Sarah Mac Donald is a freelance journalist based in Dublin. She contributes to The Tablet, the Irish Independent, and National Catholic Reporter. She researched and produced the documentary Mary Ward – Dangerous Visionary, which tells the story of the 16th-century foundress of the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Congregation of Jesus. She has contributed to books, including The Francis Factor: A New Departure (Columba Press, 2014) and God's Entrepreneurs: How Irish Missionaries Tried to Change the World (New Island Books, 2010

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Irish Churches Are Committing 30 Percent of Their Land to Pollinators

Kevin Hargaden, theologian, and Ciara Murphy, environmental biologist, authors of The Parish as Oasis: An Introduction to Practical Environmental Care are seen in the polytunnel in the garden behind Gardiner Street Parish in Dublin. Their book is a resource for parishes responding to Irish bishops's request that parishes conserve 30 percent of their property for pollinators and biodiversity. (Courtesy of Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice)

With 1,365 parishes that include 2,646 churches across 26 dioceses on the island of Ireland, the initiative has the potential to make a difference to local biodiversity as well as create awareness of global conservation efforts, particularly the agreement of countries at the 2022 United Nations conference on biological diversity (COP15) to return 30 percent of land to nature. It also strives to increase awareness of church teaching on ecology and highlight the role of people of faith in protecting creation.