A Kid from the City

Author: Tim Meegan
August 31, 2020

I was born in Chicago, IL. I attended Saint Bartholomew Catholic School through fourth grade. On April 22, 1970, our third-grade class celebrated the first Earth Day by picking up trash in front of our school and church. We had a nun who was  young, hip, and energetic who taught us about God's Creation and "ecology” which was a big buzzword back then. We even had a flag to boot. “Don't be a litterbug!” and “Give a Hoot and Don't Pollute!” were both popular slogans back in those days!

Our family moved from Chicago to Plymouth, Minnesota back in November of 1971. My father took a job with Polaris Industries. I went from living on a Chicago city block to a wide-open and growing suburban area on Bass Lake in Plymouth. For a nine-year-old kid with six brothers and sisters, it was like being transported to an outdoor wonderland. Each day and through every season I got to experience nature growing up on Bass Lake. My father and entire family along with the Bass Lake Association would have cleanup day events tied to Earth Day. This of course turned into an annual event where neighbors all helped clean up the entire Bass Lake area inside and out. Volunteering for the community certainly gave me a strong sense of belonging, as well as teamwork with other like-minded people for a worthwhile common cause.

Looking back, these were the early seeds that sparked greater interest in our outdoors, and overall environment. While attending public School in Minnesota, I learned even more about the environmental issues during the early to mid-70s. I remember watching a Dr. Seuss movie "The Lorax" in sixth grade and began to slowly understand the many different events and environmental issues that were dealt with. There's a famous line in the movie where the Lorax says, "I speak for the trees!”. That line seemed to strike a chord with me as a wide-eyed young student.

As I passed thru high school, college in the 70s and 80s, getting married and raising children in the 90s and 00s, there's always been an environmental issue or cause to roll your sleeves up and get involved in if the spirit moves you to do so. Now more than ever, being mindful of our Earth's well-being is taking center stage for all of us living on this planet.

Pope Francis's Encyclical on the Environment has been a wonderful guide and resource for Pax Christi parishioners to find ways to blend faith and works into something bigger than themselves. Looking at the many ways our Church has followed this concept with installing solar panels and LED lighting systems to name a few has been certainly uplifting to say the least!

It's easy to become overwhelmed with the way things seem to be spinning out of control on so many worldwide fronts!  With that being said, it is so good to be involved with the Pax Christi Environmental Challenge Ministry (ECM). We've all been able to collaborate on many different common Pax Christi ECM causes involving both local and national issues. I would be remiss if I didn't mention the role that the EMC founding members’ influence has played now and in the past. We also have the shining examples of our younger generation of dynamic Pax Christi members making their voices heard at the table, embracing this new age of communication technology to promote and advance these causes that are effecting them directly now and into the future.

All the best,
Tim Meegan

Pax Christi Catholic Community

12100 Pioneer Trail
Eden Prairie, MN 55347


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