John Paul II Trail

Guest post by Tom Collingwood, PhD:

Download here : jpiihandbook

This New Years is the 21st anniversary of John Paul II’s 1990 World Peace
Day Message where he called upon all of us to be stewards of creation. John
Paul II was considered by some as the “ecological” Pope and he spoke
extensively on the environment in that he recognized the link between God,
nature and human responsibility for creation. One of his many relevant
quotes is:

“The first stage of divine Revelation is the marvelous “book of nature”;
which when read can lead to knowledge of God the Creator. Nature, therefore
becomes a Gospel that speaks to us of God.”

Holy Father John Paul II visited the St.Malo Retreat Center in Allenspark,
CO in 1993 where he took a short hike up a trail to be refreshed from all
the activities from his presiding over the World Youth Day in Denver. In
memory of his visit and his commitment to the stewardship of nature, Creatio
established the John Paul II Trail retracing where he walked with seven
station markers for the various stops that John Paul II made to observe and
meditate while on his hike. Each station has a nature message, a quote by
John Paul II and a question for personal reflection or meditation about our
role as creation stewards.

While the St. Malo trail is configured to the specific terrain of that area,
the messages and reflection concepts at each station about nature and our
role in it are universal. As such, developing a John Paul II Trail for
parish or school grounds can be an innovative way to profess and instruct on
the Church’s teaching on the stewardship of God’s creation. Creatio has
developed a John Paul II Trail Handbook that can assist in designing a John
Paul II Trail and can be downloaded here.

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