August 10, 2016 Home Page


Our website will update again on August 17, 2016

Teach us to discover the worth of each thing, to be filled with awe and contemplation, to recognize that we are profoundly united with every creature as we journey towards your infinite light.

~Pope Francis~

Did You Hear?

International Coastal Clean-Up Day is September 17th – MARK YOUR CALENDAR

For nearly three decades, volunteers with Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup® have picked up everything imaginable along the world’s shorelines: cigarette butts, food wrappers, abandoned fishing gear and even automobiles and kitchen appliances. In 2015, more than 18 million pounds of trash was collected by nearly 800,000 volunteers during the International Coastal Cleanup.

We need your help to keep this momentum going. Join the world’s largest volunteer effort for our ocean by finding a Cleanup location near you.


Good News

Emergency Animal Response Service

EARS was formed as a stand-alone, all-volunteer, 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to providing dedicated response to animals in emergencies. EARS is considered a “Non-Governmental Organization” (NGO) when it comes to emergency responses in that our team is not overseen or funded by any municipality or state agency, and we can be called upon for assistance by local and state officials, as well as animal facilities and individual animal owners themselves. Through various associations with partner organizations, company sponsors, professional animal practices, services, and individuals, EARS continues to grow and make an impact on helping animals in our state.

Our team has been growing steadily since its inception, thanks to the dedication of our leaders and team members. Our primary focus is on providing rapid-response capability for animals in emergency situations. Although our team trains in, and can assist with, large-scale animal evacuation and sheltering, we are equipped and organized for more direct-intervention issues. An example of these types of incidents includes fires, transport vehicle accidents, technical animal rescue, medical transport, and similar situations that require the need for immediate action.


In the News

Before Laudato Si, there were the Trappist Monks of Holy Cross Abbey

Years before Pope Francis’ recent ecology encyclical Laudato Si was published, a Trappist monastery in Virginia went back to its spiritual roots by embracing environmental stewardship. “This really is a re-founding,” Fr. James Orthmann of Holy Cross Abbey in Berryville, Va. told CNA, a “real renewal and a re-founding, and in a real sense getting back to our traditional roots.”

Since 2007, the community has taken concrete steps be better stewards of the earth in the tradition of the Cistercian Order, while also reaching into the outside world to draw more Catholic men to their monastic life.


Picture of the Week

An ant gets a glimpse of his own reflection

Ask Susi

Q: My parish priest told me that “we (meaning the Catholic Church) do not believe that animals go to heaven, because they have no souls.” But, my heart and faith in Jesus tells me otherwise. Is what he said true?

A: This is perhaps the most epic question I am asked, in numerous and varying contexts. Countless books and articles have been given over to the question of animals in heaven and there is the long and short of it, depending on where you really want to go. So, I will answer the initial question, and follow it with an abridged explanation for the positive.


Susi’s Weekly Column

ZIKA Concerns

~by Susi Pittman

I have watched for months as our Governor has tried unsuccessfully to get any early cooperation from this Washington Administration and Congress in being pro-active against Zika. And now it’s here in Florida and there’s still nobody home “up there” to help.


Catholic Journeyman

Looking for Something?

~by Louis Templeman

Taking time to slow down, not because you have to, but because you want to benefits the soul beyond anything else.


Meandering Along the River’s Edge

We Are Stewards, Not Czars

~by Virginia Rhys-Anson, OFS

Problems in the natural realm continue to arise as humankind turns a blind eye to the inter-connected-ness that exists between itself and all other natural creatures and things.


Weekly Commentary

Future of wildlife conservation, our kids

As a parent of a now 10-year old boy, I have my share of special moments that stop and make me go “wow!” The ones that have been creeping up on me most these days are indications that my boy loves wildlife – especially birds. He’s always been sensitive and connected to nature, but his love of birds is now off the charts.

