The Canticle Garden

An Intentional Space for our IDD Community

In response to and in honor of Laudato Si’, Works of Mercy Ministry has graciously donated a Canticle Garden 

to St. Coletta of Wisconsin. 

Works of Mercy Ministry is a ministry that serves persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) and their families. The ministry aims to foster a harvest of friendship, understanding, respect, and a greater appreciation of a Franciscan Spirit of sisterhood and brotherhood in the world. The Canticle Garden is designed intentionally for the IDD community and will serve many different purposes, including being a site of pilgrimage where visitors can learn about and prayerfully reflect on the ecological issues affecting “our common home” as highlighted by Pope Francis’ 2015 encyclical, “Laudato Si’.” The garden will also be a gathering place that will serve the general public and persons with IDD alongside one another. It will be a living, breathing work of art, drawing its inspiration from St. Francis of Assisi’s Canticle of Creation and emphasizing the interconnectedness of all creation and the overlapping issues at the heart of the world’s ecological crisis.


The Canticle Garden is being developed along the lines of creation gardens that exist as spaces to be enjoyed through the artistic telling of the story of the Canticle of Creation. The garden will feature seven stations representing aspects of the natural world, such as Brother Sun, Sisters Moon and Stars, Brother Wind, Sister Water, Sister Death, Brother Fire, and Mother Earth. Sculptures will mark each station, and the group has sought to utilize Wisconsin artisans, whenever possible. The garden will also offer programming that will make it a destination for parish groups, religious education programs, and others who are seeking to learn about ecological issues within the context of Catholic social justice teaching. Construction on the garden is expected to begin sometime in 2023, and donations from individuals and religious congregations affiliated with the Laudato Si’ Action Platform have comprised most of the donations.

Photo by Ashwin Vaswani on Unsplash


Laudato si’

“We are faced not with two separate crises, one environmental and the other social, but rather with one complex crisis which is both social and environmental.”
― Pope Francis

Laudato Si –Praise Be to You: On Care for Our Common Home

Canticle of the Creatures

Praised be you, my Lord, with all your creatures,
especially Sir Brother Sun,
who is the day and through whom you give us light.
And he is beautiful and radiant with great splendour;
and bears a likeness of you, Most High.
Praised be you, my Lord, through Sister Moon and the stars,
in heaven you formed them clear and precious and beautiful.
Praised be you, my Lord, through Brother Wind,
and through the air, cloudy and serene, and every kind of weather
through whom you give sustenance to your creatures.
Praised be you, my Lord, through Sister Water,
who is very useful and humble and precious and chaste.
Praised be you, my Lord, through Brother Fire,
through whom you light the night,
and he is beautiful and playful and robust and strong”.

Canticle of the Creatures, in Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, New York-London-Manila, 1999, 113-114.

Thank you to Works of Mercy Ministry for sharing their vision and for considering St. Coletta as the site for this unique gift.

A heartfelt thank you to Jon and Unique Supply for his stunning renderings of the Canticle Garden.