Respecting Creation

Originally published on

Seamus FinnIn the 1997 Vade Mecum on Justice, Peace, and Integrity of Creation, the General Council of the Congregation gave life to the important priority of the Integrity of Creation. This marked one of the first times that this priority was identified and offered to the Congregation and identified as an important evolving dimension of our commitment to Justice and Peace ministry. This prophetic development would later be formally integrated into the Constitutions and Rules by the General Chapter of 2004.

 This priority was given life in the US province through the establishment of the Oblate Ecological Initiative in 2001 at the Oblate novitiate in Godfrey IL. The project had a twofold purpose. It consisted of the Ecological Learning Center and the La Vista Community Supported Garden.


The Ecological Learning Center organizes workshops, programs, retreats and rituals that are intended to awaken our hearts and minds to the gift and beauty of creation and to broaden our vision so as to appreciate the inter-relatedness and interdependence that are at the center of our life journey with all of God’s people and a with all of creation. Each of these programs is guided by a spirit of inquiry, study and contemplation and is shared with others through a website and newsletter.


The Community Supported Agriculture project is organized through a shareholder concept that includes more than a hundred families, local food pantries, shelters and educational institutions. This project is committed to organic production, access to healthy and tasty food, and building a sustainable community. The province contributes more than five acres of land to this project and is an active participant on the board that governs the project.


Many other local Oblate communities have embraced this vision as well. They are committed to the “Reduce, Reuse and Recycle” mantra that is part of the environmental resolution adopted by the provincial council in 2001; they participate in local CSA projects and integrate the commitment into their ministries. Most recently the Oblate Community in Washington DC decided to embrace and participate in an urban gardening project that is the dream of a small group of young people in northeast Washington. The community agreed to donate the use of some of their land to this effort. (Seamus FINN)

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