It has been humbling to see our ministry grow over the last 5 years. From the simple beginnings of Laudato Si’ Project to the establishment of the Catholic Ecology Center, God’s fingerprints have been especially present in our work in recent years. On March 8th, 2021 we were able to purchase nearly 60 acres of amazingly diverse and beautiful property from the former Girl Scout Camp; Camp Winding River. Our property is also part of a 225-acre preserve complex thanks to adjacent land purchase of what is now Camp SIM. God’s providence also allowed for us to partner with Milwaukee Catholic Home’s Clare Gardens to grow organic produce on site to feed the senior living homes in Milwaukee and also educate people about living sustainably.
Our mission seeks to connect people of all ages and backgrounds to Christ and His Church utilizing the beauty and wonders of the natural world as a conduit to make this connection. Our programs are varied in nature and include retreats, ecology programs, service projects and recreational opportunities.
Within the first few months after establishing the Catholic Ecology Center, it became very clear that the desire of schools, parishes and families for faith-filled, nature based programming was necessitating our hiring of a new staff member. In June of this year, we were honored to hire Theresa Liebert to become the Program Coordinator.
Theresa grew up in the driftless region of Wisconsin on a small hobby farm. She graduated from Wyoming Catholic College in Lander Wyoming with a bachelor’s degree in the Liberal Arts. Before joining the Catholic Ecology Center, Theresa worked on an organic produce farm and as a CNA for five years. During her time in Wyoming she spent over 70 hours in the back country and enjoyed many outdoor activities including rock climbing, white water kayaking, cross country skiing, canyoneering, caving, and backpacking. Theresa has always found beauty to be the transcendental which brings her closest to Christ. She hopes to share God’s first book with others through her work at the Catholic Ecology Center.
From the very beginning of our founding as Laudato Si’ Project and right through the present ministry of the Catholic Ecology Center, our mission is Christ focused and faithful to the teachings of the Catholic Church. This was exemplified when we held our formal CEC blessing and Mass in July. It was an amazing day beginning with a blessing of the Catholic Ecology Center by Bishop Schuerman of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee and followed by fun, family activities, culminating with an outdoor Mass with the Bishop.
I want to thank the generous donors that have made this all possible. Without your support of the vision for the Catholic Ecology Center we would not exist today. I also want to thank all our members. Your membership support allows us to keep our doors open, trails accessible and mission and outreach increasing. Thank You!
Read more about who we are and what we do in these articles:
- Catholic Herald April; Catholic Ecology Center’s New Home
- Catholic Herald April; Helping Kids Discover God in Nature
- Milwaukee Journal Sentinel; Clare Garden’s New Site at Catholic Ecology Center
- National Catholic Register; At Work, Play and Prayer in the Fields of the Lord