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Still crazy after all these years: Red Scare turns 20

2:15 PM  Dec 10th, 2015
by Caroline McCormack '16

UPDATE Jan. 7, 2016:

UD students’ passion for community is apparent when Red Scare is in full throat. CBS Sports Network highlighted these fierce and ferocious fans who see their support as just another expression of the UD community spirit. The video, left, aired prior to the Flyer men’s basketball team taking on UMass Jan. 6, 2016. Flyers won the A-10 home opener, 93-63.


The UD Arena was overwhelming the cold night of March 18, 2015. Dayton was trailing Boise State, but it was as if the students knew their cheers could make a difference. They began to scream louder and stand taller. The students of Red Scare didn’t want their chants to just go around the Arena; they wanted them to go around the nation.

The student section we’ve come to know, watch and love, whether from inside the Arena or on our TV at home, was not always burning red. Twenty years ago, students wanting to recapture the glory days of men’s basketball founded Red Scare. Today, Red Scare makes fans proud to be among the Flyer Faithful and rightly wins accolades of its own.

Red Scare’s creation story started in the fall of 1995 in 111 Evanston, a skinny two-story frame home where housemates Ashley Puglia Noronha ’96 and Katie Brown Konieczny ’96 hatched a plan to develop a student group to support the University’s athletics.

The seniors, you see, felt a little cheated. Noronha came to UD expecting the fan experience that birthed epic stories told by her alumni parents, Nora McNally Puglia ’70 and Fred Puglia ’65, who taught her UD’s fight song as soon as she could talk.

“When I came to UD as a student, I was shocked that no one else knew the song,” Noronha said.

In the Puglia household, NCAA and NIT wins made for “glory-days” basketball stories from a time when the UD fight song was sung constantly.

Noronha’s parents told of UD’s trip to the NCAA Tournament final in 1967 when UD played against UCLA and its 7-foot-2 center Lew Alcindor, later known as NBA Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

“UD lost, but my parents told me many stories of the dedicated fans and the camaraderie amongst them as they crowded into the UD student union to watch the games on screens that were specially set up for the occasion,” Noronha said. “My mom remembers that a student — in honor of the UD player Glinder Torain — painted on his car, ‘Who needs Alcindor, we’ve got Glinder!’”

Noronha wanted to resurrect the deafening cheers of the Arena and the pride that once filled the community, and she knew it was going to take a lot of energy and commitment.

The women took their idea of founding a student spirit club to Patricia “Trish” Kroeger ’66, UD’s spirit and special events coordinator for athletics. And she offered them her son, Joe, as one of the club’s first members.

Joe Kroeger ’97 had grown up with UD basketball, from selling programs before games at age 8 to running the coat check at age 14. He recalled the ’80s, when giants like Roosevelt Chapman and Damon Goodwin roamed the court and the Arena was electric. And he wanted to help bring some of that electricity back.

“The timing of it is really important,” Joe Kroeger explained. “Dayton was not winning basketball, maybe four games a year, so the [student] tickets were not selling. Our motivation was to fill the student section.”

The average attendance for men’s basketball in 1995 was barely 11,000 during the 7-20 season — still great by most universities’ standards, but more than 2,000 shy of the sellout the students thought their school deserved.

First, they needed to get students excited about filling the seats. Noronha said the enthusiasm was there — it just needed to be organized.

“Up to that point, students were scattered throughout the arena, so the fan power wasn’t cohesive,” Noronha said. “By bringing students together, Red Scare gave us an opportunity to support our fellow students in their athletic pursuits, for students to grow together in friendship, and to develop an appreciation for the distinguished athletic legacy of the University.”

Next, they needed to secure the seats. Trish Kroeger helped the student organization get a block of seats at football and men’s and women’s basketball games.

Finally, they needed a name. “Red Menace” and “Oliver’s Army,” for 1994-2003 men’s head coach Oliver Purnell, were thrown around, but the organization knew it had a winner with the name “Red Scare.”

“It was clever,” Joe Kroeger said. “It had a connotation that wouldn’t be associated with a group like ours. I rallied for it.”

A phrase once associated with communism and political radicalism was an unusual choice for a private university’s athletic support group. But it was unique and intellectual and had ways of making everyone start asking, “What is Red Scare?”

