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.