Catholics around the world recognize the Season of Creation from September 1, the World Day of Prayer for Creation, through October 4, the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi. As Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, we have made a commitment to respond to the crisis of Earth.
We invite you to engage with some of our Season of Creation resources.
Learn about ways to be more ecologically sustainable in various areas of your home:
Reflect on our Closing Prayer video with reflections from Chile, Japan, the United States and Peru. Captions in English, Spanish and Japanese.
From the international Laudato Si’ Movement:
Our common home and common family are suffering. The climate emergency is causing rising seas, a warmer planet, and more extreme weather. It’s devastating the lives of our poorest sisters and brothers. At the same time, biologists estimate that we’re driving species to extinction at a rate of 100 to 1,000 times their usual rate. “We have no such right” (Laudato Si’ 33). In the year 2021, we have an opportunity like no other. At the UN Biodiversity Conference (COP15) in October, world leaders can set meaningful targets to protect creation. In November, at the 26th UN Climate Change Conference (COP26), countries will announce their plans to meet the goals of the Paris agreement. Ahead of those meetings, it is our responsibility as Catholics to lift up the voices of the most vulnerable and advocate on their behalf. We must act now.
To celebrate the Season of Creation, join our Los Angeles Province, the congregation and the U.S. Federation of the Sisters of St. Joseph for “Sacred Mystery in the Heart of Creation,” a half-day virtual retreat presented by Linda Neil, CSJ. This interactive, online presentation will integrate the Gospel with our call to care for Creation. Spanish interpretation will be available. The retreat will feature two sections with an hour-long break in between; if you can only join for one, you are welcome! view the full schedule
Saturday, September 18
noon-5:30pm EDT / 11am-4:30pm CDT
10am-3:30pm MDT / 9am-2:30pm PDT
6-11:30am Hawai’i / 9月19日日曜日午前1時
1-6:30pm in Chile / 11am-4:30pm in Peru
Join us for this month of education, engagement, action and prayer as we examine the crisis that plastics are creating for our environment. Every day in July, we invite you to join us in an action–either a short educational piece or an activity to complete. You won’t need more than five minutes for each, and we hope it will inspire deeper ecological awareness and conversion.
You can find the calendar of actions on our Plastic Free July webpage.
We will be posting about the daily calls to action on our social media accounts and using the hashtag #PlasticFreeJuly. Some of our daily posts will feature videos of sisters and associates who have made changes in their plastic consumption. If you use Facebook, Instagram and/or Twitter, you can help this online campaign reach more people by liking, commenting and sharing our posts.
HR 1512, The Climate Leadership and Environmental Action for our Nation’s (CLEAN) Future Act, introduced by Rep. Frank Pallone (D-N.J.), aims to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 in concert with the target identified by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to limit temperature increases to 1.5°C. These goals aim to avoid the most catastrophic consequences of climate change. The Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet encourage you to contact your Representatives and ask them to support this act.
The CLEAN Future Act includes measures such as:
Promoting the modernization of recycling and waste management and aims to reduce waste generation.
The Sisters of St Joseph of Carondelet, together with our associates and partners, support the Break Free from Plastic Pollution Act of 2021 (BFFPPA). We are committed to responding to the crisis of Earth, which is increasingly worsened by plastic production and pollution. Contact your Senators and Representatives or send a letter to the editor of your local newspaper to show your support of this legislation.
We are deeply concerned that the United States produces the most plastic waste per capita of any country, an astounding 91% of which is never recycled. The U.S. has 4% of the world’s population but creates 12% of the world’s waste. Of the more than 350 million tons of plastic produced each year globally, 8 million tons wind up as plastic waste in the world’s oceans. Every year, the United States alone burns or buries in landfills 32 million tons of plastic, impacting the health of nearby communities. The petrochemical industry and its pollution disproportionately harm people of color and low-income communities where production plants choose to locate.
The Break Free from Plastic Pollution Act of 2021 builds on successful statewide laws across the country and outlines practical plastic reduction strategies to realize a healthier, more sustainable, and more equitable future. It will tackle the exploding crisis of plastic pollution and transform waste and recycling management in the United States. This legislation seeks to meaningfully address the plastic pollution crisis by:
This is a national and global issue. We strongly urge bipartisan cooperation to pass this bill.
