“As a young priest in Africa, I was arrested for taking a picture of a tree. At the police station, I was asked why I had taken a picture of a secret military base. I explained that I didn’t know I was taking a picture of a secret base; I thought I was just taking a picture of a tree. The interrogating officer laughed and said, ‘Why does a priest care about a tree?’
KENYA The road from Lodwar to Kakuma, Turkana. Desert landscape. photo by Sean Sprague
I planned to use the tree photo to teach farmers and schoolchildren to care for the land through planting and caring for trees. Luckily for me, the chief of police was raised a Catholic, and was willing to listen as I explained that all people, especially Christians who were raised to know that God created the heavens and earth, must understand that all God’s creation is good (Gen.1). Many Maryknoll missioners like me see the impact of environmental injustices and climate change on the poor and less fortunate people we serve.
Everyone, not just priests, should be concerned about the environment. Through the works of the Creator we can begin to know the Creator.” – Fr. Lawrence Radice, M.M.