Peace and good!
Sorry it's been a little while since the last entry....I've been playing "catch up" here in the office and resonding to a number of NEW vocation inquiries! There are two in particular that seem rather promising so please say a prayer of thanksgiving for those young men who are responding to the stirrings of the Spirit in their life. You may be interested to know that our Care for Creation initiative (which has been labeled "C4C") is off and running! We currently have a roster of 75 persons who attended the March 31st and May 2nd meetings or who have come on board by contacting us directly. Out of this 75, we have around 38 gardeners! This is a good deal more than what we originally hoped for (24). There has certainly been a tremendous response to our initial foray into the organic gardening and care for creation field. I say "initial foray" very deliberately because we are still in the "pilot project" phase of this proposal. Basically, we are beginning to develop community, leadership, and programming around the model of a community supported garden. For the next two summers, we will work with volunteers from the local community to raise organic produce, to build community, and, above all, to communicate practical and spiritual values concerning the need to care for creation in an age of ecological crises. Only after we have developed the support within our community and in the larger community, we have a team of friar(s) and others (likely Secular Franciscans) who will shepherd the project according to Franciscan values, we have an advisory board well established with the "know how" to manage the garden, will we take the next step of looking for a farmer and moving from Community Supported Gardening to a Community Supported Agriculture model. It's important to know that it will take a little time to work all of this out but the initial response on the part of the larger community has surpassed our expectations! Please keep this initiative in prayer. Attached to this email are some pics of some of the volunteers with more to come this summer! If you get a chance to see what we are up to this summer and live close by, please come on out! Blessings, Fr. Pat, TOR