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Facilitators of Environmental Leadership Experience Share Program with other U.S. Dominican Colleges

July 17, 2018, Providence, Rhode Island – About a month after leading select students from Barry University and Siena Heights University on an intensive, two-week Environmental Leadership Experience, two of the program’s directors shared that experience with yet another group. Elaine Johnson, Permaculture Specialist for the Adrian Dominican Sisters, and Paula Dias, Program Manager of Mission Engagement and the Division of Student Affairs at Barry University, spoke about the program June 23 to faculty members and administrators from Dominican colleges and universities across the United States.

Now in its second year, the Environmental Leadership Experience draws interested students to the Adrian Dominican Sisters’ Motherhouse Campus in May after the close of the school year. Through teamwork, hands-on experiences, talks, meditation, and tours of local sustainable programs, the students learn about eco-systems and the principles and practices of Permaculture, a system of learning from and working with the systems of nature in designing and implementing agriculture. The students are expected to use what they’ve learned to develop environmentally sustainable practices at their school in the Fall.

Elaine and Paula gave a special presentation, “Environmental Leadership Experience: Engaging Students in Caring for the Earth,” in a Saturday break-out session at the 2018 Dominican Higher Education Colloquium, at Providence College in Providence, Rhode Island.

During their presentation, Elaine and Paula spoke on the Adrian Dominican Sisters’ 2016 General Chapter Enactment to “sacrifice to mitigate significantly our impact on climate change and ecological degradation” and on the environmental sustainability efforts of the Adrian Dominican Sisters, Siena Heights University, and Barry University.

Elaine and Paula also spoke of their vision for the future of the program, including possible credit options for participants and a reciprocal trip to the campus of Barry University in Miami to study the tropical ecosystems.

Read a fuller description of their talk. Please note that Karen Stalnaker, listed in the schedule as a panelist in the presentation, did not participate in that particular presentation but made a presentation during a different part of the Colloquium.

Feature photo: Elaine Johnson, right, discusses hugelmounds – raised beds that include organic matter that ultimately decomposes and fertilizes the crops – with the 2018 Environmental Leadership Experience participants.


 Retreat Offers Study of Three Great Mystics

June 18, 2018, Adrian, Michigan – A five-day retreat allows participants to explore – through the study of three remarkable mystics – the process in which we realize that God is the very reality of ourselves, others, and all things.

Retreat with the Mystics at Weber Retreat and Conference Center begins at 6:30 p.m. Sunday, July 8, 2018, and continues through noon Thursday, July 12, 2018, studying Thomas Merton, Etty Hillesum and Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, SJ.

  • Thomas Merton: Dr. Joe Raab, Professor of Religious Studies at Siena Heights University, will explore the mysticism of this U.S. Trappist monk who wrote the spiritual classic, The Seven Storey Mountain.

  • Etty Hillesum: Sister Arlene Kosmatka, OP, a spiritual director, will explore how the life of Etty Hillesum, a young Jewish woman who wrote An Interrupted Life and died in the Auschwitz Concentration Camp in 1943, reveals the power of love in the midst of suffering.

  • Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, SJ: Sister Kathleen Duffy, SSJ, Director of the institute for Religion and Science at Chestnut Hill College in Philadelphia, will discuss the work of this Jesuit priest and paleontologist, who focused on evolution, faith, and the Cosmic Christ. 

The cost of the retreat is $275 for commuters, $375 per person for double occupancy; and $475 for single occupancy. Registration is required. To register, visit www.webercenter.org and click on “programs.” Registrations may also be made by contacting Weber Center at 517-266-4000 or webercenter@adriandominicans.org.

Weber Retreat and Conference Center is on the campus of the Adrian Dominican Sisters’ Motherhouse, 1257 E. Siena Heights Drive, Adrian. Enter the Eastern-most driveway of the complex and follow the signs to Weber Center.


 

 

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