The organization started off small, Noronha said, debuting at the last football home game of the season, a 55-0 win over West Virginia State. Then Red Scare started filling five to 10 rows for the men’s basketball games, wearing shirts reading “Red Scare” on the front and “Go crazy or go home” on the back, painting their faces with red and blue paint, and bellowing the words to the UD fight song.

Soon students stopped asking what Red Scare was and started asking how they could join.

“There was a new and exciting energy around the program after a very challenging stretch of years,” said Michael Joyce ’96, one of the founding members of Red Scare.

Student participation rose, and men’s basketball home attendance rose — to above 12,000 by the 2001-02 season. And everyone had something to cheer about, including a 21-11 season in 2001-02 and a 22-14 season in 2002-03.

Red Scare — the honorary sixth man on the court — has gained appreciation from men’s head coach Archie Miller himself. Miller has repeatedly thanked Red Scare for its contribution through social media.

Miller tweeted after Dayton beat Saint Joseph’s, 68-64, “@red_scare you were fantastic tonight and we thank everyone who was at the arena helping us pull through! We have the best fans in COUNTRY.”

Players add to the praise.

After the Flyers’ 56-55 win over Boise State in UD Arena in the NCAA First Four March 18, 2015, then-senior Jordan Sibert told ESPN that UD’s crowd was a component for their success. “They were electrifying. … I don’t think we would have won that game without them,” Sibert said.

Red Scare also has found success beyond core sports as its spirit model evolved.

“I think we’re unique in the sense of putting a big effort in the non-mainstream [sports],” senior Ryan Phillips said. Phillips, the current Red Scare president, puts emphasis on appreciating all UD athletic programs. The crowds, victory chants and outrageous signs can be heard and seen at women’s basketball, volleyball, and men’s and women’s soccer games.

“We give them the home-field advantage,” he said.

In Red Scare’s recent past, students received coveted men’s basketball seats as groups by accumulating points for attending other athletics events. While it helped the other sports, it hurt basketball. Red Scare could look sparse or scattered when the student group could not fill its assigned seats because of class or other commitments, Phillips said.

At the start of the 2014 season, men’s basketball tickets became first-come, first-serve. Instead of getting points at other athletics events, students cheering at these events now receive free food, T-shirts or other giveaways from Red Scare. It worked, with the student section hitting capacity during some basketball games during the 2014-15 season.

Last season, Red Scare saw continued attendance growth and support for non-basketball sports, Phillips said, and basketball hit heights that would make the Red Scare founders proud. Men’s basketball had an average attendance of 12,718 and a team record of 27-9, including advancing to the third round of the NCAA Tournament. Women’s basketball ranked 50th nationally in attendance — and first in the Atlantic 10 Conference — with 2,538, and the team advanced to the Elite Eight.

Although Red Scare puts the focus on cheering for all UD athletics, it also helps bring all Flyers, past and present, together, Phillips said.

“Everyone talks about community. Sports, in my mind, is one way you can experience true community,” Phillips said. “It’s not the University of Dayton Flyers. This is my University of Dayton Flyers.”

Red Scare has changed the game for athletics and all UD Flyers, say alumni.

“Over the years, the student section turnout and cheering has varied,” said Alan Hemler ’87, a men’s basketball season ticket holder. Hemler said he has loved watching students create a “high-energy environment” that supports UD athletics.

“The past four years of Red Scare have outperformed previous seasons,” Hemler said.

And the nation has noticed. In 2012, UD earned the title “Best Under-the-Radar College Basketball Atmosphere” from Enterprise Rent-A-Car and Intersport. In 2013, Red Scare was nominated for a Naismith Student Section of the Year Award. And on March 25, 2014, NBC Nightly News highlighted the blue-faced, red-haired, flag-waving Red Scare in a feature on school spirit.

“The founding fathers are proud of the group — I certainly am,” Joe Kroeger said. That pride traverses the miles as he views the student section on TV from his home on the West Coast. “Keep it up for another 20 years.”

For a school that focuses on tradition and community, Red Scare is one embodiment. So here’s to 20 more years of Red Scare. May the chants always be loud, the seats be never empty, and the Flyer spirit soar.


