Donna Schaper is senior minister at Judson Memorial Church in New York City. She has two green thumbs, one as a gardener and the other as a pastor. She likes to make things grow. She teaches at Hartford Seminary, a leading interfaith seminary, and consults frequently on brick and mortars, real estate and sacred sites. Her most recent book of 38 is I Heart Francis: Letters from an Unlikely Admirer.

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Sustainability is a process, not a binary

Eco Catholic: My 71-year-old writer friend insists she is not retiring but "rewiring." She says she is trying to connect to another source of power. There's certainly nothing wrong with what she is doing. Still, there is just the clang of the binary to her intention.

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Decline of humanities education reflects ancient debate

Eco Catholic: I have lately been drawn into the big conversation around the so-called humanities — those fields of scholarship that explore humans and culture in disciplines like language, literature, the arts, religion, history and philosophy.

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Painted nails on humans speak to beauty, utility

Eco Catholic: Nail salons seem to be everywhere. Why do humans enjoy ornamentation of their nails? Why are there so many colors? Are all those chemicals really useful?

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Cloves -- mountain passes, not the spice -- make passage easy

Eco Catholic: I always thought cloves were something you put in spice cake. Or maybe used to mull cider.  While indeed a spice, cloves are also a special word for a special kind of mountain pass.

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