Restoring native habitats on our own land and in the community resonates with many people living in and near Metchosin. Saint Kateri Habitats and Parks Program, a Catholic initiative that started in New York State, offers living, sacred spaces for people to engage directly in the care of God’s creation at home and in our local communities. By restoring habitats with reverence and gratitude for our Creator, the program draws people closer to God and his Church while protecting the integrity of creation. Could these ideas guide our stewardship of our own property, and of the church property? The website is https://www.kateri.org/saint-kateri-habitat-2/
A central idea of Saint Kateri Habitats is to maintain a religious expression on the land to serve as a gentle reminder of God, of his presence everywhere and in everything, and of his transcendence (God surpasses in being and activity all other beings, and on whom all creatures depend). This religious element may be a cross, shrine, statue of Mary or a saint, or other Catholic religious symbol. Other faith groups are invited to participate as well.
Saint Kateri Habitats and Parks should provide at least two of the following elements, plus one religious expression, as follows:
The religious expression may include crosses, shrines, grottos, stations of the cross, Saint Kateri Habitat signs, or statues of Mary, an angel, or a saint, such as Saint Kateri or Saint Francis of Assisi. This religious expression reminds us that God – the Holy Spirit – is present and active in every corner of creation. Every stone, every plant, every animal, exists in its own right and symbolizes some aspect of the divine.