How a ‘green’ church in Toronto teaches theology through design

By Dean Dettloff

America: The Jesuit Review


August 23, 2019


Excerpt from the article:

St. Gabriel’s was the first church in Canada to be certified by the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or L.E.E.D., rating system. From its floor plan to its building materials to its parishioner programs, St. Gabriel’s has embodied a Catholic vision of ecology since its consecration in 2006, nearly a decade before Pope Francis published “Laudato Si’”in 2015.

When their aging church in Toronto presented a host of financial and maintenance burdens at the turn of the millennium, the Passionists decided to start fresh. Passionists in Canada were interested in the teachings of the U.S. Passionist priest Thomas Berry, C.P., a towering figure in the development of ecotheology even after his death in 2009, and the prospect of designing a new building suggested a unique opportunity to express the cosmic vision of Father Berry beyond texts and lectures.


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