Wednesday, September 13, 2023

A Call to Pray, Reflect and Take Action as a Mission

It has been record-breaking heat on earth where people had to endure the brutal hot temperature in longest days of July.  This has not happened in 120,000 years as reported by scientists in the news.  San Antonio hit a triple digit temperature for the most days of July with 125 degrees in some areas of Southern Texas.  The end of the Summer this year is about to come by September 22.  It comes with hope that the change in season will soften the blow of the summer’s raging temperature.  The end of the season does not, however, end the truth on Climate Change.  On October 4, Pope Francis will publish an exhortation as another message calling us to reflect on our call to revisit Laudato Si, the encyclical published on October 2015 in lieu of the call for ecological conversion.

The summer’s wildfires and bush fires have impacted lives of people, animals, and even cost billions of dollars of damages to the environment and livelihood across the country and in other parts of the world such as Greece, Canada, Australia, Croatia, France, Spain, etc.  A lot of these wildfires are record-breaking in in terms of the number of fires and the extent of the burned areas.   As scientists already reported, this climate change is anthropogenic.  This means, what we are experiencing is caused by human activity and not by cosmic-induced phenomena.  The solution is in our hands.  The greenhouse effect of burning fossil fuels, and other carbon-emitting human-based activities causing atmospheric changes.  The symbiotic relationship of the atmospheric changes to the geological, biological, and ecological system is getting manifested through the changes in weather patterns becoming erratic, and more dangerous.  We are observing the occurrence of natural disasters such as typhoons, storms, and hurricanes that are becoming more frequent and more disastrous which the climate scientists have already warned us.  If human beings are resilient and adaptable to changes, why bother about this Climate Change?  Weather patterns as part of the climate of a region help people and even animals to adapt to the kind of living environment and sometimes survival mechanism. As we are already experiencing effects of Climate Change, the urgency about this crisis demands our action now.  The United Nations (UN) sees 1.5 °C as a critical turning point to avoid cataclysmic results by the end of the century.

There have been several actions such as studies, and even Kyoto Protocol treaty to moderate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in 1997 even before the historic Paris Climate Agreement in 2015.  The Paris Climate Agreement marked the world-wide commitment of 194 parties to tackle Climate Change.  Pope Francis wrote the Laudato Si encyclical in 2015 to educate us of our interconnectedness with the creation, and to invite us to answer the call for ecological conversion.   The world has not been more aware of this call.

This is the time to pray, reflect, and take action.  Today is the Feast of the Triumph of the Cross.  It is today when St. Helena, while on a pilgrimage on the events where Jesus Christ had thread upon, discovered the true cross in Jerusalem in 320 AD.  It was on September 14 that her son Constantine dedicates the Church of the Holy Sepuclcher in September 14, 335 AD.  Today, we offer our prayer, reflection, and works that Jesus Christ will be triumphant in our lives to pray, reflect and take actions.  As we have learned in the movie "The Letter" as part of the Laudato Si project reflecting the situation in the world, the four vulnerable recipients of the environmental phenomenon are the poor, indigenous, nature, and the youth. This is an invitation to reflect the call to be united in a cause for ecological conversion and to be especially united in solidarity with our vulnerable brothers and sisters incuding the Creation where we all belong.


Message from Laudato Si Movement Program Coordinator for Texas and New Mexico

Rally for the Climate Emergency

Texas State Capitol

Sunday, September 17

Noon – 2 p.m.

Calling all Catholics!  In support of restoring God’s creation to have clean water and air, abundant biodiversity, rich soil quality, protect human health from conception to natural death and to bear witness to the climate emergency we face, you are invited to the south steps of the TX State Capitol.  Come stand and raise your voice for those whose voices are not heard, suffering from environmental injustice and racism.  Hear and learn from speakers and organizations about what more you can do and more importantly, be witness to all political and business leaders to take collective action to end the war against our Earth.  We do this in solidarity with the NYC March to End Fossil Fuels, for the upcoming start of the UN Climate Ambition Summit, as we demand a rapid, just and equitable transformation to save our planet.  Catholics will gather at 11 a.m. at St. Mary’s Cathedral at 203 E. 10th St. for prayer before proceeding to the capitol at 11:45 a.m. as a people of faith.  You do not need to register but to help with a head count, please let us know how many you are bringing to the event at SignUp Genius  *This is a permitted event by the State Preservation Board.

Rally for the Climate Emergency

Texas State Capitol

Sunday, September 17

Noon – 2 p.m.


