Energy Transition in the Franciscan Renewal Center

Paradise Valley, Arizona

The Franciscan Renewal Center (FRC) – affectionately known as “the Casa” – was founded in 1951 by the Order of Friars Minor, part of the worldwide Franciscan family.  The Casa works cooperatively with the Diocese of Phoenix, and sacraments are celebrated at the Conventual Church of Our Lady of the Angels on the FRC campus.  Today the Casa is a thriving Catholic community offering daily and Sunday Mass, retreats, gathering spaces for non-profit groups, licensed behavioral health counseling, and outreach and service ministries.

The Care for Creation (C4C) Ministry, established in 2014, supports the continuing sustainability efforts of the Casa.  Its first project was to conduct an energy audit of all the lodging and meeting rooms in the buildings on the 25-acre campus.  Numerous issues were discovered, including drafty doors, and inefficient refrigerators.  Once the problems were identified, work began. Community members helped install weatherstripping and door sweeps, and the job was completed on 52 doors in May 2015.  Nine of the most power-hungry refrigerators were replaced with Energy Star rated ones.  With no expense to the FRC, 1350 pounds of CO2 emissions were saved per year for each secured door, and the energy usage for the nine refrigerators dropped by 78%.  After seeing what could be accomplished with small changes and with support from the Casa community, the C4C Ministry decided to move on to bigger things – improving the FRC’s environmental stewardship with solar as a renewable energy alternative to the burning of fossil fuels.

The solar panels and building the new church to LEED standards are outward signs to our community, guests, and neighbors of our Franciscan commitment to environmental stewardship, inspiring others to join in taking action to care for our common home.

The first step was research and education. Care for Creation members met with an energy consultant; sought the advice of churches and synagogues in the area who had recently installed a solar array; and interviewed three solar companies recommended by other faith communities.  The decision was made to install solar in phases. The first phase, on a newly constructed lodging building that would also power three additional buildings, was completed in December 2015. Projections showed that over the next 25 years, CO2 emissions would be reduced by 1.8 million pounds.  Through February 2019, this energy savings was equivalent to planting 6,168 trees on the FRC campus!

The second phase of the solar initiative did not begin immediately.  A new church was being constructed on campus, and the focus of the community was directed to this project. The Casa’s Building Committee strove to construct the first church in Arizona to be LEED certified (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), meaning that the new church would save energy and resources while lowering operating costs and optimizing health by keeping out harmful chemicals. Once the church was completed, a Community Life Center (CLC) would be built – the perfect building for the next phase of the solar initiative.

The support of the entire Casa community was needed for this large undertaking.  A solar survey was distributed in May 2018 to determine the level of interest for this new project. Next, an education session was presented in February 2019, explaining how solar panels incorporate the lessons of Laudato Si’ as well as the ecological and financial advantages.  A Funding Initiative began after the February education session, and enough money was collected by June 2019 for 120 panels.  The solar panels were installed as part of the Community Life Center building process, and they cut the CLC’s energy usage to net zero while also reducing the Church billing by 18%.

Kathy LeMoine
C4C Ministry Member



Posted on

7 July 2020



    Thnkx so much for this! I havent been this moved by a blog for a long time! You have got it, whatever that means in blogging. Well, You are definitely somebody that has something to say that people should hear. Keep up the wonderful work. Keep on inspiring the people!

  2. situs Pkv games

    Hi there, just became aware of your blog throᥙgh Gooɡle, and found that it is гeally informative.Ι’m gonna wach out for brussеls.
    I will appreciate if yoᥙ continue this in future.
    Many people wilⅼ be benefіted from your writing.

    Alsso visit my page :: situs Pkv games

  3. best casinos in the us

    Having read this I believed it was extremely enlightening.
    I appreciate you taking the time and energy to put this content
    together. I once again find myself spending way too much time both reading and leaving
    comments. But so what, it was still worthwhile!

  4. Micaela

    I am not sure where you’re getting your info, however good topic.
    I must spend some time finding out more or understanding more.
    Thanks for magnificent info I was in search of this info for my mission.

  5. BodyCore Keto Review

    Very nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog
    and wanted to say that I’ve really loved surfing around your
    blog posts. After all I’ll be subscribing on your feed and I am hoping you write once
    more very soon!

    Here is my web-site … BodyCore Keto Review

  6. Astroscope Pro Monocular

    Hey! I know this is kinda off topic but I’d figured
    I’d ask. Would you be interested in trading links or
    maybe guest authoring a blog post or vice-versa? My site discusses a lot of the same subjects as yours and I
    feel we could greatly benefit from each other.
    If you are interested feel free to shoot me an e-mail.
    I look forward to hearing from you! Terrific blog by the way!

    Have a look at my web page … Astroscope Pro Monocular

  7. crypto gambling

    Very good blog! Do you have any helpful hints for aspiring writers?
    I’m planning to start my own site soon but I’m a little lost
    on everything. Would you recommend starting with a
    free platform like WordPress or go for a paid option? There are so many choices out there that I’m totally overwhelmed ..
    Any suggestions? Cheers!

  8. win real money online

    I am genuinely thankful to the holder of this site who has shared
    this fantastic piece of writing at at this time.

  9. ViagRx Reviews

    I’m amazed, I have to admit. Rarely do I encounter a blog that’s both equally educative
    and interesting, and without a doubt, you have hit the nail on the head.
    The issue is something too few people are speaking intelligently about.
    Now i’m very happy I found this in my search for something
    relating to this.

    my site; ViagRx Reviews

  10. Total Pure CBD Reviews

    I got this site from my pal who informed me regarding this website and
    at the moment this time I am browsing this web site and reading very informative posts at this time.

    my blog post Total Pure CBD Reviews

  11. situs judi slot online

    This post provides clear idea designed for the new people of blogging,
    that really how to do blogging.

  12. largest us casino

    Thanks for the auspicious writeup. It actually used to
    be a leisure account it. Look advanced to far brought agreeable from you!
    However, how can we keep up a correspondence?

  13. Gorges Cream Reviews

    Thank you for another fantastic article. Where else may anyone get that
    kind of info in such a perfect method of writing?
    I’ve a presentation subsequent week, and I am at the
    search for such info.

    Stop by my web-site; Gorges Cream Reviews

  14. directions to mohegan sun

    It’s amazing designed for me to have a website, which
    is valuable for my experience. thanks admin

  15. PeniSize XL

    I really like your blog.. very nice colors & theme.
    Did you create this website yourself or did you hire someone to do it for you?

    Plz answer back as I’m looking to construct my
    own blog and would like to know where u got this from. thanks

    Here is my web blog PeniSize XL


    Hi there, i read your blog occasionally and i own a similar one and i was just wondering if you
    get a lot of spam comments? If so how do you protect
    against it, any plugin or anything you can suggest?

    I get so much lately it’s driving me mad so any assistance is very much appreciated.

  17. situs slot online indonesia

    A fascinating discussion is worth comment. There’s no doubt that that you should publish more on this topic,
    it may not be a taboo subject but generally folks don’t talk
    about these subjects. To the next! Kind regards!!


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *