St. Francis and Responsible Stewardship Begins Outside

by Sister Julie Ann on April 4, 2011

Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity are focusing on responsible stewardship of the natural environment in April community discussions. In this section of the article ‘Catholic Social Principles: Stewardship’, Sister Kathryn Klackner, OSF makes a practical application for students with reference to St. Francis of Assisi.

Franciscan Novice Sister Pamela Catherine Peasel and one of the Camp Franciscan campers enjoy retro rollar skating outdoors.

St. Francis of Assisi is a classic guru of environmentalism. His respect for all living and inanimate things, even in his singing rhetoric and dancing in the hills of Assisi, reflected his deep wonder and reverence for the Creator of all. His popular ‘Canticle of Creation’ speaks of the relationship of Creator with all creatures. Educational author Clare Lowell maintained that “if children don’t care about nature today, they won’t care about conserving it tomorrow when they’re adults.” (p. 219). St. Francis would agree. To have an investment in protecting something, one must care about it. To care for something, one must be connected and love it.

Perhaps the best environmental social justice lesson we can give students is to just be outside, in and with nature, to gain a personal and loving appreciation of the cosmos. Then reverence for the Creator and care for all of God’s creation will follow.

What more can you add?

5 thoughts on “St. Francis and Responsible Stewardship Begins Outside”

  1. Kklackner says:

    Every piece of nature offers a glimpse of God…snow, spring rain, May flowers, deary days and sunshine! I pray that we can find, or rather make, time to notice and enjoy God's natural blessings and offer our praise and reverence.

  2. Another dire social justice lesson for today is for us to pray with and for the people of Japan who are grieving the loss of so much of their lives. May our prayers, outreach, and “being one with” those who are suffering at this time teach us to reverence each other and the Incarnation of God with us on our earth.

  3. Ssharon says:

    This time of the year is resplendent with the “Springtime” of God's Creation. Let's enjoy it and praise the Lord for His Holy Splendor during this Lenten Season as we await the Risen Christ. At the same time let us remember all those out of work and looking for jobs to support themselves and their families.

  4. Srosangela says:

    I think living at Chiara Convent has put me in tune with nature more than ever. We are literally surrounded by nature and the change of seasons. We see the dying and rising of new life as we look out of our many windows. Walking to the college helps us experience the many changes in the weather and in nature. We are truly blessed.

  5. Sr. Mary Beth K says:

    Living in a poorer area of the country we often see a larger amount of litter than other areas of the country. Even though recycling is the norm in many areas, it is only in the early planning stages here. If someone is not able to find work, is not able to get a good education and is faced with huge obstacles day after day, it takes a major effort to have respect for yourself, for others and for the creation around you. As education, justice and respect for yourself and others increases, then eyes will be opened to see how to respect everything else around you.

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