The Catholic Parks Network creates, promotes, and preserves spaces that inspire serene harmony between humans, the built environment, nature, and God.
“The universe unfolds in God, who fills it completely. Hence, there is a mystical meaning to be found in a leaf, in a mountain trail, in a dewdrop, in a poor person’s face.”
– Pope Francis, Laudato Si’, par. 233
Our faith sees the rhythms and cycles of time as holy; the Sabbath is consecrated for rest, community, prayer and wonder. In the same way, our earth is holy – a sister, a mother. The Catholic Parks Network is to be a sabbath of space, a hallowing of nature, co-creative and cooperative with God’s initial gift.
All creation, in its original goodness and in its own fulfillment, testifies to the synergy at the heart of our philosophy: a serene harmony reflecting the divine splendor. St. Francis bade his followers keep part of the friary garden free from human cultivation, that the wild herbs and flowers flourishing there show forth the artistry of the Almighty. In Jesus of Nazareth, Pope Benedict XVI asked: “Are not the oases of creation that sprang up, say, around the Benedictine monasteries in the West foreshadowings of this reconciliation of creation brought about by the children of God?” In Laudato si’, Pope Francis writes of how “St. Bonaventure held that, through universal reconciliation with every creature, St. Francis in some way returned to the state of original innocence.” The Catholic Parks will contribute to oases of creation of diverse kinds and sizes throughout the world – mountains, valleys, rivers, estuaries, forests, wetlands, and more; oases of creation whose beauty reflects the plan of God in nature; oases of creation as reparation for the loveless exploitation which threatens areas of irreplaceable beauty and biodiversity; oases of creation as still waters for the soul, calling us to contemplation and reflecting the hand of God.
Catholic Parks Network is focused on protecting areas of great biodiversity richness that are under threat, though the scope of the parks are broad and include urban as well as rural and wilderness parks. will preserve God’s creation; it will provide opportunities for people to encounter God through the beauty of creation; and we believe that this major global initiative can play a significant role in humanity’s reconciliation with creation.
We all have an essential role to play in caring for God’s creation. The Catholic Parks Network – a global network of oases of creation for which our planet is longing – will give all people new opportunities to echo the praises that Saint Francis sang and that inspired our Holy Father’s vision for the world.
Winter/Spring 2020 Forum:
Religious Institutions’ Land-Use: Addressing Conservation, Migration and Food Security
Land-Use Planning Across Scales
This diagram provides an overview of GoodLands’ original approach for planning the land-use of Catholic Properties for ecological impact and to address migration. The data models, data sets, and application of information and algorithms weave together holistic landuse planning, data management, and data collection/site monitoring for projects across scales; from the hyper-local to the global geographic scale.
We are currently working on comparable models to explore coordinating and realizing the financial vehicles, legal, and partnership structures of project development and implementation at each geographic scale.