In Central America, indigenous people resist environmental degradation with hope.
The crab waits beneath the flat stone where the corn is being ground for the traditional drink, chicheme. If crabs get confused, then I suppose this is a confusing experience for our crab. He was taken from the stream yesterday afternoon by the ritually designated children of the household (firstborn or twins) and placed under the grinding stone, free to eat what drips off the sides. “He has a very important part in the festival,” explains Bechi, a Ngäbe elder. “It’s a festival where all are welcome.”
Ending our toxic relationship with plastic could improve our human relationships
Talking about faith and plastic together seems like talking about apples and oranges. Or two even further extremes: maybe apples and giraffes. But for Sasha Adkins, a lecturer at Loyola University Chicago’s Institute of Environmental Sustainability, the two go hand in hand.
Being pro-life necessarily means being pro-environment as well.
As most Catholics know, January 24 was the 47th March for Life in Washington, D.C. This year, as I have in previous ones, I decided not to attend—not because I support abortion, but because abortion is only one of the many pro-life issues that deserve prominent attention.
Resistance and change often begin in art.
I took a class on “ecowriting,” and the first assignment was to pull some weeds. It was an unseasonably hot and humid October, so I chose not to pull the weeds from around my tomato plants. I still wanted to honor the assignment somehow, so I walked past the football field behind our house to a wall of overgrown brush.
Our common home is worth a little extra effort.
Do you ever notice what you don’t see?
Hang with me—I know the question seems strange.
Those of us gifted with the ability to see count on our eyes to alert us to the tangible objects around us: the person approaching on my left, the puddle I’m about to step in, the stoplight that just turned green.
Eyes create images of the current environment. What we see matters.
But what we don’t see is worth observing too.
We are pushing our planet to its limits for the sake of a few fun parties.
Blank calendar squares that suggest a relaxing autumn disappear when the November page is pulled. In December we go from flurries to a full-blown snowstorm of activities that fall fast upon our household in blizzard-like heaps. The short days leading up to Christmas are jam-packed, but even when they leave me exhausted I love them. Every festivity and finishing touch makes the season special, even more so now with kids to share in our nostalgia.
Are parishes answering Pope Francis' call to care for our common home?
In May 2015 Pope Francis released Laudato Si’ (On Care for Our Common Home). In his second encyclical, the pope urges Catholics to be mindful of their environmental impact and to actively work for environmental justice. He says of the importance of sustainability, “Many things have to change course, but it is we human beings above all who need to change.” U.S. Catholic surveyed readers to find out how parishes across the United States are answering this call.
The synod is a powerful lesson to spread filial love for all of creation.
On October 15, 2017 Pope Francis announced that the Pan-Amazonian Synod would be taking place in Rome. The goal of the synod is to seek out new paths for evangelization, particularly in the area known as Amazonia, and shape “a Church with an Amazonian face,” according to the preparatory document for the synod published by the Vatican. The synod documents follow Pope Francis’ urging that care for creation necessarily includes care for the poor.
At the Amazon synod, the church must stand with indigenous people to protect creation.
The Synod of Bishops for the Pan-Amazon Region was controversial long before this fall. Self-described orthodox Catholics have worried over its potential impact far from the Amazon. One of the issues to be discussed at the synod is the acute shortage of priests in the nine countries that make up Amazonia.
When you become a community-oriented church, the needs of your neighborhood become your reality.
Jonathan Brooks, known as “Pastah J” at Canaan Community Church in Englewood, a Chicago neighborhood, is quick to say that his church is community oriented, not justice oriented. “Justice is the result of living in community with one another,” he says. Parishes often focus on big issues such as creating world peace. Instead, says Brooks, they should build up their own community.