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Kansas Diocese Opening Green Cemetery May 25th, 2012
Wichita, Kansas is about to become one of the very few cities in the country to offer ‘gree’ or non-toxic burials. The open Kansas prairie – tall natural grasses and the quiet of nature – is where the Catholic Diocese of Wichita will open the area’s first natural burial area. There are no caskets, no vaults, and no headstones.”
In a recent article in the local press, Jim Sheldon, Director of the Catholic cemeteries explains: “The idea is that we’ll have natural gamma grasses, little blue stem, tall to have area like it used to be like the Kansas prairie. “…[A] natural burial area will not only save money for the families who are burying loved ones, but it will save the environment, according to the Casket and Funeral Association of America. This is largely due to the fact that [e]very year, 827,000 gallons of embalming fluid – dangerous chemicals – along with tons of steel, copper, and bronze are buried in the ground, causing potential environmental dangers.
The Oblate JPIC Committee has been looking at the issue of ‘green’ burials in the past year.
Oblate JPIC Committee Meets in Godfrey, IL April 12th, 2011
Oblate JPIC staff and members of the U.S. Oblate Province Justice and Peace Committee met in Godfrey, Illinois, April 6-8 for the 2011 spring meeting to discuss the progress made on justice and peace issues. The purpose of the meeting was to share updates on the work of the JPIC staff and committee members and strategize on issues of importance to the JPIC initiative.
Issues discussed included work on housing foreclosures in San Fernando, a report on ICCR-related work on access to water and access to medicines, the Oblate Ecological Initiative, updates on Immigration reform and the death penalty, efforts to stem the flow of human trafficking and the experience of the 2011 World Social Forum held in Senegal. The Oblate JPIC committee meeting provides an opportunity to strategize on the issues as well as to connect with the local Oblate community where the meeting is held. During this particular meeting, Oblate novices and their staff – who provided wonderful hospitality to the participants – joined the morning session.