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April 22, 1994     The Message
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April 22, 1994
 

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4 The Message -- for CathOlics of Southwestern Indiana April! -- Perspective-- Working in the garden: A meditation The first spade full of earth I turned showed a mixture of clay and gravel -- and some dark, rich soil, too. I pressed the spade deep into the earth again, and once again the pattern of colors clearly appeared -- rich and dark soil on top, a layer of reddish brown cin- ders and gravel beneath it, and light brown clay at the bottom. We had already removed the top layer of grass and matted roots, and I was beginning the real work of loosening the soil to prepare the seed bed. The long handled spade was the kind my dad would have used, except mine has a fiber glass handle. Dad always used one with a wooden handle. A fiber glass handle does not affect the satisfy- ing sound of spading a garden. The sound is made by the metal blade slicing through the earth -- and the shape of the blade I used was exactly like the one my father had. IB PAUL R. INGANG EDITOR Even as the evening wore on and the light grew dim, I knew what the earth was like beneath me. Every kind of soil makes a dif- ferent sound as the blade pushes through it. Small roots snap and the rich top soil whispers. Cinders and gravel scrape with thousands of small edges against the steel. Damp clay clings and makes no sound until you shake it free from the blade and it falls with a kind of gradual thump. Washington Letter Church and environment: Not just prayer, but act This is the way you prepare a side and top to bottom, and the earth garden bed, when you do it by hand, her touch. without the power and without the noise of a tilling machine. You push the spade into the soil, lift it, turn it and drop it. Then you use the side of the spade to slice and break again the small piece of earth you have broken free. You move your feet a few inches to the side, and repeat the process. Again. Again. Again. You reach the edge of the area, and begin a second row. Back and forth, side to side, again and again. You can see the present: this is the has been given to us by the Lord of Beauty and nourishment will come from it the work of human hands. Working in the connects us with the first garden, made it for us. Working in the garden unites with all who have worked there all who will follow after us. WASHINGTON (CNS) -- What does an ecology club for seventh-graders in Minnesota have in common with a plan to send refrigerators to the Cen- tral American nation of Belize? Both projects received start- up funding from the U.S. Catholic Conference's environ- mental justice small grants program, and both are seeking to bring the faith dimension into environmental work, cele- brated each year on Earth Day, April 22. The 22 Catholic projects funded in the first year of the bishops' throe-year grants pro- gram are just a small part of the hundreds of ecology-related ventures being carried out in Advertising Policy Acceptance of political ad- vertising by the Message does not indicate endorse- ment of or opposition to a candidate, political party or a matter brought before the people in a referendum. i i The MESS AGE 4200 N. Kentucky Ave. Evansville, IN 47720-0169 Weekly newspaper of the Diocese of Evansville Published weekly except last week in December by the Cab'relic Press of Evansville  i ............. e ca A. Get,noel F_ot ............................................ Paul Leingang  uag .......................... PJ Ocutao. .................................. Amy Hsman .................................... Paul Stafff vmter ............................ Mat,/Ann Hughes Address all communications to P.O. Box 4169, Evanswlle, IN 47724-0169 Subscription rate: $15.00 per year Single Copy Price: $.50 Entered as 2rid class matter at the post office in Evarsville, IN 47701. Publica- tion nurdoer 843800. Postmaster: Return POD forms 3579 to Offce of Publcatk)n CccyngN 1994 Caoic Preu d Evansle By NANCY FRAZIER O'BRIEN Catholic News Service parishes, other Christian con- science curriculum, with the success, other St. Vincent de toes and cabbage' e gregations and synagogues under the umbrella of the Na- tional Religious Partnership for the Environment. "We are not the environmen- tal movement at prayer," says Paul Gorman, executive direc- ter of the partnership. "We are seeking to activate a distinctly religious response to this issue." Among those offering that response -- in distinctly differ- ent ways -- are Jean Kalmes of Winona, Minn., Terrence McDonald of Eugene, Ore., and Sister Gail Brabec of Louisville, Ky. Mrs. Kalmes, a retired teacher and president of the Winona diocesan council of Catholic women, sees the new "Environmental Eagles" clubs for seventh-graders as an out- growth of the National Council of Catholic Women's "Earth in Our Hands" program that has taken her to most of the schools in Winona County in the past year for talks on the environment. "You can't imagine how much fun it's been," She says of her school talks. "The students are so enthusiastic. They know a lot, and they want to know more. A lot of times they didn't want to let me leave." The clubs at Winona Middle School and St. Stanislaus Mid- dle School in Winona will give more than 1,200 children a chance to plant a tree and to watch it grow. The tree project becomes part of the schools' m ubU00, . = le?a::,c students giving periodic re- ports on the progress of their trees. Also in the works is an an- nual calendar featuring club members' artwork, photos and ecology essays; proceeds from sale of the calendars will go to other environmental projects that the students judge worthy of support. In Oregon, the grant-funded project arose from a thrift store run by the St. Vincent de Paul Society. McDonald, executive director of the society in Eu- gene, knew .that much of the unsold goods at the store ended up in the Third World after going through several middle men. That benefited neither the originating stores, nor the Third World buyers, since profit remained in the middle. "If we can find a way to get these goods to the Third World without the middle men and in an ecologically sensitive way, we can do a great service at many levels," McDonald says. Through the St. Vincent de Paul Society in Belize, the Eu- gene group gathered informa- tion about what products were most needed in the tropical Central American nation. The answer? Used refrigerators, and the training to fix them if they break down. McDonald hopes to ship the first load of refrigerators in June, and the project also will provide the requested training. If the Eugene pilot project is a IU te Paul societies in the United States will begin exchange pro- grams with Third World na- tions. Another grant went to the County-City Gardening Project in Bardstown, Ky., which teaches inner-city youths how to grow fresh vegetables and contributes the produce to a local soup kitchen. "We want to have city people understand that this land is worthwhile, for them to have a little more respect for what they might think of as just dirt," said Sister Gall Brabec, rural life director in the Arch- diocese of Louisville and a member of the Sisters of Char- ity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The project is carried out on part of a farm owned by a local Catholic parish, and the teen- agers and children participat- ing in the program do all the planting, weeding and picking of the vegetables. Last year's crop included sweet corn, green beans, toma- Brabec. In donated to the participants got to vegetables home sO taste the fresh produce that's been for a few dayS,,"  Walt Grazer, bishops' program, said tremely sponse to which grew from. ument, An Invitation Action on li Light of ..... ing." Many hnk his office already have a on parish or said. They are by the new ious to see the some re he added. Bishop's sc The following activities and events schedule of Bishop Gerald A. Gettelfinger" If you can find the right rhythm for this piece of God's good earth, you can drift away to past and future and never leave the You can see the future: this is plant flowers, you can think, and you can what they will look like. You can travel to the past. My the soil, with steady strokes. The soil he is sounds different -- it is richer and he and my mother worked it so carefully for and years. The soil obeys his hands, hands, too. She rakes the garden