This got me thinking about how we can influence our kids so naturally. I’ve become passionate about bird conservation and I think I’ve created a bird-crazy boy as a result. Based on my real-life experiences with him, thought I would offer my list of the top 10 signs that your child is going bird-conservation crazy!


Discovering Catholic Writers


Michelle Buckman is the author of six novels including award-winning novel Rachel’s Contrition and Christy Award Finalist Maggie Come Lately. She is an international conference speaker renowned for her dynamic discussions on writing and faith.

She has been a featured author at the Catholic Marketing Network Tradeshow, International Christian Retail Show, Southeastern Independent Booksellers Association, and the South Carolina Book Festival.

She was born in New York, raised in Canada, and has lived in the south for over thirty years. She currently resides near the Carolina coast with her husband, five children and a slew of animals. Walking on the beach is both her inspiration and her favorite pastime.


Recommended Read

Rachel’s Contrition – by Michelle Buckman

After the death of her daughter, grief-spawned delusions cause Rachel to lose her husband, her home, and custody of her son. Help arrives from two unlikely sources: a young teen, Lilly, battling her own demons, and a tattered holy card depicting Saint Thérèse of Lisieux. As Rachel grows closer to Lilly and comes to know Saint Thérèse, unbidden memories from her edgy past reveal fearful mysteries of seduction, madness, and murder… and a truth that will haunt her forever.


Quote of the Week

Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence

~Helen Keller~

Discovering Catholic Saints

Saint Peter Claver

Geology & Archaeology

Is it Vasco de Gama’s Esmeralda?

For five hundred years, Esmeralda remained a footnote to the Age of Discovery—until divers discovered its possible wreck site on the island of Al Hallaniyah, 25 miles south of the Omani coast. Over the past three years, an archaeological project led by the Oman Ministry of Heritage and Culture and Blue Water Recoveries Ltd. has investigated the early sixteenth-century shipwreck. More than 2,800 artifacts have been recovered by archaeologists.

“As the earliest ‘Ship of Discovery’ ever to be found and excavated by archaeologists,” says project director David Mearns, “we knew that virtually every artifact recovered could provide new insights into how the Portuguese conducted navigation, trade, and naval warfare during this historically important period.”



Climate Change possible reason for Zika Outbreak

The Zika virus has exploded throughout South America, up through Mexico and Puerto Rico and into Florida, but the conditions it needed to fester in northern Brazil were rooted in urbanization and poverty. The initial Brazilian outbreak appears to have been aided by a drought driven by El Niño, and by higher temperatures caused by longer-term weather cycles and by rising levels of greenhouse gas pollution.


Global Weather

California wildfires continue to rage

A wildfire burning out of control in mountains and foothills east of Los Angeles mushroomed more than 50 percent overnight, forcing authorities to order three school districts to cancel classes due to heavy smoke and dangerous conditions.

More than 900 firefighters were battling the so-called Pilot Fire, which has charred some 7,500 acres of bone-dry tinder and brush in the San Bernardino Mountains since it broke out around noon on Sunday.

“We feel it is in the best interest of safety that we keep our students and staff at home,” the Silver Valley Unified School District, which oversees nine schools in Mojave Desert, said in a statement on its website.



Wildlife Conservation Society

WCS uses science to discover and understand the natural world. This knowledge helps us engage and inspire decision-makers, communities, and millions of supporters to take action with us to protect the wildlife and wild places we all care about.

WCS scientists study what wildlife species need to thrive. With this knowledge we invest in abating threats to wildlife within their most important strongholds and the corridors that connect them. We target large, iconic, wide-ranging species because of their intrinsic value and because they are vital to ecosystem health. By saving them, we protect all other biodiversity that shelters under their conservation canopy.


God’s Green Earth

Autumn in New England

Farm News

Farmers Need New Mechanical Ways To Harvest

If you’re enjoying a late-summer fruit pie this Labor Day, consider what went into growing and harvesting that fruit. Chances are, it took a lot of human hands to ensure its skin would be perfect and smooth when you bought it.

