The Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur Ohio Province has responded to Pope Francis’ Laudato Si’ Action Platform by creating the Dorothy Stang Initiative for Laudato Si’ Action. While in the process of gathering data from sisters, associates, staff, donors and others in our circle, we were reminded that all steps we take are important - both big and small. We therefore introduce Your Little Bit of Good, a short weekly one-pager that focuses on some aspect of the environment. It is an attempt to bring forward small things we can do.
Director of Justice, Peace and Care for Creation
Say Aloud Their Names:
Roberta Drury, 32
Margus Morrison, 52
Andre Mackniel, 53
Aaron Salter, 55
Geraldine Talley, 62
Celestine Chaney, 65
Heyward Patterson, 67
Katherine Massey, 72
Pearl Young, 77
Ruth Whitfield, 86
Jailah Nicole Silguero, 10
Eliana “Ellie” Garcia, 9
Jackie Cazares, 10
Eliahana Cruz Torres, 10
Annabell Guadalupe Rodriguez, 10
Amerie Jo Garza, 10
Alithia Ramirez, 10
Alexandria Aniyah Rubio, 10
Jayce Luevanos, 10
Jose Flores, 10
Layla Salazar, 10
Makenna Lee Elrod, 10
Maite Rodriguez Miranda Mathis, 10
Nevaeh Bravo Rojelio Torres, 10
Tess Marie Mata Uziyah Garcia, 10
Xavier Lopez, 10
Eva Mireles, 44
Irma Garcia, 46
This past week, was Laudato Si’ Week. For me, it has been lost in the madness of yet another mass shooting following just ten days after the racially motivated murders in Buffalo. YLBG’s is normally focused on what we can do to affect positive change for our environment. But, perhaps this week, it is appropriate to suspend that and look at what we can do to affect change in the area of gun violence. That too, is a Little Bit of Good we can do.
There are legislative efforts underway now for which we can advocate. Contact your elected officials.
- HR 1446, the Enhanced Background Checks Act of 2021, would require federal firearms licensees to receive a completed background check before giving a person a gun.
- HR 8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2021, would expand background checks for all firearm sales or transfers in the country, including private sales.
- The Violence Against Women Act would prohibit “dating partners” and spouses from owning a gun if convicted of domestic violence.
- H. R. 1808 would regulate the ownership of assault weapons.
Being Catholic, our choices in the voting booth are often difficult. No one politician or political party reflects the whole of Catholic teaching. But, vote we must and it is with our vote that we can affect change. We can help form our conscience for voting with the USCCB program Faithful Citizenship. And, if interested, we can help with Get Out the Vote efforts in our communities.
See the LCWR statement on gun violence.
You might be interested in this statement from the Loretto Community
Check out these organizations that advocate for sensible gun laws:
Silence my soul, these trees are prayers – I asked the tree, tell me about God… then it blossomed.
Silence my soul, the sun is prayer – I asked the sun, tell me about God… then it shined.
Silence my soul, the moon is prayer – I asked the moon, tell me about God… then it glowed.
Silence my soul, the earth is prayer – I asked the earth, tell me about God… then it gave life.
From Silence My Soul by Francisco Feliciano I came across this prayer from Rainbow Mennonite Church. This community sings it while children put prayers into their compost. What a lovely practice. You can click this Vimeo link in the article to hear the song.
This week, May 1—7 is International Compost Awareness Week. My first thought is, “well there is an awareness week for everything.”
We may laugh a little at these things, but, in actuality, they do serve a purpose. How many times in any week do you toss vegetable scraps into your trash or down the drain to your “sink monster” as my kids called the disposal when they were young. We do it without thinking.
Food scraps decomposing in an anaerobic environment, such as a city trash dump, produce methane gas. Methane is a fossil fuel and contributes to climate change. However, when food scraps decompose through an aerobic process, such as composting, methane-producing microbes are not active due to the presence of oxygen.
We know that greenhouse gases are a huge cause of our warming atmosphere. That warming atmosphere is, among other things, melting icebergs, softening the permafrost and making our weather more severe. We can do our part to make a difference. Next time you look to purchase a car, consider electric or hybrid. Consider eating less beef and dairy, as mass production of cows contribute much to the methane in the atmosphere. Yes, cows literally “produce” straight methane gas. And yes, composting food scraps has its role to play too! If you don’t garden and have no desire to have a compost bin in your yard, see the next column for a way to participate in the process. Everyone can take part in this. It is a very simple way to do Your Little Bit of Good.
Learn about International Compost Awareness Week.
Interested in being a part of the process but have no interest in actually getting your hands dirty? You can collect your compost (I keep mine in the freezer) and give it to gardeners in your area. Check out Share Waste. They connect collectors with composters near them. All messages exchanged are through the website or app so you do not have to share your personal information.
Interested in the science behind this? You can click for information from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.