From the Carondelet Earth Committee
Since we issued the invitation to you to lower and/or mitigate your carbon footprint in measurable ways, we have received a variety of reports on the steps that you have taken. Read on to learn the creative actions your sisters and associates have taken and resources that they recommend.
I looked up “carbon footprint” online and found some helpful information. I’m embarrassed to acknowledge I never quite grasped the meaning of that phrase. That’s why I looked it up and found useful info.
Things that make up your carbon footprint: all your food and drink, energy sources in your home, transportation, and travel.
Ways to reduce: use less energy (electricity), unplug electronics, heater and A/C, light bulbs, purchase foods from locals, less meat, laptop instead of a desktop, and avoid products with palm oil, look at how much I have, air dry clothes, and Waze app gives traffic info so you’re not sitting in traffic running your motor.
I have already been doing a variety of things but I didn’t connect them to “carbon footprint.”
Regarding climate change: I am recycling all my paper trash, recycling organic material for compost, lowering heat and cooler thermostat, recycling all aluminum cans. Reading Laudato Si’ as a cluster and discussing every two weeks. Emailing congress when I receive petitions regarding climate proposals etc.
I used some of my time at home to send a letter to Walmart, encouraging them to discontinue the use of plastic bags and letting them know that their customers will adapt very readily to bringing their own cloth bags, citing examples of where that is working. I hope to have an impact.
Sister Jane Hurley, my neighbor, and I started sharing a car. I will go to the bank for her when I go, and we both plan to drive less.
I also compost, recycle, and send money to have trees planted. During COVID-19, the Sisters at Carondelet Village have two shoppers who get our groceries if we want them delivered. We turn our grocery list in on Monday, and the groceries are delivered on Friday. I think I will continue to have groceries delivered because I buy less and just what I need. I won’t be tempted to buy sale items or other things I don’t really need.
I have tried to be very diligent in reducing my carbon footprint by limiting how much I buy and how much I throw “away.” There is no such place as “away,” in the words of Earth Mama Joyce Rouse. Garbage goes to a landfill, which generates methane, one of the worst greenhouse gases. I have been more intentional about purchases (reduce) and about finding ways to reuse things and to recycle. I am very excited about using a Terracycle plastic waste recycling box. These boxes are an expense, so it challenges us to put our money where our values are. We are amazed at how many plastic food bags and wrappers we have because we try NOT to use processed food.
I have also given trees for gifts through Heifer International and paid for carbon offsets through Terrapass. I am fortunate that the community car I use is a hybrid, and I am advocating for the purchase of more hybrids for our fleet.
I am very excited to be doing this with Sisters and ACOF across the congregation!
This year as we prepared the budget for the Congregational Office, we were mindful of the fact that we had just signed a commitment related to sustainability of the environment and that our 2019 Chapter had called us to respond to the crisis of Earth and global warming. Therefore, we calculated our office’s carbon footprint and budgeted an offsetting amount that we will spend in some kind of action that will neutralize that impact.
At the Congregational Office, we were very excited to participate in the global celebration of the fifth anniversary of Laudato Si’. We invited members to “Go deeper, journey farther, and respond boldly and creatively,” to the call of Laudato Si’ offering several opportunities for action. Our office bought a Terracycle box that allows us to recycle pens, pencils, and markers. Personally, I switched my shampoo and conditioner to a “bar” product, similar to a bar of soap. It works well. It has no microplastics in the product and comes in a paper box rather than a plastic bottle. We invited each person to take one more step in their journey to save our planet. This is mine.
Thank you to each of you who shared how you are making significant and bold changes to your lifestyle in order to affect climate change. The COVID-19 pandemic is teaching us how important it is that every one of us do our part to keep each other safe. The same principle applies if we truly want to have a positive impact on our climate crisis. The actions of each one of us are crucial.
Please continue to send in your experiences and reflections to firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to sharing more inspiring reports!