Big crowd joins for call to care for Mother Earth

Staff Reports Posted 16 September 2015 at 12:00 am

First-ever Sustainability Fair packs Lyceum

Photo by Tom Rivers

ALBION – Leonel Rosario and his wife Dolores serve stuffed peppers with shrimp and fish that is covered in cheese corn sauce. They run Mariachi d’Oro Restaurant in Medina and were among the exhibitors during the first Ecumenical Sustainability Fair on Tuesday at Holy Family’s Lyceum.

Holy Family Parish, in cooperation with eight other local churches, hosted the Sustainability Fair that included 22 exhibitors who discussed recycling, composting, reducing consumption, caring for the environment and many other earth-friendly practices.

Photo by Tom Rivers

Leonel Rosario also discussed growing up poor in Mexico with the challenges to have enough food to eat and water to drink. Bob Golden, the event co-organizer, is at left.

“In Mexico, you were a vegetarian because you couldn’t afford meat,” Rosario said during a panel discussion.

Rosario said his childhood makes him value food and resources, and he tries to cook in small batches to reduce waste.

He also is a big advocate for preserving his Mexican culture, and leads many demonstrations on cooking and dancing.

Photo by Kristina Gabalski

More than 100 peope attended the Sustainability Fair to see exhibits, sample locally grown foods and hear presentations.

Photo by Tom Rivers

Sister Sharon Goodremote, an environmental educator in the Western New York Catholic Diocese, was the featured speaker during the Sustainability Fair. She discussed Pope Francis’ encyclical and shared practical ways for people to care for the Earth.

“I think it’s amazing to have so many people coming out to hear what Pope Francis has to say and how he is challenging us to care for creation,” Goodremote said.

Photo by Tom Rivers

Sister Sheila Stone, left, discusses ways, big and small, to care for the Earth and improve the health of a community. She is joined by Sister Sharon Goodremote during a panel discussion.

Stone worked 20 years at Buffalo Catholic Charities and has been involved in Sacred Heart Center and the EarthHeart ministry.

Stone said she is encouraged by some environmental success stories, such as the pushback against tobacco that has resulted in significant decreases in smoking rates. She spoke out in hearings against fracking and is pleased Gov. Cuomo and New York are banning the practice.

She suggested people go on nature walks.

“Spend time outside,” she said. “Get to know the trees and plants. Open yourself to awe and wonder.”

She would like to see more protection for the Great Lakes, including a ban on microbeads, tiny particles in cosmetics and in some dish soaps that end up in the lakes and harm fish.

The big threat to the world: Climate Change. Stone said government leaders and citizens need to address the issue.

“Just pray that the country has the will and the moral fiber to make some drastic changes when it comes to Climate Change,” she said.

Photo by Tom Rivers – Paula Bensley, back left, and Catherine Adams show off a healthy plant. They are both master gardeners with advice for growing flowers, plants and gardens. Master gardeners also have expertise for fighting invasive plants, such as hogweed.

Photo by Tom Rivers – Kay Walter helped serve grilled vegetables from Wegmans. The company donated money to help put on the Sustainability Fair.