Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of May 5, 2008
Calgary Diocese going green
Monthly eco-bulletin steers parishioners to environmental responsibility
By SARA LOFTSON
“It’s not what we buy, but do we need to buy in the first place?”
- Simone Brosig
"You can recycle as much as you can but if you don't buy anything made from recycled products then you don't allow the recycling cycle to be completed. It's almost pointless," said the 34-year-old priest. He personally uses items like paper towels, tissue paper and unbleached coffee filters made from recycled materials.
"It's all about being more discerning with our shopping habits and choices. It's never going to be perfect, but we should all do what we can and be more intelligent shoppers."
Brosig added that eco-stewardship is closely tied to our habits as consumers. "We live in a culture of want, but stewardship challenges us to cultivate a sense of abundance. It's not what we buy, but do we need to buy in the first place? Who suffers if we consume a lot? It becomes a social justice issue as well."
In addition to the blog, in February Brosig also started posting monthly eco-bulletins on the stewardship website, which gets distributed in most diocesan parish bulletins. Two volunteer parish
ioners supply environmentally-themed Scripture passages and inspirational quotes to coincide with practical environmental tips including, how to recycle, compost and use less energy.
The eco-bulletin caught the attention of Michael Murphy, the executive director of the International Catholic Stewardship Council. He asked permission to use the material in the council's April stewardship newsletter.
With Earth Day falling on April 22, Murphy thought, it was appropriate to focus on eco-stewardship. "The eco-bulletin is a good teaching tool and we thought it's a very important contribution from Dr. Brosig and the Catholic Church in Calgary," said Murphy from his office in Washington, D.C.
"Part of our obligation as Christians is to care for and nurture the Earth; it comes right out of our biblical tradition. The Lord has turned over the dominion of the Earth to human beings to cultivate and care for it."
Next on the agenda for Brosig is to offer a workshop in the autumn dealing with eco-spirituality from a biblical, historical and theological perspective.
"As the business of 'green' products takes off, it is important to root our efforts to sustain the environment in a properly oriented spirituality," she said.
Other offices in the Calgary Diocese are also tackling the environment as it relates to faith. The social justice office is hosting a conference called Protecting the Environment - Protecting our Health: Taking Action, Saving Lives held May 8 in Lethbridge and May 10 in Calgary.
Dr. Kristin Shrader-Frechette from the University of Notre Dame in Indiana will speak about environmental threats to health. For information call 218-5514.
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