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My place, my faith

1:55 PM  Dec 10th, 2015
by Erin Frey '18

The poncho underneath me crumpled. I found the most comfortable sitting position possible on the Capitol Building lawn and closed my eyes. Conversations in Spanish, French and English floated through the air, but I was most impressed that people had the ability to converse at 5 in the morning. Pope Francis’ Sept. 25 address to Congress wasn’t for another four and a half hours, yet I, and a crowd of around 50,000, were already gathered to hear him.

During the pope’s visit to D.C., I was one of the youngest members of the press corps, at the invitation of the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities. It was, at first, a professional opportunity — I’m a public relations major, and I tweeted the events for @daymag and gathered information to write this story. As a Catholic, it also became an opportunity of faith. You see, ever since I came to college I have been questioning what I believe. And I am not alone. According to a Pew Research Center survey of Catholics, only 30 percent of 18- to 29-year-olds said they attend Mass once a week, compared to 49 percent of those 65 and older. For the first time, I am being exposed to different religions and people making faith decisions based on something other than how our parents raised us.

I knew that, in the crowds gathered to see the pope, there were more like me who came to hear in his message not just words but a place for us in this worldwide faith. Maybe that is why, as college students, we are so drawn to Pope Francis. He talks, and we listen to him calling and challenging millennials as members of the Church that we didn’t know was ours all along.

The previous day, Sept. 24, I attended the Canonization Mass of Junípero Serra to live tweet what I experienced and to talk to students. I wanted to learn why so many of them were willing to wait in lines starting at 5 a.m. to attend Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.

The first students I talked with were four broadcast journalism majors from Duquesne University who were filming a documentary about Pope Francis’ visit. Why did they think it was important for college-age students like us to report at these events?

Junior Emily Stock said that, for the first time, she feels like students have a public figure we can all look up to, one who is finally doing what millennials try to do — accept each other.

“The pope is open-minded — he is a people-person,” she said. “He reaches out to undeveloped communities and appeals to both political parties.”

This was the first of many similar responses. The editor-in-chief of Catholic University of America’s student newspaper, Antoinette Cea, was next to me in line and joined in the conversation. “We [as Catholics] are comfortable being members of the Catholic Church again,” she said.

In the U.S., there are roughly 77.7 million Catholics, according to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, an increase of more than 20 million from 1965. But the number of Catholic millennials is decreasing. According to the Pew Research Center, only 16 percent of Americans ages 18 to 34 identify as Catholic, compared to 20-23 percent of those older than 35. My personal conversations with young Catholics mirror some of the reasons for this national trend: the Church’s views on marriage equality, divorce, abortion and contraception.

But as I walked around the basilica among 25,000, there was little discussion of what divides us. Instead, students talked about what united them to the leader of the Catholic faith: acceptance, humbleness, modern ideals and a charismatic attitude — not to mention a fondness for Twitter [see @Pontifex].

Although this was my first encounter with a pontiff, it wasn’t America’s. Pope Paul VI was the first pope to visit the U.S. in New York City Oct. 4, 1965. Pope John Paul II made seven trips to the United States over two decades. The last time a pontiff visited America was Pope Benedict XVI, who stopped in New York and Washington in 2008 where crowds of roughly 83,000 gathered, according to The New York Times.

Pope Francis’ visit to D.C., Philadelphia and New York was monumental because his trip coincided with national and international political discussions, including on the environment and the poor. Within a week, he canonized a saint, spoke to the United Nations, ate lunch with the homeless, addressed Congress and attended the World Meeting of Families.

While I was in D.C. on the lawn, UD students were in the Kennedy Union Hangar. Among the comfy couches and bowling lanes was a standing-room-only crowd of nearly 200 watching the address to Congress on the big screen and engaging on social media.

Sophomore Alexandra Altomare, who tweets at @alibearie7, spent that morning in the Hangar playing pope bingo (she earned a space when the pope said “joy” or discussed the “economy of exclusion”). She tweeted, “Started my morning with donuts, bingo, politics, and Pope Francis. I love UD! Very proud to be a Catholic today! #UDPope #pope2congress.”

Some of those same students, days later, piled onto two buses to join the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia Sept. 26-27. Pope Saint John Paul II started the World Meeting of Families in 1994 in Rome and, every three years, it is the largest gathering of Catholic families in the world.

