By Fr. Timothy Gollob
Special to the Texas Catholic
Soon the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi will be upon us. Many people view this saint to be a patron of nature and of human cooperation in preserving the natural resources of the planet. One of the proposals in past years was for followers of St. Francis to strive to make a smaller carbon footprint on Earth by using less power from fossil fuels and by being more willing to walk or to save precious energy by other means e.g. using microwave cooking instead of the oven or stove.
For the feast of this saint in 2012 the film Sun Comes Up was screened in many parishes. It is an account of the inhabitants of the Carteret Islands in the South Pacific who had to abandon their island and relocate to a larger island because of the rise of the sea water. Their local Catholic diocese assisted in the move.
Now the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences have joined together to promote a workshop on sustainability during May of 2014. This project has received the blessing of Pope Francis.
What is this all about?
The academies want to study trends in food consumption, life expectancy and especially the depletion of natural capital. These form fundamental human needs. Food, health and energy are all required for a blessed existence. Nature wants to provide these for all, but human greed and thoughtlessness frustrate creation.
It is the job of the admirers of St. Francis and of Pope Francis to join in bringing harmony to our world.
A thousand small acts by individuals can add up to a giant blessing for all.