National Catholic Reporter

The Independent News Source

Eco Catholic

Friar receives national Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation Award

 | 

The following is a press release announcing that Fr. Louie Vitale has received the U.S. Secular Franciscan Order's Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation Award.

Fr. Louie Vitale, OFM, a Franciscan friar known for protests against war and torture and advocacy for the poor, is the recipient of the U.S. Secular Franciscan Order's Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation Award.

The award was presented at the order's recent national chapter at St. Francis Retreat Center in San Juan Bautista, CA.

Formerly known as the Peace Award, it was "renamed this year to capture the significant efforts in the areas of justice, peace and the integrity of creation," noted Award Chairman Kent Ferris, SFO, who also chairs the order's Justice, Peace & Integrity of Creation (JPIC) Commission. "Our Franciscan Rule reminds us of our responsibility to 'individually and collectively be in the forefront of promoting justice by the testimony of our lives.' The JPIC Award allows us to recognize those who have modeled such courageous efforts."

Keystone XL debate's plotline thickens

 | 

The pro-environmental plotline thickens. And it's good news all around.

On Nov. 6, an estimated 12,000 protesters encircled the White House, urging President Obama to reject the proposed Keystone XL, a 1,700-mile oil pipeline that would stretch from Canada to Texas.

Among the numerous ecological objections to Keystone XL: If it were to leak, the pipeline could poison the 174,000-square-mile Ogallala Aquifer, which supplies drinking water to roughly two million people in the American heartland, reports the Huffington Post.

Meanwhile, as environmentalists rallied in D.C., several news sources and an independent labor study revealed that TransCanada, Keystone's owner, has exaggerated the number of jobs the project would create.

Earlier reports were touting 20,000. Turns out that's not exactly the case.

The gift of clean air

 | 

Bishop Blaire calls for good stewardship to protect God's gift of air

By Catholic News Service

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (CNS) -- The gift of clean air provided by God to humanity deserves to be protected through strong environmental stewardship by making changes in daily life so that fewer pollutants enter the atmosphere, said the chairman of the U.S. bishops' Committee on Domestic Justice Human Development.

'Tipping Point': A primer on the Alberta tar sands

 | 

As more attention is brought to the proposed Keystone Pipeline that would bring Alberta Tar Sands Oil from Canada through the central United States to refineries in Texas, people of faith are looking for resources to help them understand the issues involved and who will be affected. Tipping Point: The End of Oil is a powerful new documentary produced by Clearwater Media. It serves as a primer for parish adult education, and justice and peace groups.

Tipping Point, first shown on CBC's Nature of Things in January, introduces us to the real stories of real people whose health and way of life have been tragically upended by the "biggest construction project on the planet." The movie begins with the story of the indigenous people of Fort Chipewyan, who live downstream from the Tar Sands and have been dying in disproportionate numbers from rare forms of cancers.

Bioneers: A new vision of reality

 | 

The experience of liturgy, I believe, should impact us in two ways.

First, good liturgy paints an alternative vision of reality. Good liturgy (and good preaching) wakes us up to the sinful condition of the status quo, presents the way the world could be and hints at pathways toward that future. It inspires us toward a different way in which our future might be created.

Second, good liturgy presents a gathering of the community of communities. Folks who have been shaping in their day-to-day reality something of that world to come gather together.

In sharing their stories, their common wisdom of what has happened and how they have experienced the sense of the sacred, my own eyes are opened. I am encouraged and inspired by the stories of others to approach the coming week with a freshness of spirit and new eyes. In so doing, I forge allies for the work ahead.

Global governance of food security

 | 

The Committee on World Food Security (CFS) met in Rome from Oct. 17-22 at the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations. One hundred and twenty countries of the world belong to the FAO. This was the 37th annual meeting of the committee.

It was the first time that civil society (nongovernmental organizations and grassroots organizations) had a voice at the meeting.

California high school receives science partnership

 | 

Bishop O'Dowd High School in Oakland, Calif., has been a pioneer in environmental education for more than a decade. Its Living Lab, a core part of the student curriculum, has inspired graduates to pursue degrees as environmental engineers and lawyers.

A new partnership with the National Science Foundation will now enable the school to train even more students.

For an update, go to catholicvoiceoakland.org. The article appears in the Oct. 3 edition.

World leaders need to think like a planet

 | 

Envision for a moment the healing that could wash over our suffering planet if the entrenched ruling establishment were to come together for a very special one-day gathering at a retreat center deep within the California redwoods.

These retreatants would be comprised of an assortment of political leaders, lobbyists, bankers, CEOs of GMO research facilities, the military, and members of the oil, natural gas, nuclear weapons , timber and coal mining industries. Factory farm corporations would be there, too.

Imagine them shedding their initial sheepishness, contempt and self-consciousness at being invited "to do WHAT KIND OF STUFF?" Watch as they sink into a numinous space where the agenda includes drumming, chanting, meditating and mask making.

Ohio animal massacre a devastating waste of life

 | 

A heartbreaking waste of life at both the human and animal levels took place in Zanesville, Ohio, last week. On Tuesday, Oct. 18, Terry W. Thompson, an exotic animal owner, unlocked the cage doors of more than 18 endangered Bengal tigers, 17 lions, eight bears and an assortment of wolves and monkeys. Then he committed suicide.

Deputies responding to a neighbor's phone call had no choice but to kill the aggressive, disoriented animals as they roamed the countryside in the rainy dusk near a major freeway interchange. Six members of the menagerie -- a grizzly bear, three leopards and two monkeys -- stayed in their cages. They were captured by Columbus, Ohio, zoo staff and taken to the facility for safe keeping. At this writing, one of the escaped monkeys remains at large.

"It's like Noah wrecking his ark right here in Zanesville," said Jack Hanna, director emeritus for the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, after surveying the scene.

Hanna told a Columbus Dispatch reporter that conditions at Thompson's 45-acre farm were "absolutely horrific and filthy." In 2005, Thompson was convicted of animal cruelty and two other related convictions.

Pope: International community should ensure food for all

 | 

Renewed compassion and humanity towards one another as well as "the duty of solidarity and commitment to justice" must become the international community's goals to ensure that there is daily bread for all, Pope Benedict XVI said in a recent message to Jacques Diouf, director general of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. The Pontiff's letter was issued in honor of World Food Day, Oct. 16.

He said: "The future of the human family is in need of a new impulse to overcome present fragilities and uncertainties. Although we live in a global dimension, there are evident signs of the profound division between those who lack daily sustenance and those who have many resources, using them often for ends other than food and even destroying them."

The Pontiff stressed that agricultural work must not be considered a secondary activity, but as the objective of every strategy of growth and integral development.

He continues: "This is still more important if we keep in mind that the availability of foods is increasingly conditioned by the volatility of prices and sudden climatic changes."

Pages

Subscribe to Eco Catholic

Friends of NCR 300x80 web ad.jpg

NCR Email Alerts