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Celebrating a Worldwide Season of Creation September 1st, 2016
La Vista Ecological Learning Center invites you to participate in the
Worldwide Season of Creation
September 1 – October 4, 2016
Last year Pope Francis designated September 1 as the World Day of Prayer for Care of Creation, joining the Orthodox Church which has been celebrating it since 1989. The day has now been extended by some groups to be a month-long Season of Creation, ending on October 4 (Feast of St. Francis).
Speaking to the faithful on Sunday, August 28th, 2016, Pope Francis said, “This coming Thursday, September 1st, we will mark the World Day of Prayer for the care of creation, together with our Orthodox brothers and with other Churches,” describing the event as, “an opportunity to strengthen the common commitment to safeguard life, respecting the environment and nature.”
Announcing this special day in 2015, Pope Francis said Christians want to make their special contribution to safeguarding creation, but to do that they must rediscover the spiritual foundations of their approach to earthly realities, beginning with an acknowledgment that “the life of the spirit is not dissociated from the body or from nature,” but lived in communion with all worldly realities.
The ecological crisis, he said, is a summons “to a profound spiritual conversion” and to a way of life that clearly shows they are believers. Quoting his encyclical, he said, “living our vocation to be protectors of God’s handiwork is essential to a life of virtue; it is not an optional or a secondary aspect of our Christian experience.”
For Your Reflection
Pope Francis calls upon our Christian faith to care for nature and for the most vulnerable among us, honoring the three fundamental and closely intertwined relationships: with God, with our neighbor, and with Earth. This implies a relationship of mutual responsibility between human beings and nature.
Selected Quotes from Laudato Si’
“Each community can take from the bounty of Earth whatever it needs for subsistence, but it also has the duty to protect Earth and ensure its fruitfulness for coming generations. “(67)
“Climate change is a global problem with grave implications: environmental, social, economic, and political and for the distribution of good. Its worst impact will probably be felt by developing countries.” (25)
“Fresh drinking water is an issue of primary importance, since it is indispensable for human life and for supporting terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems” (28)
“The spirit of God has filled the universe with possibilities and therefore from the very heart of things, something new can emerge”. (80)
“The entire material universe speaks of God’s love and boundless affection for us. Soil, water, mountains: everything is, as it were, a caress of God. ” (84)
“Everything is interconnected, and genuine care for our own lives and our relationships with nature is inseparable from fraternity, justice and faithfulness to others.” (70)
“Our relationship with the environment can never be isolated from our relationship with others and with God. “(119)
What touches your heart? What calls you to action?
(Thank you to Denise Turcotte, CSC, for calling us to deepen our relationship with our rare and precious planet.)
La Vista Celebrates Autumn Equinox September 23rd, 2014
To introduce themselves, participants told about the last time they spotted a Monarch. Maxine Pohlman, Director of the Oblate Ecological Initiative at Godfrey said, “We learned much about one another, our country or state of origin, and the presence and absence of Monarchs in our areas. Our sharing whetted our appetites for viewing the YouTube video “Plight of the Monarchs”, a twenty minute informative presentation filmed in central Illinois. We became aware of the threats to the endangered phenomenon of the annual Monarch migration, such as habitat loss, use of pesticides, and disappearance of the valuable milkweed plant.”
She added, “Next we headed outside to a patch of milkweed that has been cordoned off and allowed to grow throughout the season. As we stood there listening to a reading about the Monarch, one beautiful butterfly showed up to delight us – right on cue!”
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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.
Oblate Community Supported Garden Shown at its Best in Local Magazine! August 15th, 2011
The Summer 2011 issue of Home Style Magazine, a publication of The Telegraph in Alton, Illinois, has run a very nice article on the LaVista Community Supported Farm supported by the Oblates. The Editor’s Note, titled “Garden Fresh,” is accompanied by sumptuous photos of the CSA’s bounty.
Interest in fresher, healthier foods has made CSA’s (Community Supported Agriculture projects) increasingly popular. The Oblate CSA at La Vista in Godfrey, Illinois was highlighted recently in an informative article on the fast growing movement.