Sisters of St. Joseph of CarondeletDecember 15, 2017

Earth Concerns News

Earth Charter and the Sisters of St. Joseph by Sister Betsy Van Deusen, CSJ


For over ten years, the Home/Land Committee has used articles in Carondelet East to inform, cajole, educate and challenge each of us on the issues of water and food sustainability, as well as other important issues impacting the environment. You will be asked at the spring forums to let us know, in fact, whether or not we have met this mandate as spelled out in the purpose of our committee. We have just enacted Acts of Chapter 2007, and the Home/Land Committee will consider these acts with and through the lens of the Earth Charter to instruct us and move us outside ourselves to a world in need.
 
First, some background about the Earth Charter: In 1987, the United Nations World Commission on Environment and Development called for the creation of a new charter that would "set forth the principles of sustainable development." The Earth Charter incubated for more than a decade and is a product of world-wide, cross-cultural conversations about common goals and shared values. In 1997, an international drafting committee was formed to continue consultation with thousands of individuals and hundreds of organizations from all regions of the world, different cultures, experts and grass-roots voices to create a statement "by people from nearly everywhere, for people everywhere to set forth an important expression of the hopes and aspirations of global civil society." The Earth Charter was finally ratified in March of 2000 at the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization Headquarters in Paris.
 
For me, one of the strongest connections to our 2007 Acts of Chapter is the mission of the Earth Charter. "The mission of the Earth Charter Initiative is to help establish a sound ethical foundation for the emerging global society and to promote the transition to a sustainable way of life founded on: respect and care for the community of life; ecological integrity; universal human rights; respect for diversity; economic justice; democracy; and a culture of peace." The Spirit of God is working in us and in our world!
 
During this year, members of the Home/Land Committee will be looking at the sixteen principles of the Earth Charter. Join with us on this adventure with the world community as we live into and celebrate the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet's 2007 Acts of Chapter and place them in dialogue with the Earth Charter. The Preamble speaks about Adeclaring our responsibility to one another, to the greater community of life and to future generations.
 
How do I own my responsibility to each of you? How do I acknowledge that I am part of a greater community of life? What am I doing to ensure that this Earth we call home will be viable, healthy and holy for those who come after us? Am I being a responsible foremother in the way I travel, eat, live, dress and interact with my brothers and sisters? How is my prayer leading me to deepen my relationship with the Communions?
 
(All quotes from www.earthcharter.org.)   (November 2007)