While machines have replaced human hands for a lot of farm jobs — the harvesting of tomatoes for processing, the cutting of lettuce and spinach, the shaking of almond trees to make the nuts fall to the ground — many fruit, vegetable and nut farmers still rely heavily on people to plant, maintain and harvest their crops.


Steward Alerts

90 Minutes In Heaven

Pastor Don Piper died January 18, 1989 when a semi-tractor truck crushed his car. Declared dead by the first rescue workers to arrive on the scene, Don’s body lay under a tarp for the next 90 minutes. Don’s soul, meanwhile, was experiencing love, joy, and life like he’d never known before. Don was in Heaven.

When another pastor’s prayers helped bring Don back to life, he became a living miracle! Yet this is one miracle Don wished never happened. Heaven’s bliss was replaced by excruciating pain and emotional turmoil. With the support and prayers of his beloved Eva, their three kids, and friends near and far, Don clings to his faith in God and fights to regain a semblance of his previous life. The Piper family’s incredible true story of perseverance and overcoming the challenges of life—and death—will bring hope and encouragement to all who see it.


Steward Activities

Create a Schoolyard Wildlife Habitat

The Schoolyard Habitat Team is composed of educators, students, parents, maintenance personnel, administrators and community volunteers. Every member of the team brings their own skills. Some will focus on how to garden, others might figure out what parts of the curriculum can be served by the wildlife habitat, or what animal visitors to expect.


A Song Before the Lord

Christ Be Our Light



Smokejumpers train to fight wild fires that can’t be reached from the ground. These are blazes that flare up far from road systems and in some of the most remote parts of the country. What smokejumpers do is different from their land-going counterparts, who try to contain fire by approaching it from its outside edges. Training for smokejumpers is rigorous and requires more than just fire-fighting skills.



8 Great Reasons to Plant In the Fall

By late summer, most flowering plants have ceased blooming. The vibrant colors of summer have given way to the subdued tones of autumn. But if you’re tempted to put your yard and garden on hiatus as the days grow cooler and autumn approaches, think again.


Wellness & Nutrition

CDC issues Travel Advisory for FLORIDA

For the first time, the Zika virus has prompted public health officials to warn pregnant women to avoid traveling to a part of the continental United States. The travel advisory comes in response to a growing outbreak of the mosquito-borne disease in South Florida.

The state on Monday said there are 10 more people who have been infected with the Zika virus who likely contracted it from local mosquitoes, bringing the total number of such cases in the state to 14. All of the cases have surfaced in a densely populated community north of downtown Miami.



Assembly of Boeing’s  STARLINER ISS Space Taxis begins at Kennedy Space Center

The next generation of America’s human spaceships is rapidly taking shape and “making fantastic progress” at the Kennedy Space Center as Boeing and NASA showcased the start of assembly of the first flight-worthy version of the aerospace giants Starliner crew taxi vehicle to the media last week. Starliner will ferry NASA astronauts to and from the International Space Station (ISS) by early 2018.

“We are making fantastic progress across the board,” John Mulholland, vice president and program manager of Boeing Commercial Programs, told Universe Today at the July 26 media event in Boeing’s new Starliner factory.



Disclaimer is an online Ezine operated by a Roman Catholic family. The website content is particular to Roman Catholic theology, but in no way is this website an “official” website for the Catholic Church. It operates as a layman’s ministry devoted to interesting, informal, spiritual, interactive, educational, and religious content and products to aid in ones personal journey towards better stewardship of creation and the creatures we share this life with. Sharing the joy of communion with God through the extended family of creation. This website may contain links to third party blogs/websites. is in no way responsible for the contents of any linked blog/websites or any links contained in such blog/website. Links are provided for convenience and information and do not imply endorsement of the linked site. Privacy is important to us; therefore, we will never sell, rent, or give away your name, personal information or Email address to anyone, ever! You may contact us by sending an email to:

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