News Archives » Ecology
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’.“
EcoLenten Series February 17th, 2012
The Passionist Earth and Spirit Center has developed a Lenten Series that focuses on God’s creation. Lent 4.5 identifies Christian Simplicity as a meaningful way to experience Lent and informs and inspires communities on how to use prayer, fasting and almsgiving to care for God’s creation.
The title “Lent 4.5” refers to our pattern of consumption in the sense that from 4.5 acres, each of us would have to find everything we need to support our life: food, home, energy, transportation, clothing, appliances, cars and gadgets. Topics such as Compassionate Living, Food buying and consumption, Water conserving and protecting, Energy efficient and clean, and Transportation, are offered as weekly themes. There are weekly handouts, discussion guides, as well as activities for teachers and children. For more information call: 502-452-2749 or email: email@example.com or visit the website: www.lent45.org
Catholic Health System Eliminates Styrofoam January 5th, 2012
Bon Secours St. Francis Health System in Greenville, South Carolina has completely eliminated its use of Styrofoam plates, cups, and bowls in cafeterias at both Greenville campuses as part of a 3-year-old, system-wide green initiative and as a way to be a model to the wider Greenville community.
Karen Schwartz, the hospital system’s vice president for facilities, says that the move was inspired by the fact that as a petroleum-based product, Styrofoam doesn’t decompose or go away over time in a landfill. It stays forever and it takes up space. If you throw it in the ocean, it floats and it can kill sea life. If you burn or incinerate it, the chemicals that were used in the manufacturing of it aerosolize and again has a negative impact on the environment…
“We really couldn’t find a redeeming quality other than the fact that it held stuff.” Schwartz added: “We are all responsible for caring for God’s creation and we are interdependent on one another. It is really short-sighted of me to think that my actions and behaviors don’t impact someone in Haiti, Peru, Africa or China – because they do.” (Story from The Greenville News, 12/30/2011)
We’d like to give a shout out to the Catholic Climate Covenant for sharing this story in their Weekly E-Update. For more information, and to sign up, visit their website at: http://catholicclimatecovenant.org/
Catholic Climate Covenant is a project of the Catholic Coalition on Climate Change.
Investors Urge Senate Leadership to Allow Implementation of Clean Air Act Rules December 19th, 2011
The Missionary Oblates joined thirty-two faith-based and socially responsible investors in a letter to the Senate leadership urging timely implementation of Clean Air Act rules proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), most notably, the Cross State Air Pollution rule (CSAPR) and Mercury and Air Toxics rule (Utility MACT). Arguing that the proposed rules would create jobs and save lives, the investors added that, based on their discussions with electric utilities, the proposed rules would not threaten the reliability of the electric system.