Associates Tree-Planting in Honour of Laudato Si’

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On June 1, 2022, a number of SNJM Sisters, Associates and friends gathered at St. Mary’s Academy to celebrate a tree-planting ritual in honour of Laudato Si’.  The school grounds are now graced by a new Autumn Blaze Maple.  It is expected to grow rapidly, with a mature height of 40 to 50 feet, and a canopy of 30 feet. Its beauty will be particularly delightful in the fall, when it will have bright red leaves.

Led by Christine Butterill, the joyful celebration included Pope Francis’s Prayer for the Earth, psalm proclamations, a blessing of the soil, and music praising God and celebrating our earth provided by the St. Mary’s choir, Con Fuoco.  Our concluding prayer is provided below.

After the ritual, we took a moment to acknowledge and thank Kitty Kelly and Gina Hoe, who have completed their time as co-chairs of our Associate Leadership Team.  Kitty and Gina have served the Associates with great dedication for many years, and we are so grateful for all they have done for us.  Our further thanks go out to Jennifer Tesoro, president of St. Mary’s Academy, Dave Morrison, the school’s facility manager, Colleen Dacquay, Administrative Assistant of the SNJM Manitoba office, Patti LeBlanc and Nancy Militano for their assistance with refreshments, Gina Borkofski for taking photographs of our event, and Anastasia Geras, Con Fuoco choir director.

A delightful time of fellowship and light refreshment followed the ritual, after which, all guests were invited to place a shovel full of soil around our newly planted tree.

God of the Universe,
You made the heavens and the earth,
Upon this tree we have planted in the grounds of SMA may your stars rain down their blessed dust.
May it and us be blessed with rain and sunshine.
Grant us humility that we might become more human,
That we might mend our rift from your creation,
That we might then know the sacredness of the gift of life,
That we might truly experience life from your hand.
For you planted humanity in a garden and began our resurrection in a garden.
Our blessed memory and hope, therefore, lie in a garden.
We rejoice that we find ourselves eclipsed by the magnitude of generosity and mystery.
Thanks be to God.