visiting Oceania, and we have found a place extremely conscious of itself as islands and oceans. On one hand, islands are separated by oceans. On the other, islands are joined by oceans.

In a former life, Brothers down here lived in six provinces or regions, and their lay colleagues worked within those boundaries too. Now, gazing out across the oceans that break on our islands, the boundaries are yielding to vast horizons. One of these is the global solidarity that comes from advocacy; another is the global vision that comes from sustainable living.

The Edmund Rice focus on these islands is shifting to ‘the first peoples and the last peoples‘ – the Indigenous peoples and the refugees and asylum-seekers, another echo of islands and oceans. Advocacy calls together the stakeholders in human solidarity; sustainability calls on everyone to  live in partnership with their local ecosystems, and balance trade against its impact on global systems. Here, where waves break on coastlines, Oceania seeks the grace of Indigenous wisdom and the gift of the homeless stranger.

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