Between September and December of 2022, the Provincial Custody of St. Bonaventure in Brazil (Maranhão) took a very important step to contribute even more to the preservation of the environment by installing photovoltaic panels at the Menino Jesus de Praga Church and Seminary, home of the postulancy program and the Custodial curia, in São Luís, Maranhão State, Brazil. The project was officially completed at the end of February 2023.
Clean energy sources are an important way to contribute to the protection of the environment, because they do not emit greenhouse gases. In our Order, Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation (JPIC) is an entity that promotes peace and the integrity of creation by caring for people and our common home. Conventual Franciscans see JPIC as a way of life and a mission. It is part of our DNA as friars. Our seraphic father St. Francis of Assisi was the first Christian to understand humanity’s interdependence with nature. His faith and spirituality show us that we are connected to all of Creation and that it is possible to enter into communion with the planet without destroying it. St. Francis invites us to foster co-responsibility, fraternity and harmony. He clarifies that there is a Creator who loves everything and invites human beings to be the caretakers and gardeners of the planet He created—to paraphrase Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si’.
Therefore, in keeping with the teachings and example of our Founder and that of Pope Francis and the guidelines set down for JPIC, the Custody decided to invest in these panels, not only looking at the financial benefit, but especially at the care of our common home. This investment will reduce our electricity bill by as much as 50% to 95%. Moreover, the savings provided by this technology are sufficient not only to pay for the purchase and installation of the panels, but also to generate income for a long time, given that the panels are expected to last for more than twenty years.
Therefore the friary and church expect to save substantially on the energy tax. Moreover, those savings will be used for other areas of evangelization and for the upkeep of the church and the Custody, as well as helping with the formation process of our students.
The Provincial Custody of St. Bonaventure in Brazil wishes to thank all the people who contributed so generously to the success of this project. May the good Lord reward them all. Peace and All Good!
Friar Roberto HONORATO OLIVEIRA DOS REMÉDIOS, Provincial Custos