Sacred Heart Parish in Pinellas Park is taking to heart the message of Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si – the courageous call to be good stewards of the earth.
Father Kevin Yarnell, pastor, shares that “We want to be good stewards in every area of the parish, including our land. Our biggest success to date is the parish garden, plant nursery, green house and orchard, all located on the land between the Rectory and a parish building.”
The garden contains 400 square feet of raised planting beds that produce fresh vegetables. Most of these vegetables go to people in need who are served by “His Heart”, the parish’s outreach ministry.
The plant nursery contains more than 20 palm trees, nearly 50 peace lily plants, and some perennials that were “rescued” from the parish’s Christmas flowers. They are growing well and can be used for liturgical and event decorations. The sanctuary displays for Palm Sunday and Easter made use of these plants.
The 6 fruit trees in the orchard are a long-term project. They are expected to give a little fruit this year and the hope is that in future years they will provide an abundance of fruit that can be distributed by “His Heart.” The trees were purchased with a mini-grant from Catholic Relief Service’s Rice Bowl project and with a matching gift from a parishioner.
Catholic Relief Services (CRS) is the official international humanitarian agency of the U.S. Catholic community. CRS alleviates suffering and assists people in need in more than 100 countries without regard to race, religion or nationality. Twenty-five percent of Diocesan CRS Rice Bowl collections are retained and made available for grants to local schools and parishes.