La Vista Ecological Learning Center

4300 Levis Lane

Godfrey, IL 62035

© 2006 − 2019

info@lavistaelc.org

618.466.5004

A Ministry of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate

Newsletter: La Vista Visions

A Vision Emerges:

the Confluence Climate Collaborative

Energized by Margaret Mead who said, "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has", members of a discussion course at La Vista evolved into a working group committed to addressing the challenges of climate change in the Alton/Godfrey/Edwardsville area. Read about is emergence in this issue of La Vista Visions.

Summer, 2019

Mission for Earth
An Oblate's Journey

Fr. Darrell Rupiper, OMI, was a friend of Earth.  He was an Oblate priest and missionary.  In the 1970s his religious order sent him to work in poor communities in Brazil.  This was during the era when a military junta governed the country.  The junta's disrespect for human rights and use of violence to achieve its goals opened the eyes of the rural boy from Iowa.  His experience in Brazil gave him a lifelong zeal for social justice and the defense of human rights.

Winter 2019

Religion Enters the Age of Ecology

On March 26, a few days before Easter and Passover, a crowd of faith leaders and their community members gathered on the steps of the Massachusetts State House to call upon Governor Baker to take bold leadership in addressing climate disruption. Drawing from the ancient stories of Moses confronting Pharaoh, we celebrated our shared determination as people of diverse faiths to set ourselves free from fossil fuels and to create a more just and sustainable society.
Summer/Fall 2018
A Tornado Delivers a Message
I have two homes where I live; my physical frame house where I eat, sleep, work, play, live part of my life. My other home is the adjacent woods. I spend plenty of time here, too. This is my spiritual home, my place of true connection to that which is greater than I am, but that of which I am a part. A place of towering trees and splendid forest floor flowers. Both homes were damaged in the tornado. The forest home, however, suffered far greater damage than the frame home.
Winter/Spring 2018
Creation as Sacrament: Encountering the Divine
Have you ever stood in awe and wonder at a night sky? Bathed in the ocean or been caught in a raging torrent? If so, you’ve probably sought a sense of meaning and presence deeper than what is obvious to your senses in that moment.
Summer 2017
Laudato Si’ and Turning Isms Into Wasms
When I participated in study sessions on the papal encyclical Laud-ato Si’: On Care for Our Common Home, I couldn’t help but notice the many isms the Pope addressed as he called for human beings to change.
Winter 2017
Opening the Door of Mercy in Your Back Yard
 
Pretend that the gate pictured here is in your own back yard. Do you see anything beyond it in need of your merciful care? If your answer is “yes”, we invite you to be present, listen to the needs, and respond. If your answer is “no” or “not yet”, please read on.
Summer/Fall 2016
The Many Calls of Laudato Si’
 
With Laudato Si,’ Pope Francis has given us a truly unique document in the history of the Catholic Church and indeed in the history of climate activism and communities of faith.
Winter/Spring 2016
Land We Love and Respect
Here at La Vista land is treated as a community of life and is loved and respected.
Summer/Fall 2015
Who Do We Need to Be in 2015?
 
We need to BE. We need to be consciously connected to the Divine within us and to its manifestations in Nature. We need to inquire deeply into the questions of our time and listen to the guidance arising. Who are we? What is our role? What is required of us in our corner of the world?
Winter 2015
Monarchs and Us
 
Saving the Monarch will take all of us. Gardeners, students, and faith communities are encouraged to plant milkweed, and “citizen scientists” can tag and track the Monarchs.
Summer 2014
Words Shape Our Worldview
 
Language both shapes and reveals attitudes. In the present ecological crisis, we need to be especially aware of our “Earth language.” Our home planet is usually referred to as the earth (no capital letter) even though we never say the Venus or the Mars. Earth deserves the same respect.
Winter 2014
Sometimes the Hardest Thing to See Is What’s in Front of One’s Eyes
 
There is a mystery and wonder at the heart of creation that can only be respected, received with gratitude and contemplated. It’s the process of photography – the seeing, noticing and appreciating – that brings its own rewards and has become, for me, a way of entering into that sacred space.
Summer 2013
Let All the Trees of the Forest Exult!
 
About twelve years ago, the Oblate forest was the first to be protected in Illinois under the Forest Legacy Program which helps protect environmentally important forests from conversion to non-forest uses. When we explore the intimate connection between our Creator and creation, between the Judeo Christian tradition and ecological action, we are able to understand the need to care for creation.
Winter 2013
Waking Up and Staying Up: The Transformation of Consciousness
 
The most pressing task of our time is not invention of technologies but the transformation
of consciousness. Relatively few of us are scientists or engineers – all of us are called to the sacred task of transformation of consciousness.
Summer 2012
A Good Day
 
"You think this is just another day in your life. It’s not just another day; it’s the one day that is given to you today. It’s given to you. It’s a gift. It’s the only gift that you have right now, and the only appropriate response is gratefulness." Brother David Steindal-Rast
Winter 2012
Exploring a Prairie, Expanding a Sense of Self
Beginning last summer, the staff of La Vista Ecological Learning Center offered a yearlong journey exploring the Heartland Prairie in nearby Alton, Illinois. This 27-acre tall-grass prairie restoration shows what Illinois once looked like when 21 million acres of prairie covered the state.
Summer 2011
Allurement: What Draws You Most Deeply?
 
Cosmologist Brian Swimme suggests that, because we live on a withering planet, a situation caused largely by humans, we need the image of Allurement – or attraction - to guide us..
Winter 2011
Living In Between Stories
 
Thomas Berry pointed out that our generation is ‘in between stories.’ Ours has been the one caught in the gap between the story science tells and the one religion tells. We have been wedged between the old and the new – old traditions and new revelations.
Summer 2010
An Emerging Vision for 2010 and Beyond
 
Yes, the Universe is expanding and so is our understanding of our place in it. What does it mean to align ourselves with the Universe? How can human beings do that?
Winter 2010
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