May 12, 2014

TORONTO – When Canada's Catholic bishops last year spoke out on the environment they were hoping they wouldn't have the last word on the subject.

Now a Catholic video production company along with its supporters are hoping to get Catholic students and parishioners talking with the launch of Green Spirit TV.

The inspiration for Green Spirit TV is the April 2013 statement from the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops' justice and peace commission, Building a New Culture: Central Themes in Recent Church Teaching on the Environment.

Villagers Media has launched Green Spirit on its www. website.

The six-page document is a summary of recent papal teaching on the environment.

The document didn't enter into particular issues in relation to the environment, but it hoped to inspire lay people to address those issues, said Bishop Don Bolen of Saskatoon, chair of the justice and peace commission.

But first the document has to be read and discussed.

That's where Villagers has stepped in, garnered support from the Scarboro Mission Society, Madonna House in Combermere, Ont., the Passionist Fathers at a Toronto parish and Kingston, Ont.'s Sisters of Providence to produce a series of videos and a study guide.


They hope the resources will be used in classrooms and with parish groups.

The whole series of videos and teaching materials should be online in August, in time for the school year, said Villagers producer Dawn Demme.

The company has begun talks with the Institute for Catholic Education in the hope of getting the material out to religion teachers throughout Ontario, and the Assembly of Western Catholic Bishops about promoting the program in the West.

If all goes well, Green Spirit TV should give life to the CCCB statement, said Bolen.


While the bishops aren't directly involved in Green Spirit TV, they are cheering from the sidelines, he said.

"Pope Francis articulated it very clearly right at the beginning of his papacy: We don't have a very healthy relationship with God's creation," he said. "We're not living as a human community in a way that is sustainable into the future."

We need to become responsible stewards and make changes as a society in our relationship with the environment, Bolen said.