(Bro. John Kerr, T.O.R. and Fr. Eugene Kubina, T.O.R.; from left to right.)
Fr. Eugene Kubina, T.O.R. blessed the Monastery Gardens on June 2nd. The friars and gardeners prayed together before the annual blessing and Br. John then shared some "holy dirt" he had brought back from the shrine in Chimayo, New Mexico. The gardeners added some to their plots, many of which were growing much ahead of last year's crops when rain slowed the planting. A potluck luncheon followed in the Care for Creation Center.
This year's gardeners include inmates from the local prison, who are growing three plots of vegetables for distribution to the local food pantry, soup kitchen and Dorothy Day Center and three plots for their own use at the Blair County Prison.
Plans are being made for a large yard sale and then the garden's annual Bounty Festival on July 28th.
The Care for Creation Project was started by the Franciscan Friars, T.O.R., Province of the Immaculate Conception in 2009 as a concrete response to the signs of the times concerning the environmental crisis. The project aims to spread the vision of St. Francis of Assisi who regarded all creatures as sister and brother by sharing our land and spiritual heritage with the larger community. To this end, the Friars have opened the beautiful property of St. Bernardine's Monastery to community gardening and “care for creation” programming that focuses on sustainability and cultivating a spirituality inclusive of creation. The Friars are looking forward to the many opportunities for building community, “going green”, and having fun!