Nature as a Conduit to Christ

Care for Creation program for St. Anthony pre-school in Milwaukee

One of the greatest challenges today is reigniting the faith of our youth. We are seening the result of poor catechesis, tepid Catholicism and the secular culture pushing in from every angle. This is coupled with the disintegration of how to understand faith’s relationship with ecology and the disconnect of how we are called to care for creation. So…what do we do? Laudato Si’ Project and the Catholic Ecology Center’s mission is born. We seek to deepen faith and foster a stewardship ethic through hands-on encounters with the natural world. We bring a message of Hope!

For from the greatness and the beauty of created things their original author, by analogy, is seen.

Wisdom 13:5

The most clear path to instilling faith and fostering a stewardship ethic is through programing that intentionally connects the two. Our ecology programs and retreats are a clear path to showing the beauty of what is around us while catechizing youth about the depths of our faith. Stewardship projects flow from our faith in God and are our response to the many gifts he has given us. Our stewardship projects put faith into action and exemplify a living out of Catholic social teaching, especially care for creation. These stewardship projects include woodland restoration, prairie plantings, wildlife monitoring and more.

Fostering a Stewardship Ethic; Our Faith in Action

With the help of the Jesuit Volunteer Corps, we planted this butterfly garden on the Schoofs Preserve near Holy Hill.
Let Wonder Take You Into the Heart of God

Laudato Si’ Project seeks to use the natural world as a conduit to facilitate a quiet place for prayer and utilizes Wonder to deepen faith. We need the stillness offered by nature to heard God’s voice in the whispers and time in nature is always “re-creational”. Opening our eyes to the ecological intricacy of the little things around us can help awaken a child-like Wonder which can then be directed toward God. One doesn’t need to go far to experience this. Here are some examples from the insects that call our prairie plantings home.

Wonder
On the right side of this coneflower is a camouflage looper. This caterpillar takes bits of the plant it is resting on to help itself blend in. It turns into a wavy-lined emerald moth.
Wonder
Looks like a bee visiting a flower, right? This is one of hundred’s of bee-mimicking flies using the black and gold stripes as visual protection from predators.
Wonder
When we think of migrating, it’s always birds that come to mind but what about insects? Some of our butterflies, beetles and dragonflies actually migrate! These monarch’s are on their way to Mexico this Fall. A several thousand mile journey that was never taking by them but rather their great, great, great grandparents.

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Get outside and rediscover your sense of wonder for creation

Let the stillness and beauty of a prairie draw you to God