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CSJP Leadership Team Statement on Laudato Si

The Leadership Team of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace want to express our deep gratitude to Pope Francis for his encyclical, Laudato Si (Praised Be). We welcome this major Catholic social teaching document as a resource for people of faith and all people of goodwill.

"The violence present in our hearts, wounded by sin, is also reflected in the symptoms of sickness evident in the soil, in the water, in the air and in all forms of life. This is why the earth herself, burdened and laid waste, is among the most abandoned and maltreated of our poor; she 'groans in travail' (Rom 8:22)." – Laudato Si, no. 2

The encyclical is an invitation and a moral exhortation for all, not just Catholics, to take responsibility for care of Earth, our common home. As Pope Francis said at his general audience on June 17th: "Our 'house' is being ruined, and that hurts everyone, especially the poorest among us." The Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace has a long standing commitment to care for creation and concern for people who are poor, rooted in our charism of peace through justice and grounded in our Christian tradition.

  • "In unity with the church and with all of creation we give praise and thanks to the Giver of all gifts." (CSJP Constitution #28)
  • "Ours is a partnership with rather than a domination over all of creation." (1990 Chapter Act, One Creation, One Future)
  • "We believe in a sustainable world, yet we see Earth's life-giving resources weakened by human choices and actions. Climate Change and global warming is already affecting peoples and biological systems throughout the world." (2008 Chapter Act, Seeds of Peace)

We follow in the footsteps of our founder, Mother Francis Clare (Margaret Anna Cusack) who in her own time made the connection between the devastation of Earth and the victims of famine in Ireland. In her words: "... it did matter to me a great deal in view of my love of the poor, that I should do all I could for those whom He had loved so well."

We encourage all Sisters and Associates to prayerfully read and reflect on Laudato Si and to renew the commitments of our 2008 Chapter Act:

  • 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.

"So yes, we are forever beginning, and the best we can do is be very grateful that each new beginning is one more chance to grow. "

Margaret Byrne, CSJP