USF Hosts Care for Creation Workshop
The University of Saint Francis hosted “Deepening Franciscan Identity: Teaching Care for Creation,” the first of three regional workshops presented for the faculty and staff of the Association of Franciscan Colleges and Universities (AFCU) member institutions, from January 17-19, 2013. Franciscan Action Network (FAN) is sponsoring the workshops. Sister Anita Holzmer, OSF (Director of the Center for Franciscan Spirit and Life) was responsible for bringing the workshop to USF and organizing the events.
The workshops featured Brother Keith Douglass Warner, OFM, director of education for the Center for Science, Technology & Society at Santa Clara University in California and Christine Elliot, director of Care for Creation at FAN. Their presentations linked the Franciscan spiritual and intellectual tradition with ethics, science, prayer, service and advocacy to present a distinctly Franciscan approach to the care for creation.
Sessions at USF included presentations by Brother Keith and Christine Elliot, sharing and evaluation of best practices, as well as collaborative approaches to applying Franciscan values in the classroom, in community-based learning or in campus ministry settings. Classroom learning methods and student programs to foster care for creation were developed. Care for creation initiatives and best practices at the University of Saint Francis were highlighted, specifically community-based projects by Dr. Paul Schmidt and Dr. Andrea Geyer and their students; Trina Herber in her Environmental Science course; and Dr. Kim Bowers in her Literature in the Environment course. Participants will share the activities and methods devised during the workshop on the AFCU website.
Brother Warner has taught at Santa Clara since 2003, developing courses and teaching on the topics of spirituality, justice and the environment for the university’s Center for Science, Technology & Society, Environmental Studies Institute, Religious Studies Department and honors program. He has published on the themes of environmental ethics, science practice, spirituality and justice in numerous journals, and has co-authored “Care for Creation: A Franciscan Spirituality of the Earth” with Ilia Delio, OSF and Pamela Wood in 2008. His introductory presentation, “Franciscan Spirituality and Wisdom for Our Ecological Crises,” provided an overview of the Franciscan charism and the care for creation.