‘Faith and the Environment’

By ADAM BRONSON

Contributing Writer

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On Sunday Nov. 24, Pasquale DiFrancesco, ‘15, and Matt Mucci, ‘14, spoke to the religious education program at St. Brigid church in Meadville about “Faith and the Environment.” They expressed the importance of helping preserve the environment through faith and the community.

“Faith is a platform,” DiFrancesco said. “It teaches you how to be better at issues and little behavioral changes can make a huge impact.”

At the start of their presentation, DiFrancesco and Mucci had the class construct a virtual person on their computer to see “How many Earths do you take?” They asked the class questions about their lifestyle on a daily basis.

When the class answered the questions, DiFrancesco and Mucci plugged the responses into the program. The program then simulated how many “Earths” it would take to support a world that lived like them. After the experiment, the class was informed that it would take five “Earths” to support a world based off their lifestyle. DiFrancesco and Mucci connected this issue to an assignment they had to complete for a class titled “Religion and Ecology.” However, Mucci said the assignment’s guidelines didn’t dictate their timing of the presentation.

“It’s an issue that is important to me and Pat and we’re passionate about it,” said Mucci.

During the presentation, the class was shouting out ways they could help the environment and what they could do to stop their excessive habits.

DiFrancesco and Mucci offered simple hints to correct environmental issues. They informed the students about proper recycling, and efficient water and electricity usage. They also covered topics involving air and car pollution, how much meat the class eats, and better ways to conserve the meat that they don’t finish. They ended the presentation with quick facts about the daily consumption of environmental resources and biblical scriptures pertaining to environment and conservation.

After the presentation, the religious education students put their thoughts on paper for their church to see. They offered advice on how to better conserve environmental resources. When the students finished writing their prayers, they were able to talk to DiFrancesco and Mucci before they left the class.

Hannah Parks, a 6th grader in the religious education program, plans to help conserve the environment at school in a unique fashion.

“I will turn the lights off on my teacher,” Parks said.

Pastor Johnathan Schmolt commended the students of Allegheny for reaching out and educating the students at St.Brigid.

“These young adults showed them that you can take situations and apply them to situations right in the world,” Schmolt said. “It is a value of witness and faith and it is an act of witness for the youth.”

DiFrancesco believes educating a community about conservation is the right tactic to spreading awareness about the environment.

“It’s all about meeting people where they can create and find connections,” DiFrancesco said.