Seek Justice This Advent Season

Seek Justice This Advent Season

Seek Justice This Advent Season

This Advent, commit to simplicity. In a season that can mistakenly be focused on consumption, it’s a good chance to explore ways to live simply as we prepare for the coming of Jesus and the restoration of the earth.

Here are some ideas shared by our Social Justice and Peace Commission to live a more simple and intentional life, perhaps starting now, during Advent.

______ Take some breaks from my cell phone/smart phone, computer, and other devices so that you can be really present to the people around you.

______ Establish priorities and learn to say “no” to things that are not important to you and “yes” to things that are important.

______ Keep a gratitude journal by recording the big and small blessings that come my way.

______ Get rid of junk mail by
• throwing it into a recycling bin as soon as it arrives
• stopping it from being delivered by asking to be removed from mailing lists
• going paperless for bills, opting for digital bills instead

______ Eat more vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds, and less meat and dairy to lower my impact on the environment.

______ Reduce use of single-use plastics.

______ If you use a cut Christmas tree, plan ahead for helpful ways for disposing of it. Ecomaine is a great resource for statewide options.  Their information on recycling gift wrapping is something to consider before purchasing. “if you can rip it, you can recycle it,” they say!

Thanks to the Ignatian Solidarity Network for their leadership on this initiative. You can also sign up for the Ignatian Solidarity Network Advent calendar online here. It has daily suggestions for living more simply and in ways that help restore the earth.

Another Small Step for Our Common Home – Social Justice & Peace Commission

Another Small Step for Our Common Home – Social Justice & Peace Commission

Another Small Step for Our Common Home – Social Justice & Peace Commission

Protecting the Environment: A Message from the Social Justice and Peace Commission:

Having recently witnessed so much devastation due to climate change, we are challenged by Pope Francis in his Encyclical, Laudato Si’, to do whatever we can to protect the earth, our common home. To quote from Pope Francis in Chapter Six, “There is a nobility in the duty to care for creation through daily actions”. He goes on to say, “Education in environmental responsibility can encourage ways of acting which directly affect the world around us, such as:
— avoiding the use of plastic and paper
— reducing water consumption
— separating refuse
— cooking only what can be reasonably consumed.”

In the spirit of this directive from the Pope, we urge you to be aware of decreasing the use of plastic whenever possible. Silicone covers are available in different sizes. Beeswax wraps and glass containers are good substitutes for those made of plastic. Also look for household products that are biodegradable. Small actions do make a difference, and help to keep us aware of our personal responsibility to our common home.

To support this effort Social Justice & Peace is taking orders for Food Grabbers, 6 silicone disks that will keep half portions of food fresh without plastic ( onions, tomatoes, lemons, etc.), and also serve as covers for small glass containers.

These can be purchased with cash or check payable to the parish with your name and phone number or email address, dropped in the basket $15/each set of six, before November 11. They will be here in time to be Christmas gifts. You can contact members of the Social Justice and Peace Commission at olhsjp@gmail.com.

Thank you for considering this initiative!

Care for God’s Creation

Care for God’s Creation

Care for God’s Creation

Why Care About Climate Change?

In his Encyclical Laudato Si, Pope Francis’ reminds us that humanity is one inter-connected family, with the Earth as our common home. He calls on us to address the devastating effects climate change is having on that home.

Global warming is resulting in food and water scarcity, increased flooding, extreme heat, more disease, and economic loss. As climate change damages the Earth, it disproportionately affects the poor and most vulnerable members of society. Those with limited resources—such as families without the luxury of air conditioning during an extreme heat wave or the ability to relocate to avoid flood-prone neighborhoods—are unable to endure the impact of global warming.

We care about addressing climate change because Catholic Social Teaching and the Universal Apostolic Preferences of the Society of Jesus call on us to care for our common home; they also charge us to advocate for those on the margins of society. As Catholics, we are asked to nurture a healthy environment and, in turn, help alleviate the suffering of our brothers and sisters around the world whose pleas for help, for respect, have been ignored. We are called to join our voices with theirs.

We address climate change to honor life, by helping enable healthy and safe lives for our brothers and sisters worldwide. Indeed, as global warming has placed life on earth in danger, addressing climate change is a pro-life initiative on a global scale!

Want to learn more or better understand the impact of climate change in the Northeast? Check out: https://www.maine.gov/dacf/municipalplanning/docs/NortheastClimateImpactsAssessment(MaineSummary).pdf 

Our Social Justice and Peace Commission (authors of this post) meets on the third Thursday of each month on Zoom — you are invited to participate.  Just let us know through the contact us form.

Generosity, Gratitude, and Grace – Gardeners Share their Gifts

Generosity, Gratitude, and Grace – Gardeners Share their Gifts

Generosity, Gratitude, and Grace – Gardeners Share their Gifts

“Is this a weed?” “Yank it out!” “You know, some annuals might fill this space nicely, and bring color in July.”

“Wouldn’t a restful spot for prayer be lovely over here?”

“Oh, yes, a contemplative space would be lovely – gardens of remembrance.”

It’s a joyous ministry, These gardeners know how to have a good time – together. And, the grounds around St. Pius X are shaping up beautifully, thanks to their hard work each Thursday morning. Unless there’s pouring rain, you’ll find them there, starting at 7:30, wrapping up around 9:30 each Thursday morning. Your help is welcome – and needed – whether on a one time, occasional or frequent basis. You’ll learn as much as you’ll laugh.

Weeds are for the Bees

Weeds are for the Bees

Weeds are for the Bees

There’s not much that is more appealing than the sight – and scent – of a freshly mown lawn. As terrific as that is, the notion of helping pollinators early in the Maine spring is even more appealing. So, we’ve joined others who are giving the bees and other early pollinators a head start by providing habitat and forage for them as part of No Mow May. This initiative started in the United Kingdom and has earned support on this side of the Atlantic, including Portland and other parts of the state.

Nothing ventured, nothing gained. It’s harder than you might imagine for us to see our grass look unkempt, but we remember that we are working to care for our common home in small ways every day – hoping they add up. Seeing bees enjoying those bright, yellow dandelions is uplifting! We’ll see where it goes, but so far, the team’s been committed to seeing it through until Wednesday, June 1st!

Earth Day: Caring for Our Common Home

Earth Day: Caring for Our Common Home

Earth Day: Caring for Our Common Home

The Encyclical Letter from Pope Francis, Laudato Si’ On Care for Our Common Home, opens with: “Laudato si’, mi’ Signore” – “Praise be to you, my Lord”. In the words of this beautiful canticle, Saint Francis of Assisi reminds us that our common home is like a sister with whom we share our life and a beautiful mother who opens her arms to embrace us. “Praise be to you, my Lord, through our Sister, Mother Earth, who sustains and governs us, and who produces various fruit with coloured flowers and herbs”.

The winter storms and wind left a lot of litter behind, which we were able to pickup and dispose of properly at both Stevens and Ocean Avenue locations. The adage “many hands make light work” was put to the test — and proven to be true, especially when picking up branches and sticks that had blown around the front of St. Pius X Church. That wind that comes up from Back Cove and over the hill of Payson Park danced in the trees and shook loose branches from the maple.

It felt good to show our care for the grounds around our churches – our worship spaces – on the sunny Friday that was Earth Day this year. They sure needed it. We needed it, too, as it turns out. Such is often the way when caring for God’s creation and each other.

Many thanks to the parishioners who volunteered, and put their faith into action, reminding us that Earth Day is not just one day each year, but an outlook that sees many opportunities to care.

Skip to content