The UD family included 111 students, staff and faculty who traveled together to witness Pope Francis’ arrival in Philadelphia, including senior Megan McAuliffe.

“I enjoyed celebrating and worshipping as one Catholic family,” she said. “Pope Francis called everyone to serve and care for each other as freely as God loves the human family.”

Pope Francis also spoke to inmates at the Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility in Philadelphia. There, he said, “We know in faith that Jesus seeks us out. He wants to heal our wounds, to soothe our feet which hurt from traveling alone, to wash each of us clean of the dust from our journey. He doesn’t ask us where we have been, he doesn’t question us about what we have done.”

Back in Dayton, Dominic Sanfilippo, Jack Schlueter, Andrew Ekrich and I discussed Pope Francis’ visit around their duct-taped kitchen table at their Marianist Student Community house on Trinity Avenue. When asked specifically about Francis’ concern for our consumerist-dominated society, Sanfilippo said, “Pope Francis is calling us to be aware of how we walk around in the world. We have to take a step back from the world and question, ‘How am I acting today?’ We have set up the world where so many people profit at the expense of another and with our generation — it doesn’t have to be that way.”

Through Pope Francis’ various stops in the U.S. — and his willingness to talk about debated issues while remaining true to the idea of caring for the common good of all creation — he transformed for me the idea that Catholicism is just something practiced on Sundays into a ritual lived out in the way we accept others.

When Pope Francis finished his address to Congress, he emerged on the Capitol balcony and said, “And I ask you all, please, to pray for me. And if amongst you there are some who don’t believe, or can’t pray, I ask you please, to wish good things for me.”

The hair on my arms stood up and a chill raced up my spine. I was completely overwhelmed with emotion. As I stood alone in the crowd, I knew I wasn’t the only one who was blinking back tears.

Through that simple statement, Pope Francis recognizes that while we all question our faith, we are accepted anyway. That one statement reaffirmed that there was and always will be a place for me in Catholicism.

Read more about what the pope says (and why we care).

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1:49 PM  Dec 10th, 2015
by Audrey Starr

A book by Shary Hauer ’79.

In her professional life, Shary Hauer was a confident, successful, high-caliber executive coach who advised big-time corporate leaders around the globe — but her personal life was in shambles. “I
was insecure, clingy, desperate and willing to do anything and everything to win and keep a man,” she admits. In Insatiable, Hauer chronicles her emotional journey from self-hate to self-love. “At my book signings and talks, there is always an engaging conversation about love, relationships, what worked, what didn’t and lessons learned. When I was writing this book, I had no idea that my story would resonate with every woman who reads it, but it has,” Hauer said.

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The Long Green Line

1:46 PM  Dec 10th, 2015
by Audrey Starr

A film by Matthew Arnold ’99.

Much of Matthew Arnold’s film career originated at UD. He programmed monthly movies that aired via the campus cable network as inaugural chair of Flyer Movie Channel and produced and directed live campus television broadcasts, which featured Student Government Association debates. Arnold’s first documentary feature, The Long Green Line, was released in 2014 and follows the record-setting career of Chicago cross-country coach Joe Newton. He’s followed it up with two Web series and several independent feature films he’s helped produce. “I love telling stories and working with actors to convey real people and real human emotions,” he said. View Arnold’s work at longgreenlinemovie.com.

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1:43 PM  Dec 10th, 2015
by Audrey Starr

An album by Libby Gill ’15

For singer/songwriter Libby Gill, music is therapy. So, she decided to study both. “Music has always been a big part of my life, and I also had a desire to help people,” said the recent music therapy graduate. As a teenager, Gill found her mother’s 1970s guitar in the basement, looked up some chords on the Internet and never looked back. With a sound that ranges from pop to blues to folk, Gill enjoys pushing her own genre boundaries, gets inspiration from artists like Sara Bareilles and Imagine Dragons, and is, she says, “a Swifty for life.” Gill’s threesong EP, Soldier, was released in February 2015 and is available on iTunes, Bandcamp and Spotify. Her first full-length album is nearing completion; follow along at libbygill.bandcamp.com.

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Fish tales

1:01 PM  Dec 10th, 2015
by Grace Poppe '16

This is no fish story.

UD has a fishing club, established four years ago by senior Robert Petrick.

