A Reflection from Joe Meyer, Executive Director
Lent is a reflective time and no better time to look back on the first year of the Catholic Ecology Center, a year so visible with God’s fingerprints on our ministry. Like any parent can attest to “It’s been a year already!” Yes, the founding of the Catholic Ecology Center happened 1 year ago today but its ambitious and bold vision integrating Faith and a love for creation started in the summer of 2018. In those years in between, there were tremendous high and lows with everything from fundraising to multiple land deals falling apart. As many of us have learned in the Christian life, God is trustworthy and His timing is perfect. We need to first empty our life of self-interest-submit our will to that of the Father’s-let the Holy Spirit take the reins and then HOLD ON TIGHT… because, let me tell you, you are in for the ride of a life time.
The mission of the Catholic Ecology Center (CEC) really begins with family. Certainly the family of our organization consisting of a unified and mission-focused board of directors and staff. But, at its core- the CEC begins with each family, each person, finding a home in the programs, events and community that the CEC offers. That is most tangible for me in my own family. Beginning the Catholic Ecology Center meant a new chapter for not just me but also my wife and kids. Through prayer and discernment, we recognized that God was calling us to something greater than ourselves- to a mission needed so desperately in our Church and world. This also meant great sacrifice.
In Lent, we talk about the pillars of Lent; prayer, fasting and almsgiving- and as any executive director worth their salt, let me talk about almsgiving:) In my family’s journey with the Catholic Ecology Center, we have found new meaning in giving of our time, talent and treasure. We all have likely heard this words during the stewardship or missionary appeals at Mass, but do we take them to heart. The CEC has enabled my family to find new meaning in these words and invest in things beyond this world and instead in things that build the Kingdom of God. Giving of our time to a ministry that creates time for God in the lives of so many. Giving of our talents, allowing people to have a greater wonder for God in the intricacy of ecology, art, prayer and community. Giving of our treasure in a direct and meaningful way, donating to the CEC’s mission to ensure this vital ministry continues to grow.
Of course, my family is not alone. I am humbled by the amazing partners, supporters, staff and volunteers that have answered this same call to something greater; to build Christ’s Church. May God continue to bless the ministry and mission of the Catholic Ecology Center, Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam, For the Greater Glory of God. Amen