People of good will who care about clean water and air, biodiversity, soil quality, the climate crisis or human health, are invited to this state permitted event on the south steps of the TX State Capitol.  Come stand and raise your voice for those whose voices are not heard, suffering from environmental injustice and racism.  Hear and learn from speakers and organizations about what more you can do and more importantly, be witness to all political and business leaders to take collective action to end the war against our Earth.  We do this in solidarity with the NYC March to End Fossil Fuels, for the upcoming start of the UN Climate Ambition Summit, as we demand a rapid, just and equitable transformation to save our planet.



Other Information on the Catholic Youth Conference: Join or support young Catholics marching for their future (


Tuesday, September 5, 2023

Choosing Natives for Resilient and Bio-diverse Eco-system

I occasionally volunteer for Headwaters, where I would meet a few people who are also passionate about nature and building community.  I would learn some interesting facts about nature while I get myself immersed in the beauty of nature.  Working with nature can be relaxing, fu
n, and educational.  You can see interesting plants blooming in the middle of the forest, you can meet fellow nature enthusiasts, you can work hard under he sun and you can have your daily exercise getting your hands dirty with soil while walking, standing, and reaching out for something can be your exercise of the day.   
The last time I volunteered for Headwaters, I learned about the Natural Plant Society of Texas.  They give regular and scheduled talks to the public so that the public and members can be aware of the essence of having a locally sound yard and habitat for local species among other things.   One of the recent flowers that I learned from my recent encounter is the "fall obedience."  One of the friendly folks explained and showed to me why it was called “obedience.”  When you push or touch this flower to face a certain direction, this flower will stay where you push it towards.  It is normal that when you touch a flower, it will bounce back at you.  Not this flower.  I also learned that Bermuda grass is a kind of invasive plant.  It does not belong to San Antonio Region, and therefore, it is considered non-native and harmful to the local plants.  We plucked all the Bermuda grasses, weeds, and other invasive plants in all designated areas until we could no longer find any.

After learning a few things about the local plants from my nature-friendly friends, I became conscious of my surroundings, especially those that my new naturalist friend told me.  When I look at the Bermuda grass in the lawn of some of the houses in the neighborhood, it seems natural, green grass on the ground.   It looks beautiful and serene.  However, think twice before you appreciate that lawn with foreign grass.  Having a Bermuda grass and very green lawn in San Antonio, Texas would not be an ideal garden feature you would see or even adapt.  Maintaining Bermuda grass in Southern Texas is not recommended by horticulturist and Natural Plant Society.  It can take up a lot of water for the kind of weather and the drought situation in this region.  I learned from the Natural Plant Society that if you are to keep grass in your lawn in Texas, it is better to choose buffalo grass, horse herb as a turf, which belongs to a family of low-water-use landscape.

Why remove the non-native? Non-natives are normally high maintenance.  It is mostly the local plants that are considered known food for consumption of the local animals and insects.  As a source for food consumption, their numbers would generally dwindle down while the non-native plants occupy and compete with the space and resources that are meant to be for the local plants.  The diseases that the local plants are prone to will also cause these natives to decrease more in number while the invasive non-native plants, being immune to local plant diseases, continue to grow.  Eventually, the native plants have been suffocated by the non-native and invasive plants.  With the presence of only non-natives in the habitat, the animals and insects would no longer find food familiar to them.  One example is that if the bees cannot find flower that they are familiar with, they will go to another habitat, or another place that is suitable for them, having food and a safe habitat. With the drought-stricken city or even state, the residents are to be aware of the benefits of planting natives.  These plants are normally acclimated to the weather and can be low maintenance in terms of water and heat resistant to sun exposure.

Even more conscious of the climate if we use our resources to have vegetables and fruit-bearing plants that are local to us.  Thus, if you are spending a lot of money on your yard, you can harvest something right out of your garden over a few months.  That will be your food security apart from having gardening as a hobby.  When you have a edible garden in your yard, you know the kind of food that you are putting into your body. Hopefully, you will not use chemicals so you can have an organic and satisfying meal.  If you have some leftovers, you can enjoy being charitable by donating your extras to the local food pantries or distribution centers.

Another native plant that is perfectly suited to San Antonio weather is the Texas sage, and oleander.  These do not require much water and are considered a sub-tropical shrub.  These plants work best in USDA zones 8-10.  They can be in full bloom amidst the triple digits weather most of the time.  