And this year, it competed at the Fishing League Worldwide College Conference Finals on the Chesapeake Bay.

It may be a sport with a leisurely reputation, but in August Petrick and fishing partner junior Sam Tunnacliffe found themselves racing back to the shore to qualify for the finals.

The team had been on Chautauqua Lake, New York, for eight hours, casting lines under the dock — where they knew the bass would be hiding in the summer heat. With two minutes to the 2:45 p.m. weigh-in deadline of the FLW College Northern Conference qualifier tournament, they pulled their livewell filled with bass onto shore. Wearing blue and red Flyer jerseys, they stepped onto the stage and learned that their five heaviest catches for the day totaled 7 pounds, 13 ounces: enough to land them in the top 20 out of 75 teams and qualify them for the finals.

Although the September finals did not go well — bad weather contributed to 15 teams, including UD, not catching any qualifying bass — Petrick and Tunnacliffe said they were proud to represent UD for the first time at the finals.

The team members also say they are used to being the underdogs. They compete against a sea of teams that have school-funded boats and equipment, or even full-ride fishing scholarships. UD’s team has two boats — which its members have purchased themselves.

“It’s hard to find guys who are willing to put the time, energy and money into this, because it’s just a student-run club,” Tunnacliffe said. “But mostly, it’s just really fun, and rewarding when we do find those people.”

Since most tournaments take place during the summer, the club’s 12 members spend most of the academic year fishing for smallmouth bass on the Great Miami River, and strategizing and researching for the tournaments with the help of their advisers, Jeff Kavanaugh, biology department chair, and health and sport science associate professor Jon Linderman.

“The professionals can look at the temperature and the water clarity and say, ‘OK, you should be fishing in that kind of spot using that kind of bait and that color.’ So, we’re trying to get better at that sort of thing,” Tunnacliffe said.

If they can, the team visits the lake prior to the tournament, so that they can ask local fishers about the most reliable places to buy fish and bait and to discover the best spots to fish in the lake.

“Local knowledge is huge,” Petrick said. Even so, he admits that a lot of it is up to chance. You can spend days preparing, but because of factors like weather and water conditions, you still may not do well on the day of the tournament.

“It’s a guessing game. But that’s what we like about fishing: It keeps you on your toes. It forces you to adapt,” Petrick said.

Tunnacliffe will take over leadership of the club once Petrick graduates, but both say they will never stop bass fishing. “When I started this club, I was looking for a lifetime hobby,” Petrick said.

“And that’s exactly what this is.”

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It’s electric

12:58 PM  Dec 10th, 2015
by Shawn Robinson

University of Dayton mail is being delivered at the speed of light now that two electric vehicles have arrived on campus. The fleet, which also will be used by University parking services, is a gift from Cenntro Motors, a Nevada-based company that develops all-electric commercial vehicles. The donation supports the University’s Hanley Sustainability Institute initiatives. The vehicles are valued at $25,000 each.

Through the Hanley Sustainability Institute, the University’s current sustainability programs are being extended campuswide through an integrated approach to prepare students for the growing demand for sustainability skills in the workplace as well as for civic leadership on sustainability issues.

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Seattle, Washington

12:55 PM  Dec 10th, 2015
by Audrey Starr

For about 300 Flyers, the yellow brick road — from UD to the rest of their lives — led to the Emerald City. From hot jobs to hot java, they’ll tell you there’s no place like a Seattle home.

DayMag asked: How did you wind up in Seattle, and how soon after graduation did that happen?

“I relocated to Seattle from Chicago three years ago for my position with Amazon.com, where I led a worldwide team of data scientists and business intelligence engineers that implemented data science solutions. I have since left Amazon to form a startup, Lumidatum, that provides a cloud data science platform to make data prediction easy.”
—Patrick Rice ’04

“Inspired by the intense beauty of the Olympics, Mount Rainier, the Cascades and Mount Baker circling a very green city, I moved to Seattle in July 2010. I walk to work and ride my bike to the
beach. In Ohio, I drove 20,000 miles annually; in Seattle, I average 500. The Pacific Northwest was also much more inclusive of LGBT residents than the Midwest at the time. Seattle has provided an excellent quality of life that matches my interests and values.”
—Bill O’Connell ’86

