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Faith, greens and green buildings topics at Earthkeeping Summit

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“I wish I could live in that garden.” 

Such was the reaction of one happy little girl who had helped to tend and taste the luscious bounty of tomatoes, lettuce and carrots growing at the St. Vincent Family Center in Columbus, Ohio, last summer.

The 10-year-old had been participating in a learning garden for kids, sponsored by Growing Matters, a non-profit organization that teaches families in the inner city of Ohio’s state capital about growing food, good nutrition and cooking.

For 40 years, pastoral letters focus on sustaining Appalachian culture

Forty years since the bishops of Appalachia first called attention to the lives and struggles of people in the region, a new effort is underway to raise the voices of Appalachians celebrating their accomplishments and confronting their struggles.

Work is continuing on a new pastoral letter called the People's Pastoral. It is percolating from the Appalachians themselves and will reflect on their stories, struggles and hopes, said Jeannie Kirkhope, coordinator of the Catholic Committee of Appalachia, which is organizing the project.

Preview: The curse of existence vs the blessings of life in Congo's mines

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There are many places where the curse of existence seems to outweigh the blessing of life. The mining sector of the Democratic Republic of Congo is such a place. I have been in Kolwezi, a mining area in south Katanga Province, DRC, in the past and returned there in August. Knowing what to expect did not soften the reality of the harsh and perilous existence there.

Cardinal Turkson discusses meaning of 'vocation to agriculture'

Catholics, and not just farmers, should consider "what could be the meaning of a vocation to agriculture," said the president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace.

In remarks prepared for delivery Wednesday as part of a conference in St. Paul called "Faith, Food & the Environment: The Vocation of the Agricultural Leader," Ghanaian Cardinal Peter Turkson said Jesus expected those who listened to him to know about agriculture or at least be exposed to it.

Solar plants in bloom across the globe

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Bad news about the environment is as plentiful as junk food -- readily available for our consumption. 

Overdosing can be bad for our spiritual and mental health, prompting despair, causing a “What’s the use?” bout of resignation. This is understandable.

But do not cave in. Don’t give fossil fuel corporations the satisfaction of thinking they will continue to have the upper hand, into perpetuity. They are living on borrowed time.

Preview: Springbank Retreat: the South's center for 'healing self, healing earth'

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On a mild day in December, I found myself at Springbank Retreat in Kingstree, S.C. – sitting in a tipi. I’d never expected to usher in the new year at a Native American pipe ceremony, but I was moved, and honored, to participate.

I’d been looking for a spiritual place to get away for a few days after Christmas and write. I found Springbank on the Internet and wrote to director Sr. Trina McCormick, who told me to come on down.

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