This little light of mine, i’m gonna let it shine
Fr. Mike Lasky, a Conventual friar who resides at the Shrine of St. Anthony in Ellicott City, Maryland speaks glowingly about the Franciscans’ solar array located on the spacious grounds his community has. The 1200 solar panels produce 280 kW of energy. The friars save more than 30 percent on their electric bill and saving over $25,000 a year. The upfront cost for the friars was zero. It was because a company called Solar City installed it. That company owns the panels, and the Franciscans pay the company a discounted rate for the power they consume. The contract the friars signed with Solar City stipulates that within six years of the installation of the solar farm, they would be able to buy the solar panels.
Over two hundred years ago, the land where St. Anthony Shrine and the panels are situated used to belong to Charles Carroll. He was the only Catholic signer of the Declaration of Independence in 1776. Now, for the Franciscan Conventual friars and for thousands of people that visit the shrine every year, the large solar array on its grounds serves as a powerful reminder of connectedness with the rest of God’s creation and of our collective moral responsibility to care for our common home. Friar Mike Lasky, OFM Conv. speaks about the solar farm on the grounds of St. Anthony Shrine as are an expression of his Franciscan ideals. “We see sun as our brother. The sun is the gift of clean energy for us that is meant to be shared. It helps us to be sensitive to our sister mother earth, and to all she gives to us and to the poor. We want to reach out to people of good faith everywhere, including the legislators, to care not only for our planet, our sister, but also for the poor. We are taking steps to live more intentional life that is mindful of the relationships we have, not only with one another, but also with our sun who is our brother, and with our earth who is our sister.”
Fr. Michael Heine, OFM Conv. Director of St. Anthony Shrine says: “Saint Francis was the great lover of the earth. His Canticle of the Creatures praises all creation. We figured that a small part of what we could do to help preserve the earth was to help produce energy with the help of our brother sun.” We hope that this example will empower other Franciscan communities around the word to do their part in reflection the light of Christ who gave his life to reconcile heaven and earth by the blood of his cross.
Watch a segment on EWTN News Nightly featuring Franciscans Go Green
 The title of this reflection comes from a very popular African American gospel song in the 1920s and subsequently used in connection with the Civil Rights Movement.