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Catholics and Care of the Environment

I recently attended the International Catholic Liberation Workshop, led by Joanne Bray* in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. I led a topic table on care of the environment. It was good to hear what other Catholic RCers are doing in their homelands.

I asked people to share what they were doing and said that it didn’t matter if it was large or small, that all of it was important to share. I told them that feelings such as “I’m not doing much or enough” could be discharged after sharing.

One person shared what he had done to stop hydrofracking (deep gas drilling) in the state of New York, USA. He, along with other leaders in New York, had worked for years to ban fracking, and won.

Another person was writing a book with his colleagues about ending the fossil fuel era. Another shared that in her neighborhood and building people had started to separate the garbage for recycling, take care of the green areas, and use water in the common areas more rationally.

A nun from Chile shared that she had her own garden, did composting, had bees, and took care of animals, like chickens. She also taught students at her school how to care for the garden, the bees, and the animals—helping them to connect with the earth. She made eco-bricks from plastic and taught her students how to do this in their homes. The name of her people, Mapuche, means “people from the earth.” (Mapu means “earth” and che means “people.”) She lives in the city and said that having a garden and taking care of animals is her way of protesting the vast amounts of cement all over the city.

Another Co-Counselor from here in Mexico teaches people how to ride and care for bicycles. On Sundays she rides bikes with people, including families, to create a culture that uses bikes.

Someone from Detroit (Michigan, USA) works with young people in rebuilding public spaces, like parks and play areas, in low-income neighborhoods. She has the young people talk about the places that are abandoned in their neighborhoods and how they should look. After that they get together to rebuild the spaces.

I shared what I do here in Mexico at the university with my students. Mostly I teach about environmental issues. I show the students how a landfill looks and operates and teach them what to consider about water for human use, what kinds of things contaminate the water, and how to measure that contamination.

Dulce Cisneros

Mexico, D.F., Mexico

Reprinted from the RC e-mail discussion list for leaders of Catholics

(Present Time 182, January 2016)


* Joanne Bray is the International Liberation Reference Person for Catholics.


Last modified: 2021-06-01 12:29:59+00