Celebrating September Coastal Awareness Month in Wisconsin, the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity and other enthusiastic people from the greater Manitowoc/Two Rivers lakeshore area united efforts in sweeping the beach of Lake Michigan on a beautiful, sunny September 17, 2008 day.
This event coincided with the Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup which is the world’s largest volunteer event of its kind. Last year, 378,000 volunteers from 76 countries and 45 states cleared 6 million pounds of trash from oceans and waterways and recorded every piece of trash collected.
Ocean Conservancy compiles, analyzes and tracks this data and makes discoveries about the behaviors that cause the debris. The final information is used to educate the public, business, industry, and government officials about the problem.Today’s lakeshore event had representatives from Holy Family Convent, Silver Lake College, Roncalli High School, Lincoln High School, Koenig Elementary School and Holy Family Memorial.
In the Canticle of the Creatures St. Francis of Assisi praises God “through Sister Water who is useful and humble and precious and chaste.” Further in the Mirror of Reflection one reads about the exceptional love Francis had for water, stones, wood and flowers:
Next to fire he had a singular love for water through which holy penance and tribulation is symbolized and by which the filth of the soul is washed clean and because of which the first cleansing of the soul takes place through the waters of Baptism.