Franciscan Sisters Visit Catholic Ecology Center Laudato Si Project

Sister JulieAnn Sheahan

June 18, 2023

Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity Sister Kathleen Murphy, Sister Adrianna Schouten, Sister Laura Wolf, Sister Sue Ann Hall, Sister Carolee Vanness, Sister Catherine Peter Logan and Postulant Michelle Ozuna recently visited the Catholic Ecology Center, Neosho, Wisconsin. We share some of our reflections on this unique Laudato Si ministry project. 

Be praised, my Lord, for all corners of the Catholic Ecology Center!  We had a wonderful visit that featured the perfect balance of learning, exploring, playing and praying.  The staff at the Ecology Center has done a phenomenal job of blending faith and science and evidence of this blending shows itself at every turn without being oppressive.  Although I don’t want to spend a lot of time contemplating the owl’s fresh frozen mouse entrees, I will spend time replaying our wonderful day at this inspiring spot of beauty and wisdom! -Sister Kathleen

Visiting the Catholic Ecology Center (CEC) was such a beautiful and holy experience. Being fully immersed in God’s creation could only leave you in a spirit of gratitude and awe for God’s creation. I commend the CEC staff and volunteers for their amazing stewardship of God’s creation and their fruitful ministry of education and community.

A favorite part for me was praying at the stations of the cross which were very well situated away from the main thoroughfare.  Their location helped me to stay in a prayerful and meditative state. It was very meaningful to pray at the stations of the cross surrounded by the lush, green and tranquil landscape because I enjoy praying while immersed in nature.

Learning how honey bee hives operate through the indoor hive exhibit in the Kateri room left me in a state of awe.  The hive is shielded by plexiglass which gives you a great view of the live bee hive.  You can watch the “queen” bee make her rounds.  Outside, you can see the tunneled entrance and exit of the hive guarded by the “worker” bees. The enormity of the bee colony’s honey operation is impressive.     

Between the smells of the native plants and flowers in the butterfly garden to the many sounds of the song birds who call CEC home, it was invigorating to see nature at its best, as God intended it. The center does a great job joyously incorporating science and nature with a focus on community and education.  -Postulant Michelle

The visit to the Catholic Ecology Center was a true gift. To see how faith and nature work together in so many ways.  One unique experience was to see a live bee hive ( behind glass).  We even saw the queen bee.   The care, concern and future planning for native plants, flowers for butterflies and even a natural playground was great.  Even played the wooden xylophone.  A blessed day. – Sister Adrianna


The Catholic Ecology Center is an oasis that brings together faith and science led by a wonderful staff. You see and hear the beauty of God’s creation as you explore the grounds. Native flowers that invite in the butterflies, water full of life and creatures, and a natural play area with an earth friendly musical instrument. This and so much to explore and learn for all ages. What a wonderful way to spend the day with community and I look forward to going back again. -Sister Catherine Peter

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