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Care for creation is an ancient Catholic concern that has taken on renewed urgency in recent decades. Catholics are examining their faith-related responsibility to protect the environment. Earth Day and the legacy of St. Francis of Assisi share the goal of protecting the environment and all of God’s creation.

Seasonal Features
Earth Day
See all of our Earth Day e-cards at CatholicGreetings.org

Explore the Ecology and Faith News area

Catholics are examining their faith-related responsibility to protect the environment and the connection between ecology and other issues, including food security, climate change, peace and justice, and consumption and production.

Why Catholics Care for Creation
In this issue of Catholic Update, Joan Brown, O.S.F., looks at how the Church has understood creation through the centuries. While exploring such issues as global warming, she also explains how the Spiritual and Corporal Works of Mercy can serve as a guide for the care of creation.

Care for Creation: A Franciscan Spirituality of the Earth
A book from St. Anthony Messenger Press!

Was Jesus a Tree Hugger?
This issue of Every Day Catholic focuses on how we can cultivate and care for the earth. Easy words in theory and wholly holy, but being good stewards of creation isn’t as easy as it sounds.

Francis, Faith and Ecology
The October 2007 issue of St. Anthony Messenger explored the many connections between Franciscan spirituality and our stewardship of the earth, including:

St. Francis of Assisi: Why He's the Patron of Ecology
The saint who composed the ‘Canticle of the Creatures,’ preached to the birds and prayed in the woods can teach us about caring for creation.

Species Preservation Matters
As the Poor Man of Assisi appreciated the biodiversity that God built into creation, humankind today needs to reclaim St. Francis' kinship ethic.

The ‘Our Father’: Our Environmental Teacher
This prayer can be a guide to saving the God-given planet.

The Tragedy of Mountaintop Removal
An Appalachian Catholic committee works with interfaith leaders to expose the full cost of coal-generated electricity.

Going Green: For the Sake of God's Creation
Dioceses, parishes and individuals are finding new ways of fulfilling the moral responsibilities toward creation.

Learn More About the Patron of Ecology
St. Francis of Assisi, lover of all creation, champion of justice, patron saint of animals and the environment, founded the Franciscan order.


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Rose Philippine Duchesne: Born in Grenoble, France, of a family that was among the new rich, Philippine learned political skills from her father and a love of the poor from her mother. The dominant feature of her temperament was a strong and dauntless will, which became the material—and the battlefield—of her holiness. She entered the convent at 19 and remained despite their opposition. As the French Revolution broke, the convent was closed, and she began taking care of the poor and sick, opened a school for homeless children and risked her life helping priests in the underground. 
<p>When the situation cooled, she personally rented her old convent, now a shambles, and tried to revive its religious life. The spirit was gone, and soon there were only four nuns left. They joined the infant Society of the Sacred Heart, whose young superior, St. Madeleine Sophie Barat, would be her lifelong friend. In a short time Philippine was a superior and supervisor of the novitiate and a school. But her ambition, since hearing tales of missionary work in Louisiana as a little girl, was to go to America and work among the Indians. At 49, she thought this would be her work. With four nuns, she spent 11 weeks at sea en route to New Orleans, and seven weeks more on the Mississippi to St. Louis. She then met one of the many disappointments of her life. The bishop had no place for them to live and work among Native Americans. Instead, he sent her to what she sadly called "the remotest village in the U.S.," St. Charles, Missouri. With characteristic drive and courage, she founded the first free school for girls west of the Mississippi. </p><p>It was a mistake. Though she was as hardy as any of the pioneer women in the wagons rolling west, cold and hunger drove them out—to Florissant, Missouri, where she founded the first Catholic Indian school, adding others in the territory. "In her first decade in America, Mother Duchesne suffered practically every hardship the frontier had to offer, except the threat of Indian massacre—poor lodging, shortages of food, drinking water, fuel and money, forest fires and blazing chimneys, the vagaries of the Missouri climate, cramped living quarters and the privation of all privacy, and the crude manners of children reared in rough surroundings and with only the slightest training in courtesy" (Louise Callan, R.S.C.J., <i>Philippine Duchesne</i>). </p><p>Finally at 72, in poor health and retired, she got her lifelong wish. A mission was founded at Sugar Creek, Kansas, among the Potawatomi. She was taken along. Though she could not learn their language, they soon named her "Woman-Who-Prays-Always." While others taught, she prayed. Legend has it that Native American children sneaked behind her as she knelt and sprinkled bits of paper on her habit, and came back hours later to find them undisturbed. She died in 1852 at the age of 83 and was canonized in 1988.</p> American Catholic Blog It was important for some saints to vanish from view, to “decrease” so that God could “increase” in the scheme of things. Many saints actively fought promotions. If obedience required embracing them, they found other ways to remain lowly.

 
PICKS OF THE WEEK
Advent 2014
From the First Sunday of Advent through the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, find inspiration for your Advent prayer time with this new book.
A Eucharistic Christmas
Advent and Christmas are the perfect time to reflect on the fact that God is with us always in the Eucharist.
What Do I Say?
Learn how to communicate with someone who is dying, especially how to convey a loving presence and a willingness to listen.
Peace and Good
"A practical and appealing guide to the Poor Man of Assisi." --Margaret Carney, O.S.F., president, St. Bonaventure University
Be Extraordinary!
Can a busy, ordinary person really make a difference in the lives of others?

 
CATHOLIC GREETINGS
Praying for You
If you soon will be united with family around a holiday table, take a moment today to pray for those who spend holidays alone.
Thanksgiving
In America, Thanksgiving is one of the rare times when religion and civics intersect. Let us give thanks and praise to God every day.
St. Rose Philippine Duchesne
This missionary to the American frontier was known among the Potawatomi people as “Woman-Who-Prays-Always.”
Birthday
God of life, we come to celebrate another year, and ask you to bless us.
Communion of Saints
As we celebrate this tenet of our faith, remind yourself and others that we’re all called to sainthood.



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