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Creative solutions for Care of Creation

This photo is of the soap bars getting prepared for the Craft Fair at Our Lady of Good Counsel in Mankato, Minnesota.

There are a variety of ways to do your part in caring for creation. The School Sisters of Notre Dame (SSND) strive to think outside the box in an effort to live out one of their urgent needs of Care of Creation. Sister Kathleen Bauer has been creative with the mission of Care of Creation for over 25 years by making soap with natural ingredients. Sister Kathleen says she would consider soap making a, “ministry of love.”

Over the past 25 years, Sister Kathleen has made and sold natural soap bars at the Craft Fair and Garage Sale held annually at Our Lady of Good Counsel in Mankato, Minnesota. She says, “I make a minimum of 25 different scents (well – except some of the fragrances) and typically make about 800 bars for the Craft Fair. My booth is located outside due to the overwhelming scents that can easily permeate the inside of the main building. Initially, I made the soap in the garage of the house where I was living. I would then invite sisters to come and help cut the soap and put them in wrappers and later boxes. It has become a labor of love. I have had a faithful crew of sisters, family and friends who have helped at the Craft Fair year after year!” This project started all thanks to a friend inviting Sister Kathleen to a workshop. “After the workshop, we looked at each other and agreed that we could do this,” says Sister Kathleen. The soap is made out of vegetable oil, water and lye. Once the soap becomes thick like cake batter, a colorant and essential oils or fragrances are added. Sister Kathleen shares, “I use natural ingredients, except some of the fragrances. It’s a wonderful gift, once used there are no leftovers!”

This photo is of the soap bars containers before they are cut into bars.

SSND also work to share their goal of Care of Creation through educational opportunities. The 2021 Virtual Women’s Leadership Luncheons will provide the opportunity to educate women on Care of Creation and how prominent women are protecting the Earth in their community.

The speaker for the St. Paul, Minnesota, 2021 Virtual Women’s Leadership Luncheon Megan Schnitker, owns Lakota Made, LLC, where she sells her homemade soaps, medicinal teas and lotions. Her recipes and creation process are inspired by Lakota traditions that have been passed down to her through her family for generations. Her father is Naca Chief Bull Bear of the Kiyaksa Band of Oglala’s of Pine Ridge South Dakota. He came from a long line of traditional spiritual leaders and teachers. Megan’s respect for the land and awe of the materials provided by the Earth, is how she personally cares for creation. During the virtual luncheon, she hopes to educate people about the Lakota tradition through her products and her work with The Mahkato Revitalization Project in Mankato, Minnesota.


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