Congratulations to Bishop William Skylstad for being awarded an honorary degree from the University of Portland for chairing the study and co-authoring: “The Columbia River Watershed: Caring for Creation and the Common Good,” January 2001. It’s gratifying to learn that his important, far-sighted work is being recognized.
Little is known about this visionary document which was addressed to “all people of good will, in the hopes that we might work together to develop and implement an integrated social and ecological vision for our watershed home that promotes justice for all people and care for Creation.” Co-authored with 11 other Northwest bishops, it was the result of three years of extensive input from many civic and tribal leaders and interested organizations and individuals.
As with the United States bishops’ 1991 pastoral letter “Renewing the Earth,” it demonstrates the bishops’ thinking way ahead of the curve, even as some Catholic priests were molesting children.
Bernadine Van Thiel