Planting Seeds

Easter Greetings from South Bend.


Two significant trips marked the last month of my life, and reminded me, once again, of the significance of “planting seeds” on the long journey of peace and integral ecology.

Trip One: Uganda March 4-15: for a BLI Uganda board meeting, and to host a group of Notre Dame students on Spring Break. Part of the Common Good Initiative of the Center for Social Concerns , the trip brought together nine graduate students from various departments (and one professor) to explore “New Norms of Development and the Ecology of the Common Good in Uganda.” We visited various initiatives and programs, and spent two days at BLI, planting over 250 trees at both the Kiumpa and Nandere campuses of BLI. As always, the pictures only tell part of the story….

Participants in the Common Good Initiative stop at the equator.
Planting trees at the Bethany Land Institute.
A visit with Sr. Mathias at St. Maria Goretti Vocational School.
Visiting Katigondo National Major Seminary where I trained to be a priest.
Walking the grounds of the Bethany Land Institute.
The source of the Nile.

Trip Two: Rome April 3-6: For a conference on “Path of Nonviolence: Towards a Culture of Peace.” Organized by the the Vatican Dicastery for Integral Human Development and Pax Christi International, the two day conference brought together church leaders, theologians and practitioners from around the world to deepen the church’s understanding and commitment to nonviolence and peace. Both Pax Christi and the National Catholic Reporter have covered the conference in more detail (click on the hyperlinks to read more). Again, pictures tell only part of the story of what was arguably a significant conversation, for which I am grateful to have been part of.

Conference Participants. Photo taken by  Johnny Zokovitch, Pax Christi International.
Photo taken by Johnny Zokovitch, Pax Christi International.
Johnny Zokovitch, Pax Christi International.

In all these and other events I find myself to be part of, I am reminded of the slow journey to peace and integral ecology – and encouraged by Oscar Romero’s “a step along the way” and that “we plant seeds that we hope one day will grow.”