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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.
Understanding Fracking: Catholic News Service series January 6th, 2014
Dennis Sadowski, staff writer for Catholic News Service, has completed a series of articles on hydraulic fracking from a faith-based perspective. “It was a complicated issue to examine,” he informed Catholic Rural Life. Nevertheless, Sadowski provides a clear overview of this controversial energy source while blending in environmental justice teachings of the Church.
The Oblate JPIC Office has been engaging oil and gas companies on social and environmental issues related to fracking.
Thanks to National Catholic Rural Life for this information.
Go Green Tips from the EPA June 14th, 2013The US Environmental Protection Agency sends out an E-Newsletter with Green Tips that you might find useful. Here are some ideas from the June Newsletter…
Prepare for disaster before it strikes. June is the beginning of hurricane season in the U.S. Individuals, communities, and businesses can plan ahead for safety, shortages, and storm cleanup. http://www.epa.gov/naturaldisasters/hurricanes
WHAT YOU CAN DO, WHAT YOU CAN USE
Hot tips for a cool summer! Save energy in summer and fight climate change. Get tips to reduce energy bills and greenhouse gas emissions. http://www.epa.gov/epahome/hi-summer.htm
Don’t Fry – Any Day! With the start of the summer season, avoid overexposure to the sun’s harmful “UV” rays. Put on sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher. Melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer is the most common cancer among young adults aged 15-29. http://www2.epa.gov/sunwise/action-steps-sun-safety
Landscaping makes WaterSense! Homeowners or businesses can use WaterSense-labeled controllers for landscape watering. Landscaping water controllers with the WaterSense label meet criteria for efficiency and performance. http://www.epa.gov/watersense/products/controltech.html
You can subscribe at http://epa.gov/gogreen
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’.“
Fr. Darrell Rupiper, OMI – In Remembrance May 8th, 2013
“Heaven and earth are full of your glory.” This is the psalm response for today’s Mass, and was the title given by Fr. Darrell Rupiper, OMI to his seminar/retreat programs. Fr. John Cox wrote us to say that he offered Mass this morning in loving memory of Darrell, who passed away on February 10, 2009.
Remembering his life-giving spirit, Fr. Cox has shared these materials:
- The Great Work – one of Darrell’s group discussion handouts
- Tell the People I Love Them – song Darrell would teach the people (notes for guitar)
- Earth Care – The handout Darrell often gave at the end of a session, practical things people can do.
Heaven and earth are full of God’s glory. In memory of Darrell, please join us in being consciously aware of God in creation today, and doing some action that reverences the earth and promotes public awareness.
Lenten “Caring for Creation” Calendar January 23rd, 2013
“The environment is God’s gift to everyone, and in our use of it we have a responsibility towards the poor, towards future generations and towards humanity as a whole.” (Pope Benedict XVI, Caritas in Veritate, n. 48)
The Archdiocese of Washington has developed a Lenten Caring for Creation calendar, a series of spiritual reflections and sacrificial actions everyone can consider during Lent. Please use these in your preparation for Easter, and share this useful resource with others.