----- Original Message -----

Sent: Tuesday, April 04, 2006 5:40 PM


Dear Parents:

As a follow-up to the All School Retreat, I encourage you to take the time to review Renewing the Earth: An Invitation to Reflection and Action on Environment in Light of Catholic Social Teaching and incorporate this teaching into your family discussions. The U.S. Bishops’ pastoral statement of the United States Catholic Conference is dated November 14, 1991.  You can find it on the web site of the Catholic Bishops.


In Section III.A, the U.S. Bishops say:  For many people, the environmental movement has reawakened appreciation of the truth that, through the created gifts of nature, men and women encounter their Creator.  The Christian vision of a sacramental universe-a world that discloses the Creator’s presence by visible and tangible signs—can contribute to making the earth a home for the human family once again.  Pope John Paul II has called for Christians to respect and protect the environment, so that through nature people can “contemplate the mystery of the greatness and love of God.”  

In Section IV.A, the Bishops express theological and pastoral concerns:  An ordered love for creation, therefore, is ecological without being egocentric.  We can and must care for the earth without mistaking it for the ultimate object of our devotion.  A Christian love of the natural world, as St. Francis showed us, can restrain grasping and wanton human behavior and help mightily to preserve and nurture all that God has made.  We believe that faith in a good and loving God is a compelling source of passionate and enduring care for all creation.

The Bishops address specific groups in Section V.B and say:  We invite teachers and educators to emphasize, in their classrooms and curricula, a love for God’s creation, a respect for nature, and a commitment to practices and behavior that bring these attitudes into the daily lives of their students and themselves. We also urge celebrants and liturgy committees to incorporate themes into prayer and worship that emphasize our responsibility to protect all of God’s creation… All of us need both a spiritual and a practical vision of stewardship and co-creation that guide our choices as consumers, citizens, and workers.  We need, in the now familiar phrase, to “think globally and act locally,” finding the ways in our own situation to express a broader ethic of genuine solidarity.

The principles in Renewing the Earth underline this year’s All School Retreat in which Holy Cross chose to focus on the moral challenge of the environmental crisis.  Holy Cross education is grounded in social justice education. Daily, as Catholic Christians, we renew and celebrate our relationship with God in Christ and strive to be mindful of the entire family of God. During this time of Lent, this retreat is aimed at awakening our sense of responsibility for the common good and a determination to reform our destructive actions.  In the months ahead, you will hear of many activities in which we hope to extend this year’s retreat theme, e.g. recycling, simplicity, self-control, wonder, delight.  I hope you and your families will join AHC in reflecting more deeply on the religious dimensions of ecological issues. God bless you for your support of Holy Cross in so many ways.

Sister Katherine Kase, CSC

Head of School/CEO