Catholic Solidarity Fast


We are proud of the Bethlehem Farm representation in the #CatholicSolidarityFast organized by Anna Robertson (former BF participant and Summer Servant) Youth and Young Adult Mobilization Coordinator of Catholic Climate Covenant and Brenna Davis (former BF chaperone and current board member) Director of Education for Justice and Environmental Initiatives at Ignatian Solidarity Network. Current and former Caretakers and Summer Servants were also in attendance (see the article: https://www.ncronline.org/news/earthbeat/more-250-people-fast-solidarity-climate-hunger-strikers-dc)

On the evening of Nov. 1, more than 100 people who planned to participate in the solidarity fast gather virtually to pray and reflect. (EarthBeat screencap)

Summer of Service

First slide

 

After a year spent mostly stuck inside, Cindy Cintron, a junior at The Catholic University of America in Washington, spent the summer working with her hands to weed, harvest and build at Bethlehem Farm in Alderson, W. Va., a Catholic community centered around service and sustainability. For more than eight weeks, Cintron served as the point person for the farm’s orchards. She helped take care of the community’s 50 chickens. And, with the help of a revolving team of volunteers, she assisted local homeowners with much-needed building repairs and construction projects.

“A lot of the community members couldn’t afford to pay normal construction companies to help them repair their homes, so they coordinated with us and we agreed to help them with their projects,” Cintron said. “We did the labor free of charge and then worked out a payment plan to cover supplies so that in the end, the only cost for the homeowners are those resources.”

Cintron’s experience working on the farm was supported by the Office of Campus Ministry’s Summer of Service stipend program. As part of the program, Catholic U. students receive $2,500 grants to enable them to participate in long-term service projects (eight weeks or longer) of their choosing.

continue reading this article at https://www.catholicherald.com/News/Catholic_Living/Summer_of_service/

Bahr is assistant director of media relations and communications at Catholic U. 

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2021

San Damiano Center for Sustainability: Siding in progress, Roofing complete! Part II

San Damiano Center for Sustainability:
Siding in progress, Roofing complete! Part II

by Eric Fitts, Director

An update is overdue!

We hosted engineering students from the University of Dayton’s ETHOS program, who learned sustainable practices around the Farm and helped insulate the solar hot water system, replace the old side curtains on the high tunnel greenhouse, and install underlayment and siding similar to stucco siding panels on San Damiano. A thin layer of material, such as fiber, felt, rubber or foam, serves as flooring underlayment. Speaking of underlayment, we figured that it is something really interesting. It is a thin layer of material that provides cushioning, sound absorption and insulation, as well as reducing wear on your flooring. It is apparently imperative to install underlayment, especially under a laminate flooring. Laminate floors are floating floors, so they must be evenly distributed across the subfloor. Floor underlayment such as ones like Gypsum Leveling, provide stability, support, noise reduction, and supports locking mechanisms to ensure the sturdiest floors.We completed the underlayment on the west and east walls, which means underlayment is complete and we are dried in before winter. Oh, and all of the siding was measured, labeled, and stacked where it will be needed. And the first two pieces of siding were installed.

Meanwhile, the roofing crew from Forbes Copper Works, Josh, Tim, Chris, Tyler, and others, completed the installation of the standing seam metal roof. It was similar to the metal roofing installed by Four Seasons Kanga Roof, which is a great comfort heading into harsher weather. Metal roofing has a number of benefits. Unlike wood and other roofing materials, metal roofing is fire retardant. So, it won’t burn in case of a fire. In summer, metals reduce heat gain by reflecting radiant energy from the sun. Furthermore, metal roofs can be easily insulated to keep homes cozy throughout the winter, keeping energy bills down. Therefore, it could be understood why the chosen roofing crew, who tend to provide services similar to a roofing contractor Winston Salem, focused on installing a metal roof.

Next steps are installing the root cellar door, pouring concrete into cinder block cores around the posts to firm them up, installing the 36″ ³ steel door to the picnic area, completing the metal trim and siding, and plenty of interior work. Work has slowed as Eric focused on the garlic planting and admin work, and as we have fewer hands to help at this time of year.

“Rebuild My Church” Capital Campaign

San Damiano Center for Sustainability: Siding, Roofing in progress, Part I

San Damiano Center for Sustainability:
Siding, Roofing in Progress, Part I

by Eric Fitts, Director

Siding and roofing have begun!
The ShelterKit kit has finally been exhausted. (Just a few latches remain!)

Eric, Gemma, Raine, and Steve pitched in, completing a few small door adjustments that remained on the slider and loft door, staining/sealing exterior trim for the loft door, completing the underlayment on the north gable wall, running some trim pieces for the siding (high ladder acts III and IV of V are now complete!), and learning about standing seam metal roofing from the roofing crew similar to Precision Roof Crafters, a roofer in Houston, TX.

A well-built roof is essential to the value and durability of a property, protecting it from rainy and windy weather. It is surprisingly easy to overlook the importance of roofing. Whether built by yourself or by a specialist like 99Roofers, a solid roof is as important. In some cases perhaps even more important than a strong foundation. Consequently, if you would like to learn more about the steps that go into improving roofing for new construction, then you can find plenty of helpful resources on the following construction website – check them out here.