When we choose native plants, we conserve our precious water so that it can be used for some other purposes that are critical during the summer season.  The local wildlife and birds will also thank you for choosing native plants.  This type of plant can also save you time in pampering and checking whether they need fertilizer or some trimming and other maintenance that you would do for a non-native species.  Since these plants are known locally, the ecosystem can thrive and flourish according to how nature designed them to be.  Given their natural habitat, the plants can adapt to the make-up of the soil, the weather, and other resources that make the plant grow.  The animals and insects can also find their local sources of food, without going further.  With local consumers, and local producers in the natural habitat, we cooperate with the nature to have healthy and bio-diverse eco-system.

Check out this interesting and cool music by Hila the Earth who invites all to get the native plants on the map:   Hila the Earth - Native Plants (Let's Get Them on the MAP!) (

Learn more about native plants by checking the website: Why Native Plants? - Native Plant Society of Texas (

 Check out out events and survey to serve you better: Justicia, Paz y Tierra / Justice, Peace and Earth: Common Home (

 Happy Season of Creation!  Let's make nature thrive.   

Friday, September 1, 2023

La Raíz Humana de la Crisis Ecológica

Para iniciar el Tiempo de la Creación participa en el Webinar: ”La Raíz Humana de la Crisis Ecológica”.
No nos servirá describir los síntomas, si no reconocemos la raíz humana de la crisis ecológica. Hay un modo de entender la vida y la acción humana que se ha desviado y que contradice la realidad hasta dañarla. ¿Por qué no podemos detenernos a pensarlo?. (LS 101)
Imparte: Biol. Areli Nayath Castillo Méndez

Tiempo de la Creación


¡Feliz Tiempo de la Creación!
Del 1 de septiembre al 4 de octubre celebramos el Tiempo de la Creación uniéndonos en oración y acción en todo el mundo. El tema de este año es "Que la justicia y la paz fluyan". Aquí compartimos algunos recursos que pueden ser de tu interés. Esta temporada es una oportunidad más para reafirmar nuestro compromiso de ser protectoras de la creación de Dios.

(a) Oración del Tiempo de la Creación. Dios Creador, de tu comunión de amor brotó la vida como un río caudaloso y surgió todo el cosmos. En esta Tierra de amor desbordante, el Verbo se hizo carne y surgió con las aguas vivificantes proclamando la paz y la justicia para toda la creación. Leer o Imprimir la oración AQUÍ

(b) Actividades. Eventos latinoamericanos sobre el cuidado de la casa común. VER

El Movimiento Laudato Si, Capítulo México ofrece un Webinar a las 9 p.m. este 1 de setiembre sobre ”La Raíz Humana de la Crisis Ecológica.” Información. Enlace Zoom

El comité de Derechos Humanos & JPIC en Perú organiza el curso de Custodios de la Casa (formulación de proyectos). Información e inscripciones.

(c) Ecositios (Serie de videos cortos). Algunos de los lugares vivos en los alrededores de nuestra casa en San Antonio, Texas. Videos

(d) Mensaje del Papa Francisco por el día mundial de oración por la casa común. Leer

(e) Página web del Tiempo de la Creación. Todos los recursos AQUÍ



Sitios ecológicos


Todos los videos fueron creados y producidos por S. Marylou Rodriguez CCVI.

Short Film Series about Eco-Sites & San Antonio Events




All videos were created and produced by S. Marylou Rodriguez CCVI.

Season of Creation


Happy Season of Creation!

From September 1- October 4, we are celebrating the Season of Creation by uniting worldwide in prayer and action. This year’s theme is “Let Justice and Peace Flow.” Here are some resources that might be of interest. Let’s take this season as an opportunity to reaffirm our commitment to be good stewards of God’s creation. 

(a) Season of Creation Prayer. Creator of All, from your communion of love life sprung forth like a mighty river and the whole cosmos came into being. On this Earth of overflowing love, the Word was made flesh and went forth with the life-giving waters proclaiming peace and justice for all creation. Read more or Print the prayer card by clicking HERE

(b) Activities in San Antonio. A superb CCVI inter-ministerial team led by S. Marylou Rodriguez has created a variety of experiences that are accessible to all. See the program by clicking HERE

(c) Activities in St. Louis & beyond. The Seeds of Justice Network team offers a series of resources for prayer, action, and participation in caring for the common home. Read

(d) Eco-sites in San Antonio (Short-films Series). Sisters Miriam, Christi, Martha Ann and Marylou talk about some of the living sites around us. Videos

(e) Pope Francis' Message. 2023 World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation. See more

(f) Our Sisters' Sharing. S. Martha Ann Kirk shares about Sister Water (see here), and S. Marylou Rodriguez shares about the care of the common home activities at the UIW (see page 5).