Letters to the Editor

Green Teams in Parishes

Dear Editor: I was thrilled to read the Up Front and Personal article (Oct. 1) by Sister Maryann Seton Lopiccolo, S.C.: “‘Laudato Si’ Is an Everyday Response.”

Parishes in the Brooklyn Diocese are responding in many different ways to “Laudato Si’.” Parishes in Queens have established Green Teams and Laudato Si groups in Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament Church, and Sacred Heart Church, both in Bayside.

Each week, their bulletins include statements from Laudato Si’, and ask a question to ponder. Sometimes suggestions are included on how we can respond to Laudato Si’ in our everyday decisions as consumers, and citizens of the Earth. Both parishes have been communicating with each other about ideas, websites and materials. Could we begin to do this in our diocese?

Sacred Heart Church distributed 500 free recyclable shopping bags to parishioners, which were given free from Stop and Shop in Bayside. This store made an effort to supports its community in its mission.

In these churches, Catholic Update, a one-time publication from Liguori Publications, titled “Pope Francis and the Environment,” will be given to parishioners in their bulletins. Making sure every parishioner in the Brooklyn Diocese receives one of these would be a very simple way the entire diocese could be unified in its mission to make a huge difference in our communities, and in our city.

It includes many thought-provoking ideas from Pope Francis, as well as practical suggestions, such as limiting eating beef, cutting down on hard copy newspapers, and of course using recyclable bottles and recyclable bags.

In our schools, do we, as parents and teachers, frequently talk to our children about carrying out the message of Laudato Si’? Do they know that to be happy, they don’t need the most up-to-date phones and electronic devices? Do they recycle their old ones? Do they regularly donate their used clothing and toys to the poor? Do they see us giving granola bars or small denomination food store gift cards to the homeless we may encounter on the street? Are their schools recycling? Do their libraries contain books on ecology?

On Wednesday, Nov. 9, there will be a special presentation at Sacred Heart Church on Laudato Si’. Sister Kathleen Deignan, and Brother Kevin Cawley, C.F.C., will be the presenters from Iona College. Brother Kevin is executive director of the Thomas Berry Forum for Ecological Dialogue at Iona College. Sister Kathleen is the director of the Institute of Religious Studies, and is a GreenFaith fellow. The presentation will take place in the Parish Center, 215-35 38 Ave., Bayside, at 7:30 p.m.

This would be a great opportunity to meet with other people in our Diocese who are concerned about our Earth.

Pope Francis says: “We are called to be instruments of God our Father, so that our planet might be what he desired when he created it.“



Editor’s Note: Judy Tolan is a member of the Green Team at Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament.