In response to Pope Francis' call to integral ecology in the encyclical Laudato Si, the Society of Mary (Brothers and Priests) installed solar panels that will offset the annual energy demand of all the ministries at Mount Saint John. The panels began producing power on June 9 and were blessed by Fr. Oscar Vasquz, SM, provincial, on June 21.
"We are in the season when everything should help us raise our hearts to God and provide us with topics of reflection. First: the plants, the trees, everything is reborn, and should we alone be unchanged! Let us be reborn in Jesus Christ." (Letter 3.3) Adele de Batz de Trenquelleon, Marianist Founder
Dear Friends in our Marianist Environmental Education Center Community -
In honor of Ohio Native Plant Month, we're offering a free series of three online workshops in April. We'll cover everything you need to know to get started creating habitat in your home garden. Each program will start at 9 a.m. and run for about an hour and a half, including plenty of time for Q & A. More details about each individual session can be found at the links below.
Eagle Scout candidate Gavin Boyd helped realize a project that's been on our wish list for quite a while - he built a new arbor to display native vines along the path to the labyrinth. The potential for vines in native plant gardens and restoration projects is often overlooked and the new arbor will be an educational point along the trail, emphasizing these plants’ roles in supporting pollinators, hosting insects, providing fruit and enhancing natural beauty. Thank you, Gavin!
Above, members of the Chaminade-Julienne family volunteer in the Marianist Nature Preserve.
The following is a quote by Thomas Merton, appearing in "Thomas Merton: Essential writings," edited by Christine M. Bochen.
The pale flowers of the dogwood outside this window are saints. The little yellow flowers that nobody notices on the edge of that road are saints looking up into the face of God.
This leaf has its own texture and its own pattern of veins and its own holy shape, and the bass and trout hiding in the deep pools of the river are canonized by their beauty and their strength.
All permits are in place and the weather is looking favorable for us to conduct a prescribed burn in the Bro. Don Geiger Prairie on FRIDAY March 4. Expect trails to the prairie to be closed in the morning.
Learn to conserve water and energy, and provide habitat with native plantings that enhance local ecology and lower maintenance. A free three-session series.
By Sr. Leanne Jablonski, FMI, Ph.D., MEEC director
With sad but grateful hearts we mourn MEEC’s visionary founder and longest-serving volunteer, Marianist Brother Donald R. Geiger SM, Ph.D.
* Funeral arrangements updated.
Giving Thanks, a message from the director
During this time of COVID-19 we find ourselves exiled from our normal life rhythms and supports, and our feelings of stress, anxiety and fear are inevitably heightened. We are grieving real losses and anticipating others, and suffering with the illnesses of loved ones and our inability to companion the dying. The struggle of springtime rains, with their hope of new greenery and lush flowers, to overcome the chilly winds of winter mirrors our internal struggle to maintain hope in our anxiety.
After a slow start, spring ephemeral season is moving very quickly now. Bluebells are finally beginning to bloom, and Dutchman's breeches are just about at their peak along with cutleaf toothwort, spring beauties, and violets. The last of the twinleaf blooms are fading, and the pipe-shaped seed pods are swelling.
The warm weather and rain have spurred a rapid progression in the spring wildflowers at MSJ. In just the past few days marsh marigold, bloodroot, spring beauty, false rue anemone and dutchman's breeches have started blooming. At peak bloom the marsh marigold will blanket the woodland fen in gold.
Last week we shared an image of honeysuckle starting to leaf out in the Marianist Nature Preserve, and compared it to our native trees and shrubs whose buds had not yet started to break. That doesn't mean our native woody species are dormant, however. Many of them are in bloom right now, but you may not know it unless you suffer from allergies.
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