“Praised be You my Lord with all Your creatures,
especially Sir Brother Sun,
who is the day through whom You give us light.
And he is beautiful and radiant with great splendor;
of You Most High, he bears the likeness.”
(St. Francis of Assisi, Canticle of Creatures)
With these words, on August 11, 2020, Fr. Oscar Méndez, OFM, Pastor of Mission San Luis Rey Parish in Oceanside, California, blessed the new solar panels for the parish. It was fitting that this was done on the Feast of St. Clare, whose name in Italian, Chiara, means light. The project from start to finish has taken a little over a year as the plans were developed, submitted to the City of Oceanside and the San Diego Gas and Electric Company for approval, then finally the actual construction. Gratitude to Mr. Don Chadwick, Facilities Manager of the parish, for managing this project from start to finish.
From St. Francis to Pope Francis and San Diego Bishop Robert McElroy, all call us to care for our common home. The solar panels will have significant impact on the carbon footprint of the parish. Over the next 25 years the solar panels will save approximately 557,550 pounds of CO2 from being released into the atmosphere, will reduce greenhouse gasses the equivalent of planting 149 acres of trees, and save 405 barrels of oil in fossil-fuel based energy.
There are of course significant financial savings as well. In the first year, there will be an expected savings between US$20,000 – 25,000, resulting in more than $1.1 million over 25 years. They also provide nice shade in the church parking lot.
Laudato Si’! Praised be you!