Headwaters is a 53-acre Sanctuary at the head of the San Antonio River protected by the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word and their nonprofit Earth care ministry, the Headwaters at Incarnate Word.
Within the Congregation of the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word, we are blessed to have a ministry dedicated to preserving and caring for God’s beautiful creation. This ministry is Headwaters at Incarnate Word! Headwaters at Incarnate Word, Inc. is a non-profit, sponsored, Earth care ministry established in 2008 to reflect the Congregation’s growing awareness and sense of obligation to care for the Earth. Some of their goals are to: establish a sanctuary for all, restore health to its land and waters, offer the gifts of education and spiritual reflection, and share the stories of this place and its people.
The various ways Headwaters engages the surrounding community and cares for the land and the water is a beautiful example of living the challenge and spirit of Laudato Si every day! Not only are they protecting all of the life contained within the Headwaters Sanctuary, but by doing so they are providing a space for others to connect with God and one another through nature. They have built up a strong network of volunteers who come out to help the sanctuary look its best for all of God’s creatures to enjoy. A few weeks ago for the feast of St. Francis of Assisi, the Headwaters hosted a special animal blessing led by Sr. Martha Ann Kirk (see photo).
The Headwaters also does a lot to educate the community about environmental issues. They have a monthly movie series the first Monday of each month in CHRISTUS Heritage Hall (The Village) at 3:30pm. Past months films have covered topics like light pollution, bottled water and its environmental impacts, birds’ communication, bees and threats to their survival, among others. November’s film will focus on the importance of having spaces for children to play and interact with nature, and then in December the film focuses on the loss of tallgrass prairie habitat. These moving showings are free and open to all! They also hope to expand their educational programs and resources in the future with hands on activities within the Headwaters Sanctuary.
Some exciting Fall events that you can participate in to reconnect to God’s beautiful creation found in the Headwaters Sanctuary include birding trips, nature walks, and a special program on Celtic Spirituality of “Thin Places.” The birding trips will be held the third Friday of each month through the end of the year. The program on Celtic Spirituality’s Thin Places will be October 29th at 9:00am. The Celtic tradition has always honored “thin places” as places where heaven and earth were closely connected. This walk will offer quiet meditations that will reflect the Celtic vision that enables us to see “thin places” of healing and mystery right before our eyes.
Retreat leader and faculty member of the Religious Studies Department at the University of Incarnate Word, Sylvia Maddox, M.T.S., will conduct the walk. She is the co-author of “Praying With The Celtic Saints”. This program is limited to 14, so please contact Pam Ball firstname.lastname@example.org or 210-828-2224 if you plan to attend.
There are many ways you too can support the great work to protect God’s creation for generations to come within the Headwaters Sanctuary! You can offer financial support through donations to the Headwaters, or you can volunteer your time and skills as a volunteer to help clean up and preserve the environment. You can find out more information as well as a calendar of volunteer days on their website: http://www.headwaterscoalition.org/getinvolved.html
Thank you to all the incredible staff, volunteers, and board members of Headwaters who are living the message of Laudato Si every day through their ministry to God’s creation!
Originally posted in the blog from the Office of Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation from the Congregation of Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word.