Thanks to my sister Michelle McIlroy for designing the logo!


Ever since I was a child, I have been very interested in nature and the environment. I have a B.S. degree in wildlife biology, and have worked as a zookeeper, wildlife biologist, and ecologist. I am conducting a brief survey of world leaders, government officials, religious leaders, corporate CEOs, environmental groups, wildlife experts, and others regarding nature and the environment. I am also very interested in religious views, customs, and beliefs from around the world, and the interactions between religion, culture, society, and the environment. This is something I am doing out of personal interest, and is not connected to any group or organization. I have been working on this project since the summer of 2006, and hope to eventually turn it into a book and/or documentary. I am hoping to make this into a global project, with responses from all segments of society. Feel free to contact me directly if you have any questions or comments. If you have not already done so, I hope that you will consider taking part in my project, and please spread the word to anyone you think might be interested! Thanks for stopping by!


November 17, 2006

Joan Brown, osf

Franciscan sister, president of interfaith non-profit, Partnership for Earth Spirituality (

Today's Date: November 17, 2006

1. What interaction with an animal and/or nature in your life has had the biggest impact on you?

I am from a farm in the bluestem prairie land of Kansas. My family still farms. My life there growing up still forms and informs my personal choices, lifestyle and ministry. My relationship with the earth and sky are significant, ie. seeing the stars at night, watching thunderstorms build in summer, walking to catch the country bus and feeling the ever present winds of Kansas on the plains (not a favorite element, but formative), the smell of soil plowed, standing in fresh rainwater streams and rivulets in our dry region, being part of the immense sky with sunrises and sunsets of firey colors. The sensual engagements of living within the earth community on the farm is significant.

2. Did you have a favorite place in the great outdoors during your childhood?

A pond where I could see sunrises and sunsets, watch the stars at night and hear the frogs croak in the summer...I felt such an intimacy and being known by the Holy One and being part of a large sacredness of life.

Now? I live in the city and it is my backyard in this arid region where we live on one of the original acequias from which we receive water from the Rio Grande and irrigate fruit trees, flowering plants and provide habitat for birds, turtles, frogs, a pair of cooper hawks, numerous finches and woodpeckers, bees....we have a year round garden, chickens, ducks and bee hives...

3. As a former zookeeper, I would love to know what your favorite animal is, and why?

Deer. Deer has come to me often in times when I needed spiritual wisdom for decisions. She teaches me much and has a deep tradition within scripture such as the psalm "AS a deer longs for running streams, so longs my soul for you my God."

4. What do you think is the greatest environmental challenge facing us now, and what do you think will be the greatest challenge in the future?

Global warming, global warming and helping people feel a connection with the natural world, seeing themselves as part of a Sacred Earth Community, not outside of nature.

5. If you could give everyone one piece of advice regarding the environment and our natural resources, what would it be?

If we do not care for the earth, we are not caring for our own souls and we do not really care about God. It is vital to know ourselves in an integrated way as human beings and so important to live this out in our lifestyles as a gift for the children. This is the most important action and must be part of addressing policy issues.

1 comment:

  1. Here's an article on Prince Charles' recent green initiative. Kudos for him at least attempting to raise awareness of global warming...