As for our roofing project though, the next steps are completing the underlayment on the sheathing for the west and east walls, installing the 36″ steel door to the picnic area, completing the metal roofing, similar to that available at seiroofing.com/service-areas/arlington/, and metal trim and siding, and plenty of interior work (interior work is quite appropriate at a place named after San Damiano, since that’s where St. Francis’ interior (soul) work began).

“Rebuild My Church” Capital Campaign

San Damiano Center for Sustainability: Framing in progress, Part XI

San Damiano Center for Sustainability:
Framing in Progress, Part XI

by Eric Fitts, Director

Exterior framing was completed!
The ShelterKit kit has finally been exhausted. (Just a few small door adjustments remain on the slider and loft door.)

Eric, Gemma, Vern, Sr. Glenna, Sr. Toby, Tom, Andy, and Steve pitched in, with covert help from a top secret veteran volunteer. Special cameo from Will to troubleshoot a slight oversight on my part 😉

Masters Week progress:
We installed some more underlayment on the north wall. We trimmed out the two 9’x10′ bay door openings and began installing base trim (called “rat guard”) for the metal siding. We stained and installed both 9’x10′ bi-fold bay doors (shout-out to Andy and Vern for making this happen through sheer willpower!) We installed the sliding door over the 9’x8′ bay door (thanks to Tom and Steve on the install and Glenna and Toby on the staining). On the last morning, we capped it by installing the loft door, which we had to hang in the door jamb ourselves, with some fancy router work.

The stain is a non-toxic product from Vermont Naturals called PolyWhey–it uses whey protein as the hardener and is a beautiful stain. We got it from www.greenbuildingsupply.com

Next steps are completing the underlayment on the sheathing, a few tweaks on the doors, installing the 36″ steel door to the picnic area, installing the metal roofing and metal trim and siding, and plenty of interior work (interior work is quite appropriate at a place named after San Damiano, since that’s where St. Francis’ interior (soul) work began.

“Rebuild My Church” Capital Campaign

San Damiano Center for Sustainability: Framing in progress, Part X

San Damiano Center for Sustainability:
Framing in Progress, Part X

by Eric Fitts, Director

Framing continued, with Eric, Bobby, Gemma, and Marty pitching in.

We installed all the underlayment on the south wall, and half on the north wall, installed all 6 windows on the north wall, and installed the exterior bathroom door. Marty stained the materials for the entry roof, we built the entry roof over the loft door, and installed underlayment on it.

Masters Week is coming! Next steps are completing the underlayment on the sheathing, installing the sliding doors, bi-fold doors, and loft door, and installing the metal roofing and metal trim and siding.

“Rebuild My Church” Capital Campaign

San Damiano Center for Sustainability: Framing in progress, Part IX

San Damiano Center for Sustainability:
Framing in Progress, Part IX

by Eric Fitts, Director

Framing continued, with Eric, Gemma, Patrick McGinnis, Bernadette, and Dorothy pitching in.

Soffit was painted and installed. North and south gable wall sheathing was completed.

Next steps are constructing the entry roof over the loft door, installing underlayment on the sheathing, and installing the metal roofing and metal trim and siding.

“Rebuild My Church” Capital Campaign

San Damiano Center for Sustainability: Framing in progress, Part VIII

San Damiano Center for Sustainability:
Framing in Progress, Part VIII

by Eric Fitts, Director

Framing continued, with Eric, Kevin, Jake, Katherine, Bobby, Gemma, and participants Sebastian, Kathryn, Dan, Jacob, Craig, Mark, Anthony, and Hudson working during Family Week. We bade farewell to Kevin, our ETHOS intern, after 10 weeks of spectacular service–you have left your imprint on SDC, Kevo.

Rafter and rake installation was completed. The entire roof was also sheathed and dried in with StormGuard and titanium paper roof underlayment. This accomplishment was not certain at any point in the week, but required extra effort by all involved, postponed and skipped meals, giving up a river swim or two, and excellent teamwork. Thunder and rain threatened while the last few rolls of underlayment were nailed down, just to add to the suspense.

Next week I am on vacation and Jeff Bohrer is coming to install the solar hot water with us, so work will slow down for a bit. Next steps are completing the soffit, completing the gable wall sheathing, installing underlayment on the sheathing, and installing the metal roofing and metal siding. I have spoken to Lee Forbes and he is coming on Monday to measure for the standing seam metal roof materials.

“Rebuild My Church” Capital Campaign

San Damiano Center for Sustainability: Framing in progress, Part VII

San Damiano Center for Sustainability:
Framing in Progress, Part VII

by Eric Fitts, Director

Framing continued, with Eric, Kevin, Jake, Katherine, Matthias, special guest Ryan Cornelissen, and Gemma, working during Adult Week.

Rafter install continued, with the first 6 rake/overlook rafter sections going up. Rafter install was completed on the livestock shed. The livestock shed roof was then sheathed and dried in with StormGuard roofing underlayment. The lowest section of the east main roof was also sheathed and dried in with StormGuard and titanium paper roof underlayment. We also secured a tarp over the educational area, to make life easier.

Next week is Family Week (so the site has been secured) and we are planning on continuing work on rafters, sheathing, and roofing underlayment.

“Rebuild My Church” Capital Campaign