Comprised of parishioners, school faculty and staff, and entire families, the Environmental Stewardship ministry (founded June 2008) was established to pursue a two-part mission: The encouragement throughout the parish and school of the dimension of spirituality that can be called Christian environmental stewardship, and the establishment or improvement of environmental management practices in church and school buildings and grounds.
The St. Francis Pledge to care for Creation and the poor has been our seminal direction with its five-point program. We pledge to:
PRAY and reflect on the duty to care for God’s Creation and protect the poor and vulnerable.
LEARN about and educate others on the causes and moral dimensions of climate change.
ASSESS how we as individuals and in our families, parishes, and other affiliations contribute to climate change by our energy use, consumptions, waste, etc.
ACT to change our choices and behaviors to reduce the ways we contribute to climate change.
ADVOCATE for Catholic principles and priorities in climate change discussions and decisions, especially as they impact the poor and vulnerable. Pope Francis has made many statements upon which we could base our mission. We select from his Easter, 2013 Urbi et Orbi address the following: “… let us become agents of God’s mercy, channels through which God can water the earth, protect all Creation and make justice and peace flourish.”
Pope Francis has made many statements upon which we could base our mission. We select from his Easter, 2013 Urbi et Orbi address the following: “… let us become agents of God's mercy, channels through which God can water the earth, protect all Creation and make justice and peace flourish.”
The ESC was an outgrowth of a strong environmental focus by a core group involved in the four year building project for the F&F Hall, Arts & Music Center, Gym and Parish Center. Those efforts resulted in many important environmental features being incorporated in those buildings including a 15000 gal cistern collection system that provides the bathroom toilet water for the Parish Center and also ensured reduced energy consumption for HVAC via building design features (cf. “Sustainability Features in New Buildings”, in brochure rack).
The ESC was begun in 2008 to expand these conservation efforts across the entire campus. Key focus areas developed include:
In addition to continuing with the ambitious portfolio of activities outlined above, this year we are focusing special attention on several new and expanded initiatives:
Bringing environmental concerns and “care for creation” more into the conscious awareness of all parishioners as a pillar of our faith
Further enhancements in energy conservation – Making full use of recent energy audits, efforts are continuing to identify root causes and implement further improvements in our parish energy usage. A current key target is a proposal on use of radiant heat reflective films to reduce heating spikes (and HVAC demand) associated with the large window space on the East side of the Narthex, a significant comfort issue during masses on sunny days.
Clean water project in Africa – As part of our current water conservation theme, we are exploring the possibility of a collaborative project with one of our associated African parishes to sponsor a well development project and relieve critical quality water shortages.
Waste reduction for special events – To further improve our waste profile associated with large special events (e.g., wedding receptions) and other meals sponsored by various parish groups as well as external renters, we are seeking to develop and implement a revised set of facilities guidelines that requires use of washables or recyclables for most significant events as a condition of use.
Assistance in environmental education – We will continue to seek avenues to cooperatively support and help develop and/or deliver where appropriate educational content (esp. in the science curriculum of the School) related to environmental issues and solutions. Spiritual and educational opportunities to help us understand how we can live on this earth as good stewards will be developed and encouraged for both adults and children. We also develop ideas for reducing, reusing, and recycling in the daily life of the church, the school, and the homes of parishioners and parents.
Third Monday of every month, 7:30 to 9:00 p.m.
Saint Anthony of Padua Room in the Parish Center
Estimated Time Commitment for Volunteers
Ideally, 1 hour meeting per month plus occasional help on special projects and/or monthly recycling table before mass. It’s quite alright to pick and choose…we understand everybody does not have time for nor is necessarily interested in all the things we do. We encourage would-be volunteers to try something they are interested in and grow your involvement based what you can handle and inspires you.
Written communication skills (through parish media); we especially need help with Spanish language skills to facilitate connection with and involvement of our Hispanic community in ESC; computer spreadsheet skills (for tracking data, etc.); we need those interested in gardening to help us build and maintain the San Isidro Labrador community garden. Website development experience would also be most welcome.
We Welcome You
We encourage you to consider the spiritual and practical reasons why you might wish to join Environmental Stewardship in working for environmental justice. If you are excited to participate in God’s new creation.... if you would like to expand your care for Creation beyond your own household.... if you are attracted to this ministry, then come join us!
|Activities involved in volunteering for this ministry|
|√||Work can be done alone|
|√||Work can be done at home|
|√||Some of our work may involve strenuous activity|
|√||Activity is spiritual in nature|
|√||Activity is social in nature|
|√||Activity involves children or the youth|
|√||Activity involves teaching|
|√||Appropriate for singles|
|√||Appropriate for married couples|
|√||Appropriate for family members|