Oil City Deanery CRM instrumental in spreading Care for the Earth

The earth came alive through colorful ribbons during the recent Catholic Schools Week celebrations in Venango and Clarion counties. Elementary students from St. Stephen School in Oil City, St. Patrick School in Franklin, and Immaculate Conception School in Clarion joined students at Oil City’s Venango Catholic High School in decorating “earth ribbon” trees as a reminder to care for the world around us.

Instrumental in this were Sisters Tina Geiger, RSM and Marian Wehler, OSB, of the area’s Catholic Rural Ministry (CRM). They have been working with teachers and students to bring greater awareness of “care for our common home, the earth” (Laudato Si/Pope Francis). Both Sisters Marian and Tina will continue this endeavor during Lent. They will be taking time to look at Earth Day 2019. This year’s celebration of Earth Day: Protect Our Species will focus on educating and raising awareness about the accelerating rate of extinction of millions of species and the causes and consequences of this phenomenon.

“We are looking forward to keeping this education and awareness foremost in the minds of the teachers and students,” said Sister Marian. “Knowing how much the students love animals we anticipate lots of enthusiasm for this ongoing conversation and raising of awareness that everything on earth is filled with sacred presence.”

Photo: Pictured, from left, are St. Patrick students Isabel McNulty, Conor Johnson and Miller Hawks. They and other students learned about global warming and Pope Francis’ recent environment encyclical. They wrote on the ribbons what they will do to care for the earth and how grateful they are to God for his creation. Some of the students’ messages were: “Don’t waste food” and “Recycle.”