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Cultivating and Caring for Creation: Presence of God

June 10, 2015
Ecology3
In preparation for Pope Francis' new ecological encyclical set to come out June 18, 2015, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Saskatoon, led by Bishop Donald Bolen, have released a series of videos and study guides on how Catholics are leading and participating in a new commitment to respect and protect.
The series is based on a recent CCCB document on the environment and it includes 12 programs 10 minutes each, featuring interviews with Bishop Donald Bolen. The segments interweave papal teaching on the environment with interviews or presentations of various environmental initiatives that have integrated a healthy relationship with the environment into their Christian commitment and lifestyle.
See below for the study guide and video for Program Three: Presence of God

Study Guide

Goal
The goal of Program Three is to introduce students to the first theme of the document “Building a New Culture – Central Themes in Recent Church Teaching on the Environment” about how human beings are created in the image and likeness of God and what that means for human responsibilities towards Planet Earth.
Steps
1. Show the video "Program Three: Presence of God”
2. Ask students to form small groups to describe the following impressions from the video:
  • What is the first theme of the document and why is it important?
  • How are the Benedictine’s living out the first theme?
  • What did you know after viewing the video that you didn't know before?
  • Which quote from what pope in this episode means the most to you and why?
3. Option for Take-Home Assignment. Using the internet links offered here, find more facts about:
  • Existing Catholic eco justice initiatives
  • The writings of Popes on the environment
4. Write 1.5 pages on the results of your research.
5. Group discussion
In groups, first share your short essays and then, asking one person to represent the discussion, make presentations to the class about any or all of the above.
Include suggestions on how students could start an ongoing eco justice project or become involved with local Catholic eco justice projects already in existence.
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