Dear friends in Christ,
Spring is a magnificently beautiful time of year in West Philadelphia. As the
trees and flowers bloom and the birds resume their songs, it is a reminder of the
beauty of God’s creation. We as human beings have a vocation given to us by God
himself to care for and be good stewards of that creation, to “till the soil and keep it”
(Gen 2:15). As Pope Francis emphasized in his landmark encyclical on the care for
our common home Laudato Si, this duty of care is grounded not in some imaginary
rights possessed by plants or animals, but in the innate dignity of each person, which
implies a duty to act in accord with that dignity, including in how we treat the air,
water, and soil (Laudato Si 89-90). Excessive expenditure of the world’s resources for
the sake of our own comfort is truly at the heart of this “climate crisis,” which means
that new green technologies – however good or helpful – will never address the
problem without a sincere conversion of heart and until our culture adopts a truly
I have been thinking a lot about how our parish at an institutional level can do our
part to better care for our common home. I would like to know about your own
experience. What decisions are you making in your own homes to pursue a more
sustainable living situation? What practices are you adopting as a household that we
might be able to consider as a household of priests or as an office? I am interested in
any and all recommendations and experiences that might be helpful to us.
Please make note of our ongoing diaper drive which is a wonderful pro-life act to
support moms in need. Thank you all for your generosity in so many ways!
May God be Blessed!
–Father Eric Banecker