“Toward the end of my senior year, I joined the Jesuit Volunteer Corps and was placed in Seattle. I left for JVC orientation thinking my great Pacific Northwest adventure would last one year, and then I’d return to Ohio. I’m still in Seattle more than 33 years later!”
—Celia Thomas ’82

Alumni By the Numbers

Total Alumni 342
Undergraduate 258
Graduate 99*
Male 205
Female 137

Graduation Classes

All 1950s-2010s
Most 1990s

Academic Area

Arts & Sciences 147
Engineering 77
Business 67
Education 37
Law 14

*15 alumni hold both types of degrees

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Our common home

12:49 PM  Dec 10th, 2015
by President Daniel J. Curran

We are being called to be good stewards of the Earth.

As Pope Francis wrote in his groundbreaking encyclical on the environment, “What kind of world do we want to leave to those who come after us, to children who are now growing up?”

The pope asked us to “care for our common home” — and, ultimately, to care for the world’s most vulnerable citizens who are being affected the most by environmental degradation. (See story, Page 38).

Before the pope called for global stewardship, we made sustainability a major initiative.

In 2013, I signed the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment, pledging that we will take steps to achieve carbon neutrality. We reduced our energy usage and mandated LEED guidelines for new construction and renovations.

We’re making strides. Even as we built substantially more new facilities and increased enrollment to a record high, we reduced greenhouse gas emissions 5 percent per student over our 2006 high.

In the School of Engineering, enrollment in the renewable and clean energy master’s degree program has tripled as we prepare students to design energy-efficient buildings and develop clean energy for the developing world.

In the University of Dayton Research Institute, we’re conducting high-impact research in renewable energy technologies.

In the School of Business Administration, students are learning socially responsible investing, and we don’t have to look too far to find teachable moments. Our board of trustees spent more than a year developing a philosophy called “Catholic, sustainable and responsible investing.” Over the last year, in a phased approach, we eliminated fossil fuel holdings from domestic equity accounts, invested in green and sustainable technologies, and divested from all mutual funds.

In November, the Hanley Sustainability Institute brought together faith-based organizations to advance the global conversation about divestment and the pope’s call for climate solutions.

This is a complex issue with no easy solutions. In times of social change, we draw upon the Marianist philosophy. We must stay at the table, listen to each other, harness the gifts of all and work
together toward a shared vision of the Earth.

As the pope wrote, “The notion of the common good also extends to future generations.”

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On Care for Our Common Home

12:45 PM  Dec 10th, 2015
by Michelle Tedford '94

What has been the Marianists’ reaction to Pope Francis’ encyclical?

We asked this question of Brother Ron Overman, S.M. ’68, assistant provincial for temporalities (finance) of the Marianist Province of the United States. His answer:

There was great anticipation about the encyclical. Many of my Marianist brothers speculated on the content. We have not been disappointed — especially with how Pope Francis connects respect for the environment with how the environmental issues relate to keeping the poor of the world poor.

Many of our communities have read and used the encyclical for community meetings to further understand how the environment not only impacts the poor of the world but also how it will affect future generations. (One helpful study guide was published by National Catholic Reporter, “A Readers’ Guide to Laudato Si,’ ” by Jesuit Father Thomas Reese.)

Soon after the Laudato Si’ was published, the Conference of Major Superiors of Men (CMSM) encouraged all religious orders of men to adopt a resolution called “Cherish All of Creation.”

The tenets of the resolution include these beginnings:

“We resolve to significantly change our lifestyle, including our consumption habits …

“We resolve to significantly increase our reliance on green energy in our ministries, buildings, and our investments …

“We resolve that we significantly decrease our use of fossil fuels … by purchasing carbon off-sets to increase environmental improvement.

“We resolve to consistently advocate for significant policy changes at the local, national and international spheres …”

Each tenet comes from the encyclical Laudato Si’ and brings us practical ways to make the encyclical part of our life.

Ninety-eight percent of the members of the Marianist Province of the United States endorsed the CMSM resolution.

Several of our communities have already sought ways to use green energy in their local houses. Several have used an alternative energy company (Arcadia) to supply green energy to the power grid, thus reducing fossil fuel use. Such use of green energy may be a small step, but it is the right step and respects the direction of Care for our Common Home.

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