How can our parish community care for our common home? One way is to prayerfully apply Pope Francis’ landmark 2015 encyclical on the environment, “Laudato Si.

There are obvious protocols that we’ve begun to establish around the buildings and grounds of the parish: more comprehensive recycling, composting, saving energy with solar lighting in the parking lot, and the like. But there’s plenty more to do.

We’ve also begun the practice of outdoor Masses in the summer months (“Blue Sky Mondays”) and, more recently, to more intentionally mark the entirety of the Season of Creation (September 1-October 4) with Masses, prayer services, education events, work days and fellowship, either outside the church or in our parish cemetery.

In addition, we plan to do further education, advocacy and engagement on creation themes and their impact on families, the parish and our planet.

Isidoro’s Community Garden

Isidoro’s Community Garden at St. Joseph was formally blessed and inaugurated on April 29, 2023, on our parish feast celebration of St. Joseph the Worker.

With the help of a neighboring parish’s community garden coordinator, plans began in early 2023 for a community garden set on the former site of a 100-year-old-plus beech tree that succumbed to disease on our parish grounds. In the end, our parish community garden was 100% funded exclusively by donations!

St. Joseph’s community garden was named both after Isidoro Garcia, beloved departed parishioner and advocate for life, and St. Isidore, patron saint of farmers. A garden mural by Isidoro’s Community Garden appropriately depicts the two together.

Now, Isidoro’s Community Garden holds fifteen 4ft x 8ft garden beds that are available for rent in exchange for a small seasonal fee. Priority is given to families, groups, and individuals with no access to green spaces at home or with risk of food insecurity. Our gardening season runs from April through November each year. Requests for garden beds begin in March of each year.

Here are some helpful resources:

Parishioners are invited to watch the 2022 YouTube movie, “The Letter,” based on Laudato Si.

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