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Sponsored by

United Women in Faith 

 Miami Valley District and West Ohio Conference

Conference-wide Spring Gathering


Earth Day Celebration


Saturday, April 29

10:00am to 1:00pm


Mt. St. John

4435 East Patterson Rd.

Chaminade Center, Madeleine Room

Beavercreek, OH

Treat yourself to a retreat morning encountering the beauty of nature at Mount St. John in Dayton and learning about the justice impacts of climate change. Led by the Marianist Environmental Education Center staff that stewards 100 acres of natural areas and preserves and acts in communion with the land and educates other communities in sustainability through ecology-based simple living, social justice and spirituality. 


Time together will include presentations, reflection activities, sharing and hearty refreshments. We’ll enjoy a Reflective nature walk through the 62-acre Marianist Nature Preserve trails discovering ourselves in community with the land, and the wonders of spring ephemeral flowers in the woodland, wetlands and restored prairie and what the land can teach us about our Creator.  Indoor and paved surface options will be available in case of inclement weather and for those with mobility challenges.

We'll gather in the Madeleine room in the Chaminade Center at Mount Saint John. For a map and directions to the property, please visit


9:30 - 10:00          Registration, Refreshments 

10 - 10:15                Announcements, Welcoming

10:15 - 11:00          Presentation with Reflection 

11:00 - 11:15           Break

11:15 - 1230            Encountering Nature in Springtime  


  • Nature hike with Tara 

  • Gentle walk or wandering or sitting alone outdoors

  • Spring wildflower slide presentation with Leanne 

12:30 - 1:00           Sharing Experiences/Insights & Closing Prayer

Program Facilitators


Marianist Sister Leanne Jablonski FMI, PhD is a climate change plant ecologist, educator, pastoral minister and spiritual director.  She serves as MEEC”s Director and is Faculty Scholar for Faith and Environment with University of Dayton's Hanley Sustainability Institute.  She has led climate change, energy, and environmental justice education and policy initiatives for science and faith-based organizations regionally and nationally including the Ohio Council of Churches, Union of Concerned Scientists and the Marianist Social Justice Collaborative. A native of Winnipeg, Canada Leanne appreciates encountering the sacred in ecumenical and interfaith gatherings, cycling on river trails and canoeing on boreal forest lakes.  

Tara Poling is MEEC’s Program Coordinator. As a naturalist and interpretive guide she frequently facilitates nature experiences for individuals and groups to encounter creation in the Marianist Nature Preserve. In addition to her role at Mount Saint John, she has held a variety of leadership positions within the Marianist Family in North America in social justice and responding to Pope Francis’ call to Integral ecology in the environmental encyclical letter, Laudato Si’.  When she’s not working, she can probably be found hiking the areas trails with one or more of her pack of four rescue huskies.


Remember to bring a reusable container for your drinks!

There is no cost for this event but a free-will offering will be collected and split between Mission Giving and the continuing work of the Marianist Environmental Education Center.  

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