When you think about women religious, the word "science" may not be the first to spring to mind, but for many if not most Catholic sisters, what has shaped climate study and other scientific disciplines also bolsters their conviction that all life on Earth is interdependent, and that the time to intervene on behalf of a struggling planet is now. Sisters, volunteers and other community associates are traveling to Washington, D.C., for the People's Climate March on April 29 to make that point.
The land surrounding the Dominican Sisters of Peace motherhouse has been farmed since 1822.
In the beginning, the sisters farmed the verdant hills to feed the community and the students they taught.
Today, the farm is tended by a farm manager and a part-time farmhand who primarily raise beef cattle.
The heart of the farm's mission is to promote sustainable farming practices and provide quality beef for the sisters and consumers alike, said Danny Spalding, farm manager.
About 40 Bon Secours Sisters from Peru are on the ground providing health care. While the sisters had previous experience in medical campaigns, being thrown into emergency situations requiring them to "think on their feet and troubleshoot" has been a new experience for them.
Fifty years ago, the historian Lynn White claimed that the roots of the ecological crisis are religious in nature. The primacy of spiritual reality over material reality has led to a mood of indifference with regard to the natural world. Because the roots of the problem are religious, he said, the remedy must be religious as well.
In Kenya, the Dominican Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart and the Dimesse Sisters have learned how to produce bounty from a small footprint of land, and they're passing those skills onto others.
"Tell the story from the point of view of the sheep. Or the star. Or the light. Or the stomach of the whale. Point from creation to Christ. Then point back from Christ to creation. Restore creation through redemption. Connect the dots."
A series of meetings requested by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights started in Panama this week to address the problem of human rights violations against environmental activists in the country.
No one thinks it will be easy to pressure nuclear states, but public support for disarmament can be built over time, peace activists argue. "You can't think pressure won't make a difference," says Sr. Stacy Hanrahan. "It will."
GSR Today - If Trump's proposed cuts to foreign aid go through, we will risk our very souls to save one-tenth of 1 percent of the budget. I, for one, am not willing to take that gamble.
"The focus of our environmental activism should be for the defense of human rights — because the rights to land and to water, those are fundamental rights," says Sr. Edia López. "People need to turn around and see the cost of maintaining this system."
- Page 1