Laudato Si' is the second encyclical of Pope Francis, released in the summer of 2015. The encyclical has the subtitle “On Care for Our Common Home,” addressed "to every person living on this planet." Pope Francis encourages his faithful to bring greater attention to how we are shaping the future of our planet Earth, or, our common home, through more care and concern for all of God's creations.
The Bishop Dunne students, faculty, and staff are committed to fostering a sense of environmental responsibility throughout our community.
Nestled in between the busy hallways and classrooms of Bishop Dunne, are several gardens that have blossomed into symbols of community and peace, serving as memorials to those who have been integral to Bishop Dunne’s history and culture and to those we have lost.
The gardens, named after beloved figures who will forever be a part of the Bishop Dunne community, add to the beauty of the campus and remind us of our responsibility to care for our environment.
The Vincent Langbein Garden is named after a much admired theology teacher who challenged his classes to be community activists and who established the Ecology Club. Mr. Langbein taught at Bishop Dunne for 33 years and encouraged us all with his signature statement, “Peace. Love. Bishop Dunne.” He died in 2005 after a courageous battle with leukemia.
The garden is a peaceful spot by the library, shaded by red maples, tulip magnolias, and cypress trees, and home to blue jays, an owl, and a mother opossum, and featuring a carved stone angel. On beautiful spring and fall days, classes hold seminars and discussions here, and small groups celebrate Mass.
The Father Timothy Gollob Sanctuary is an outdoor classroom honoring the very first chaplain of Bishop Dunne, Father Timothy Gollob, who is still actively engaged in Bishop Dunne’s spiritual life. Designed and built by the environmental science classes, the garden features a waterfall and two fish ponds, and native flowering plants, rosebushes, and irises, one of Father Tim’s favorite flowers. Milkweed has been planted to support migrating monarch butterflies and often hummingbirds and ducks visit. Science classes frequent the garden sanctuary, examining fish, pond water samples, rocks, butterfly eggs and larvae, and composting. A sitting area offers a quiet space for reflection.
The Chris Lary Memorial Garden was built with a generous grant from The University of Notre Dame in honor of one of the Alliance for Catholic School students who passed away after an illness. Chris Lary was a 1996 graduate of Notre Dame and was selected as an ACE 3 teacher. The courtyard is an orchard style garden with a reflection path wandering through the trees. Several potted flowering plants border the path, and, eventually, the garden will feature the Stations of the Cross.
The Sisters of St. Mary of Namur Garden is an herb garden in honor of the Sisters who were one of the founding orders of the school. A sandstone rock, pocked with tiny fossils of sea creatures, declares the charisms of the Sisters—Joy, Simplicity, and Hospitality. Healing and scented herbs run wild and are symbolic of the Sisters’ connectivity with health, education, and environmental stewardship.
The Shakespeare Garden celebrates English teacher and former department chair, Mrs. Eleanor Graham, and her colleagues by illustrating some Texas tolerant herbs and flowers admired by William Shakespeare. English teachers take the opportunity to connect the symbolism of the flowers with Shakespeare’s poetry and plays, and students enjoy identifying the plants.
These generous gifts bring God's gracious blessing of nature to our campus. The gardens add a stunning beauty to the campus, and also serve as a reminder of these extraordinary members of our communities and their love and admiration for "our common home."