News Archives » Ecology
The Vatican Radio has interviewed Fr. Daniel LeBlanc OMI,Missionary Oblates General Administration representative to the United Nations and VIVAT in New York about the impact of Pope Francis Encyclical Laudato Si’ on United Nations deliberations.
Catholic Sisters Release “Earth as our Home” Booklet August 11th, 2014
Too often when we hear the word ‘house’ we only think of a physical building and its rooms. But what if we began to think of Earth as our house – with various rooms – what would we need to do to make this ‘house’ a true ‘home?’ The Catholic Sisters for a Healthy Earth have prepared a reflection booklet on the various rooms of a house, placing each room and its activities into the broader context of our Earth-home.
Catholic Sisters for a Healthy Earth is made up of representatives from congregations of women religious from the upper Mississippi Valley in eastern Iowa and southwestern Wisconsin. The group’s coordinator, Joy Peterson, PBVM explains, “Our intention is to take a new look at how everything we do, no matter where we are, is interconnected and tied to the well-being of all living things.” The booklet includes suggestions of simple actions for families to take in order to live more sustainably and walk more gently on Earth.
You can get a free download of the booklet at the Sisters of St. Francis website.
The Oblate Garden In Washington Enters its Third Year April 7th, 2014
Supporters of the vegetable garden at the Oblate House in Washington, DC met on April 5th to mark the start of the third season of planting. The lead gardeners, Gail Taylor and Zachari Curtis, came together with volunteers, neighbors, supporters of urban gardening in DC, members of the local oblate community and DC Councilman David Grosso. Also in attendance were: Black Belt Justice Center, DC Greens, Green Girls Go, Dreaming Out Loud, the Green Scheme, Damien Ministries.
The project was initiated three years ago with the support of the local oblate community and the province administration, and has delivered a variety of rich and wholesome vegetables in the first two years of operation. The land previously was used primarily for recreational purposes, and the farmers have worked hard to improve the soil quality so it can be used for farming.
The project is one of a number of neighborhood vegetable initiatives established by people committed to producing food for people in the city, particularly for underserved neighborhoods.
Councilman David Grosso has introduced the DC Urban Farming and Food Security Act to make more urban vegetable gardening initiatives possible. This legislation will provide access to city lots and tax incentives designed to make the business model more attractive to entrepreneurs, with the result that healthy, locally grown vegetables would be more accessible to District residents. All of the groups attending the April 15th event are committed to mobilizing support for the legislation.
The Grace of Earth March 11th, 2014
GOD REVEALING, GOD INSPIRING, GOD CHALLENGING
“Our Earth is talking to us and we must listen to it and decipher its message if we want to survive” Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, 2007
This lenten reflection – again, thanks to the Columban Fathers – explores six Earth life support systems as ways of “God revealing, God inspiring, God challenging”. The resource offers reflections on Earth’s atmosphere, oceans, fresh water, land, plant life, and animal life.
We are encouraged to “… meditate in wonder and thanksgiving at the beauty and complexity of Earth’s eco-cycles. We reflect in sadness and outrage at our human abuse. We ask for forgiveness and decide on positive action for change.”
You can find The Grace of Earth here. (downloadable PDF available)
Come, Broaden Your Vision at OMI La Vista Ecological Learning Center… August 21st, 2013
Learn about the La Vista Earth Literacy Program, “Exploring the Sacred Universe,” that was held in early August. Fr. Antonio Ponce, OMI attended the program and made this video to share the experience more broadly.
Pope Francis dedicated the catechesis of Wednesday morning’s general audience to the environment, noting that June 5th is World Environment Day promoted by the United Nations. The following is the summary of his address. The full text of the Pope’s catechesis is available in the link given below.
“When we speak of the environment, of creation, my thoughts go to the first pages of the Bible, to the Book of Genesis, where it is affirms that God puts man and woman on earth ‘to cultivate and care for it’. And the question comes to me:” the Pope said to the faithful gathered in St. Peter’s Square, “What does it mean to cultivate and care for the earth? Are we truly cultivating and caring for creation? Or are we exploiting and neglecting it?”
“Cultivating and caring for creation,” explained the Holy Father, “is God’s indication, given not only at the beginning of history, but to each one of us. It is part of his plan. It means responsibly making the world grow, transforming it so that it becomes a garden, a place that all can inhabit.”
“Benedict XVI recalled many times that this tasked entrusted to us by God the Creator requires that we understand the rhythm and logic of creation. Instead, we are often guided by the arrogance of dominating, possessing, manipulating, and exploiting. We don’t ‘take care’ of it; we don’t respect it; we don’t consider it as a freely-given gift to be cared for. We are losing the attitude of wonder, of contemplation, of listening to creation. Thus we are no longer able to read in it what Benedict XVI called ‘the rhythm of the story of God’s love for humanity’. Why is this happening? Because are we thinking and living ‘horizontally’; we are drawing away from God; we are not reading his signs.”
“But cultivating and caring for doesn’t just refer to our relationship with the environment, the relationship between humanity and creation. It also concern human relationships. … We are living a moment of crisis. We see it in the environment, but above all we see it in humanity. The human person is in danger. … This is the urgency of human ecology! The danger is serious because the root of the problem is profound, not superficial. It isn’t just a question of economics but of ethics and anthropology. … The dynamics of an economy and finance that lack ethics are dominating.”
Speaking off the cuff, the pontiff added: “What is in charge today isn’t the human person but money. Money is in command. And God our Father has given us the task of caring for the earth not for the money, but for us: for men and women. This is our charge. Instead, men and women are sacrificed to the idols of profit and consumption. It is a ‘culture of waste’.“