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experimental project in a small parish in Santo Domingo. It was meant
to bring closer to nature, in a theocentric context, a small group of
practising Catholics (Jakowska, 1988b).
It became apparent to us that the message of the Pastoral Letter of
1987 needed immediate "translation" into terms intelligible to
children and newly alphabetized persons if it is to become known and
In this small community we became convinced that the future of
the country depends on individual "ecological conversion", on a
drastic change of attitudes towards nature and towards all forms of
life, as well as on new ways of using
resources, especially food and
It appeared obvious that this can
be accomplished only by accepting
the moral implications of our
responsibility for God's heritage,
rather than on our use of science
and technology, which have failed
us to a great extent. We also believe
in prayer as an instrument of social
A plan was designed to help
achieve an individual "ecological conversion" in six simple steps, on
the way to collective awareness raising. The plan was used in different
format and circumstances: as week-end retreat, as one day retreat, as
half-day sessions and even less than one hour treatment, depending on
specific needs, in Spanish.
The most beneficial circumstances were in a chapel-garden
setting, with brief introduction to each of the six themes, and
individual meditation (in total silence and freedom of using the chapel
or the garden) on brief quotations from the psalms, and other parts of
the Scriptures. We tried to bring about the understanding that Nature is
the first book of the human kind, and that God reveals Himself in all
things and beings that He created, in the universal order, and in the
mysterious processes of continuity of creation through evolution.
We pointed out that God requires that we care for this legacy,
Earth from Space - NASA phot