On Monday of the Octave of Easter, also Earth Day, Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity designated our Motherhouse property as a Saint Kateri Habitat. Our grounds were blessed in honor of this humble Native American Saint especially dear to our Native American Sisters. Father Gerald Prusakowski presided at a 2 p.m. prayer service beginning in our Sacred Heart Court. Scripture, song and special blessing prayers were prayed as we walked the gardens cared for by the Sisters, passed near Silver Lake, trees and general landscaping leading to Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto and beyond. Sister Kateri Cooper and Sister Juana Lucero carried special images of Saint Kateri that were placed in gardens along the way.
According to the Saint Kateri Conservation Center Website, Saint Kateri Habitats should provide at least three of the following six elements, plus one religious expression:
- Food, water, cover, and space for wildlife, including habitat for pollinators (e.g., bees) and other terrestrial and aquatic organisms
- Native trees, shrubs, grasses, and wildflowers, such as milkweeds and goldenrods for monarch butterflies
- Food, water, cover, and space for people, including vegetable gardens, flower gardens, community-supported gardens, indoor gardens, and farms
- Ecosystem services, such as pollination, clean air and water, carbon storage for climate regulation, and religious faith arising from interactions with the “Book of Nature”
- Clean energy; sustainable practices of gardening, landscaping, and farming; or removing aggressive weeds.
- Sacred spaces for worship, prayer, and contemplation, including Mary gardens, prayer gardens, and rosary gardens. Any kind of garden, natural area, farm, or green space can be a sacred space and treated as such.at.
The Saint Kateri Habitat program “takes aim at the very heart of today’s ecological problems and addresses the profound moral crisis of which the destruction of the environment is but one troubling aspect. Ultimately, ecological problems are not in the first place environmental, nor can the solution to them be found in technology, economics, or politics alone. They are rather profoundly theological and moral.”
Desiring to support the goodness of this initiative, we invite you to join us in participating in this program. As stated on their website: “The initial objective is to have at least one Catholic person or family in every parish in the USA participating in the program. There are more than 70 million Catholics in the USA. That is a lot of potential Saint Kateri Habitats! Catholics around the world are also invited to restore healthy habitats.” Click here to see our entry on the story/map.