Taking a Personal Stand for Creation

Russell Testa Friar News

Acting on the vision expressed in Holy Name Province’s strategic plan to more fully live out the call for greater integrity with creation, several friars will be taking part in a protest of the proposed tar sands oil pipeline from Canada to the United States. 

Jacek Orzechowski, OFM, and Erick Lopez, OFM, of Silver Spring, Md., will be part of a peaceful demonstration on Aug. 29 at the White House. Joseph Nangle, OFM, plans to take part in a similar demonstration at another time during the week. They are part of a nationally-organized protest that runs from Aug. 20 to Sept. 3.

Jacek and Erick said they hope to draw the attention of President Barack Obama so that the U.S. State Department might withhold approval of a pipeline that will bring as much as 900,000 barrels per day of highly toxic oil from tar sands in western Canada and release a large amount of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. The pipeline is called Keystone XL. Bishop Luc Bouchard of St. Paul’s, Alberta, Canada, has been a vocal opponent of the proposed pipline.

jacekericTo help HNP Today readers better understand the issue, an article written by theologian Sr. Dawn Nothwehr, OSF. “A Franciscan Reflection on the Keystone XL Pipeline,” is provided on the Issue-Related Resources page in the Justice and Peace section of the HNP website. An abstract of Sr. Dawn’s reflection is also accessible.

Finally, other friars and partners-in-ministry have chosen to sign an online petition to ask President Obama not to approve the pipeline. Joseph Kotula, OFM, of Mt. Irenaeus Franciscan Mountain Retreat in Western New York, notified friends earlier this week that he signed the petition.

Information about the Keystone XL Pipeline opposition can be found on the Franciscan Action Network website. The photo accompanying this article is courtesy of National Geographic.

— Russell Testa is director of the HNP Office for Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation.