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Cultivating Care for Our Common Home: Protecting the Earth

Resources to help plan a parish event on protecting biodiversity

Earth Day falls on Easter Monday this year so consider instead planning an event sometime during the Easter Season. Divine Mercy Sunday on April 28th can be a meaningful day for hosting an event in response to Pope Francis’ call that “the works of mercy also include care for our common home”. The following resources can help with planning an event and can be adapted for use at any time that fits best with the parish.

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Cultivating Care for Our Common Home: Spring 2019

Protecting our family of living creatures

Spring is here although warm days are still reluctant visitors. Every week more old friends appear and bring anticipation of who is going to show up next—crocuses and robins have arrived, how much longer until tulips and rhubarb? This season of new life as Easter approaches makes it easy to appreciate Pope Francis’ call “to recognize that other living beings have a value of their own in God’s eyes: “by their mere existence they bless him and give him glory”” (#69)

Human activity is diminishing this blessing. Around the world these other living beings are shrinking in number or disappearing at an alarming rate. This is linked to human activity—we have not learned how to share our common home with our family of fellow living creatures.

We live as though we have forgotten that we are part of an amazingly diverse and complex web of life. Each creature contributes some role towards its ecosystem’s ability to provide the services which sustain all life, such as producing food, oxygen and clean water. The well-being of this web of life, which includes us, depends on the well-being of its biodiversity or variety of living species. Scientists, environmentalists, the Catholic Church and others are all raising awareness about the growing threats to biodiversity.

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Space: The Final Frontier

Counting the Social Good Being Done in Faith Buildings

dancing with Parkinsons
Dancing with Parkinsons practicing at Trinity-St. Paul's Centre for Faith, Justice and the Arts

The question of affordable office/rehearsal/programming space for not for profits throughout Ontario has been well documented. In major cities the issue is one of affordability while in rural Ontario the lack of “Third Spaces” following the closure of many schools has left rural citizens travelling ever-increasing distances to attend public gatherings.

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Calling on Ontario Faith Leaders to Stand Up for the Climate

“The climate crisis presents an opportunity for the world’s trusted faith leaders to not just avoid catastrophe, but also to create a better world. It’s not just a moral obligation. It’s a moral opportunity.” Dr. Dianne Saxe, Environmental Commissioner of Ontario (ECO).

This article is the first in a new series: Protecting a Life-Supporting Climate: A Call to Faith Leaders.

I’ve got Dianne Saxe on the phone. It’s late afternoon, in the dead of winter, and she’s on backcountry roads, heading north for a rare weekend off. “I might cut out,” she warns me.

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Protecting a Life-Supporting Climate: A Call to Faith Leaders

In this series, Faith & the Common Good looks at perspectives concerning the intersections of climate breakdown, faith and moral duty, and examines the role of religious leaders in advancing climate protection. We talk to faith leaders, climate experts and influencers to get a better understanding of the gaps that currently exist and what proactive action should be taken, or is being done in this respect.

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The Social Infrastructure of Beautiful Gathering

La Monastere at St Jax
La Monastere performs at St. Jax Anglican, photo Natalie Bull

We’re back, exploring the adaptive reuse and co-use (congregation still present) of faith buildings in Canada and the United States. Funded by the Metcalf Foundations’ Leading and Learning Fund, representatives of Artsbuild Ontario, The Toronto Arts Council, Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre, and Faith & the Common Good finished up our journey in Montreal.

Day two in Montreal (see day one in the last blog) led us to ;St. Jax Anglican and Bourgie Hall at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, a former United Church.

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Manifesto of Youth at World Youth Day 2019

Ecological Conversion in Action: Manifesto of Youth at World Youth Day 2019 for the Care of the Common Home

Catholic youth meeting in January in Panama City, Panama, for World Youth Day, produced a manifesto, and launched the “Laudato Si’ Generation”, a new network of young Catholics committed to care for our common home.

“We, young Catholics from World Youth Day in Panama, would like to raise our hearts and minds in praise, joy and gratitude for the beautiful gift of our beloved “sister Mother Earth” in the lovely words of St Francis. At the same time we are painfully aware, as Pope Francis reminded us, that “our common home is falling into serious disrepair” (Laudato Si’61). Convinced that “all of us can cooperate as instruments of God for the care of creation” (LS 14), we call on everyone, ourselves first, to act with urgency to protect our planet and the poorest and most vulnerable people.”

Read the full manifesto here

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Native Flowers for our Local Bees!

Native Pollinator Plants Being Transported to their New Location

This past summer, the Ottawa Chapter of Faith & the Common Good collaborated with a new environmental effort: the Wild Pollinator Partners (WPP) network. This new initiative in Eastern Ontario was created to share information, resources and experience on native pollinators and it also has the goal to help liaise between local groups such as teachers, researchers, NGO’s and local residents. WPP saw a need to support and promote the important pollination benefits that native bees and other native species of insects provide to the local ecology. They realized that many people were not aware that wild bees, which are mostly solitary bees, are key to local pollination in both cities and the countryside. The belief that we are dependent solely on European Honeybees (an introduced species) to do all pollination is false. However Honeybees compete for the same nectar and pollen as our native species so it is crucial to provide native wildflower habitat to ensure the health of local populations of pollinators.

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