St. Roch School students join Green St. Louis Machine for healthy eating

Mallory Minana, center, a seventh-grader at St. Roch School, joined teacher Pete Shaver and classmates to harvest vegetables for a salad. St. Roch joined the Green St. Louis Machine program, which is an aeroponic gardening program organized by the Mathews-Dickey Boys’ and Girls’ Club.

On a recent weeknight at Mathews-Dickey Boys' and Girls' Club, several tables were lined with a host of colorful and delectable foods and beverages — Caesar salad, pesto pizza, Thai chicken lettuce wraps, basil lemonade and kale cheesecake.

These delights were part of a Spring Harvest and literally the fruits — well, veggies, to be more exact — of the labors of students participating in the Green St. Louis Machine, an area program that brings aeroponic gardening into the urban classroom.

BEFORE THE CROSS | Care for the poor is at the heart of the Gospel

Archbishop Robert J. Carlson

In June, Pope Francis released his encyclical letter on the environment. I'd like to offer reflections on it.

The title of the letter -- "Laudato Si'" -- is taken from a canticle by St. Francis of Assisi. He's the patron saint not only of Pope Francis' pontificate but also of the environment and those who study the environment. "Care for our common home" is the letter's subtitle.

Restored prairie at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary offers a glimpse at the past

More than 30 species of native grasses and flowers were planted in 22 acres of the Kenrick-Glennon Seminary grounds in Shrewsbury. Common in the area are yellow and purple coneflowers, black-eyed susan, and wild begamot. 

As the sun came up on a sleepy summer morning, the prairies and woodlands teamed with life.

Squirrels and rabbits scampered about, deer ambled nearby and a fox foraged for rodents. Meanwhile, hummingbirds tasted the sweet nectar of purple beebalms, honey bees pollinated prairie wild flowers, and a horse and buggy with human cargo got its kicks on the dirt trail known later as U.S. Route 66.

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Teak Phillips | teakphillips@archstl.org
More than 30 species of native grasses and flowers were planted in 22 acres of the Kenrick-Glennon Seminary grounds in Shrewsbury. Common in the area are yellow and purple coneflowers, black-eyed susan, and wild begamot.

Electric car proves worthy investment for wallet, earth

Jim Struckel, a Cure of Ars parishioner, has solar panels on his roof and owns an electric car, which he charged at Missouri Botanical Garden’s charging station. He said that more world leaders need to promote caring for our earth, as Pope Francis did in the encyclical, ‘Laudato Si.’

Jim Struckel sat in his car -- a sharp-looking compact four-door with an aerodynamic design -- in the shade on the Missouri Botanical Garden's parking lot while reading the daily newspaper.

A closer look showed that his car was hooked up to one of the garden's four electric vehicle charging stations. There is no charge for the use of the charging stations, with a full charge taking between four and five hours.

Editorial | We all need to care for our common home

Pope Francis' new encyclical "Laudato Si:' On Care for Our Common Home" is addressed to "every person living on this planet."

That means you. And, come to think of it, the encyclical also would apply to the astronauts living in the International Space Station, even though technically they're not on this planet.

Pope's message seen in Church's energy-conservation projects

In keeping with Pope Francis’ encyclical, many Catholics have responded to his challenge, ensuring that their churches and homes have a source of clean and sustainable energy. St. Vincent de Paul Parish in St. Louis installed solar panels in February 2014, and since then has primarily run off the energy provided by the panels. George Dennis, the building manager at St. Vincent de Paul Parish in St. Louis, has been at the church for eight years and has pushed for the parish to go green.

St. Vincent de Paul Church just south of Downtown St. Louis -- the third-oldest Catholic church in the City of St. Louis, constructed in 1844 -- is among the most modern in terms of energy conservation.

Solar panels, energy-efficient appliances and more are part of parish pastor Father Edward Murphy's vision to make the buildings more efficient and add to what Pope Francis cited in his encyclical on the environment as the need to progressively replace highly polluting fossil fuels -- especially coal, but also oil and, to a lesser degree, gas.

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