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Solar Glory From The Bell Tower

For everyone who made a solargraph at the 2017 Earth Day celebration at St. Pius X Catholic Church (SPX), Father Bill Schooler has a sneak peek of what you can expect. And it’s glorious.

On April 22, the SPX Creation Care Team hosted an event in the gym at which SPX students guided visitors in making solargraph cans, which are simple pinhole cameras for long-duration exposures. Participants could then secure their solargraphs outdoors in mid-June and collect the cans in mid-December to reveal the path of the sun across the sky between the solstices. The time of reckoning is near as we reveal solargraphs on the solstice.

Which brings us back to Fr. Bill. He mounted multiple solargraph cans in the belltower at SPX, and retrieved them at the end of November. The results show the path of the sun arcing from east to west in the background as the bells, framework, and structural elements are exposed in the foreground.

Panorama of SPX bell tower, above, with solargraph of comparable perspective, below.

The SPX Creation Care Team was formed in response to Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si’, which calls on us all to care for our common home. In creating unique and personal images of the sun we find fresh ways to see God’s creation. The sweeping path of the sun reminds us that solar energy is a viable and integral component of the energy mix in a sustainable future.

Father Bill said, “I enjoyed my trips up to the bell tower with Chuck, and with his explanations of what we were doing. I also appreciate the support the Creation Care Team is giving to Pope Francis’ Encyclical on the environment.”

Fr. Bill Schooler uncovers the pinhole of a solargraph to begin exposing the sun.

If you, too, have a solargraph can from Earth Day, please send your resulting image to Chuck Bueter. He will be presenting solargraph images— including additional scenes from around St. Pius X—on December 21 at 6:00 p.m. at Chicory Cafe in downtown South Bend. See Revealed-at-Solstice-Party for details.

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