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Faith Matters: Earth Day 2021

Thursday, April 22, we all participate in Earth Day; we really don’t have a choice. Earth Day, a global event, connects us all. Chief Seattle is credited with this profound statement: “Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things are connected.”

The coronavirus reminds us that we are all interconnected, interdependent on one another and the Earth. Like many of life’s constants, we often have taken the earth and its resources for granted. On this Earth Day, let us listen to creation and examine our relationship with Earth’s natural resources and with the poor and vulnerable.

In Laudato Si, Pope Francis prays, “Bring healing to our lives that we may protect the world and not prey on it, that we may sow beauty, not pollution and destruction.” In this time of illness, we are united in a vision of a healthier world that honors human dignity and cares for our common home.

After an unpredictable, difficult winter, nothing is as beautiful as Pennsylvania in the spring. New life springs forth as we continue this Easter season. We have been blessed in many ways, but we must remain mindful of the sacredness of this environment we all call home.

As NASA’s Perseverance rover explores Mars millions of miles from Earth, equally exciting is exploring and protecting God’s creation in our own backyard.

Quarantines have moved our lives indoors and online. This Earth Day step away from technology, go outside if you can, and experience Creation.

Let us also support our leaders and educators who are “going the extra mile” to pass on their knowledge to students. You are doing so much.

Earth Day and protection of creation crosses all ages, races, creeds, and genders. We have a responsibility to assist today’s eager minds who will be the generation of tomorrow.

Earth Day 2021 will mark its 51st anniversary. Typically Earth Day is assigned a different theme or focus each year. This year’s theme is “Restore our Earth.”

Most years, Earth Day events range from river cleanups to removal of invasive plants. With social distancing still in place for many of us this April, Earth Day has gone digital. Virtual events such as environmental lectures and films will take place this Earth Day, April 22nd. To see a catalog of official events, visit www.earthday.org.

Again, go outside, and enjoy nature. Nature is never cancelled. Our parks, rivers, Rails-To-Trails, and creeks provide a lifetime of opportunities to participate in a spiritual experience right outside our doors. However, trash and water contamination is a global problem. Let us do our part to protect Mother Earth.

John Hoeven, of North Dakota, stated, “On Earth Day, we celebrate all the gifts our world and nature make available to us. We recognize our complete dependence on its bounty. And we acknowledge the need for good stewardship to preserve its fruits for future generations.”

Jim Foran, retired director of religious education, Saint Joseph the Worker

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