congregation of the sisters of st joseph of peace
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2008 Seeds of Peace Chapter Act: Care of Creation and Climate Change

Each flower in the field of gorse contributes to the beauty of the whole ... each has its own beauty which enhances the beauty of the rest. ~ Mother Clare, The Spouse of Christ

The ancient forests have been hewn down with little profit to the spoiler and to the injury in many ways of the native ... The Country which was in 'God's keeping' then has but little improved since it came into the keeping of man." ~ Mother Clare, The History of Ireland

Context

Earth is a revelation of God and the sustainer of all life. We recognize that the exploitation and destruction of Earth's air, water, soil and species is a sacrilege. We are committed to a spirituality of peacemaking which compels us to live in right relationship with the entire community of life. In this way, "we engage in the struggle against the reality of evil and continue the work of establishing God's reign of justice and peace."(Constitution 2)

Our history calls us to a special love of those who are poor. (Constitution 21)

In her own time, Margaret Anna Cusack (Mother Clare) made the connection between the devastation of earth and the victims of famine. Failure to care for creation also threatened family life, the wellbeing of women and children was a cause of emigration. Recognizing the interdependence of all life, we count among those who are poor all Earth's creatures whose lives are threatened or diminished. We experience a call to live our stance of contemplative, nonviolent peacemaking in regard to creation. It is faithfulness to this charism in our own time that compels us to respond to the crisis of climate change/global warming.

We believe in a sustainable world, yet we see Earth's life-giving resources weakened by human choices and actions. Climate change, especially global warming, is already affecting peoples and biological systems throughout the world. War and nuclear proliferation post a particular threat to the integrity of Earth.

Commitment

We commit ourselves, personally and communally, to:

  • Deepen our spirituality of peace regarding care of creation
  • Identify and reduce our carbon footprint in our communities, ministries and institutions
  • Pray, study and act to promote a sustainable lifestyle
  • Participate in legislative efforts to support the integrity of creation
  • Stand in solidarity and act in justice with marginalized people whose lives are already affected by the devastation of Earth
  • Collaborate with others, including interfaith and civic groups, who are addressing climate change.

Practical guides for prayer, study and action will be developed and shared throughout the Congregation.

Care of Creation and Climate Change

"The important thing is that we remain open to God as he reveals himself to us in the circumstances of life and do everything possible to bring the body of his Son to completion."

Catherine O'Connor, CSJP