This blog will highlight the ecological work at The Center at Donaldson (TCAD), a village of ministries sponsored by The Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ (PHJC). The Poor Handmaids are a community of women religious in the Catholic tradition, originally established in Germany in 1851. PHJC now has ministries of compassion throughout the world, driven by their core values.

In 2016, after a long history of work around sustainability, ecology, and earth education, the PHJC community created a full-time position to coordinate these efforts. This grew out of their passion for Creation care and their public commitment as signers of The Earth Charter. I (Adam) came to TCAD as Director of Ecological Relationships. I previously held positions with non-profits in Indiana and Bolivia, as well as working as a consulting botanist in the private sector.

I work with a diverse, multi-disciplinary team. We explore our “ecological relationships” by deepening our commitment to sustainability, using science to educate and inquire, and being open to what the Spirit might be saying in the day-to-day rhythms of Creation.

Our burn crew after burning off leaf litter in a small oak savanna, March 2017.

In this blog, we’ll get (literally) into the weeds, down to the smallest wildflower. We are also concerned with our broader social-political relationship, and may examine how social movements and legislation affect our common home. Scaling up, we’ll try to consider the cosmic scale of our ecological relationships as well.

I hope to update a few times each month. Some posts will be heavily footnoted and referenced, others will be more casual observations.

Please share, comment, critique, collaborate, and instigate… that’s why we’re here!

Adam Thada, Director of Ecological Relationships