Care of the Earth
Caring for all of God's creatures
“The destruction of the human environment is extremely serious, not only because God has entrusted the world to us men and women, but because human life is itself a gift which must be defended from various forms of debasement...All of us can cooperate as instruments of God for the care of creation, each according to his or her own culture, experience, involvements and talents.” - Pope Francis’s 2015 Encyclical, Laudato Sì
Taking Action Steps
Each sister congregation lives out their promise to care for Earth in a different way. Some sisters take vows to reduce their carbon footprint by making wise clothing choices, buying minimally packaged items, eating local and choosing public transportation over personal car when able. Many sister congregations have begun to invest in renewable energy, converting their existing buildings and structures to harness the use of solar energy, wind energy and geothermal heating and cooling.
Other sisters partner in prayer and response with non-profits who help local citizens or indigenous peoples protect their lands and natural resources from destruction. Many sisters can be found organizing and engaging in justice activities like climate change marches and public protests of pipeline construction and mining practices.
Many sisters have created, sponsored or served various local organic farming projects that use land in an environmentally conscious way. These sister-sponsored farms share thousands of pounds of organic food each year with shareholders, food pantries and persons who are financially poor and hungry in their community. The sisters have also responded to clean water needs in developing nations by funding water filtration projects.
This year, Martha New Growers Program celebrates its 10th anniversary. The program is intended to teach young people all the basic steps of organic gardening: crop planning, soil preparation, planting and maintaining crops, storage, and finally, marketing and selling – all through hands-on experience. Since 2013, 17 young people have participated in the program, gaining experience and confidence in running a small-scale farm business.
The Charity Earth Network is an organization of Sisters and Associates who are interested in reflecting on ecology and sustainability, sharing information and resources, and supporting one another in advocacy efforts for a more sustainable Earth.