Sisters of St. Joseph of CarondeletOctober 20, 2019

Earth Concerns News

Contemplate the Beauty of the Earth for Enduring Reserves by Sister Mary Agnes Kehoe, CSJ

The thought for the day on my calendar read, AThose who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves that will endure as long as life lasts.@ So said Rachel Carson.

And I walked down the corridor, noticing the banner in the third-grade window. It read, AAll life is sacred. Care for it.@

Further, one evening after we had gathered to pray in our local community, we reflected on the words of Wendell Berry:


A Purification


At the start of Spring, I open a trench in the ground.

I put into it the winter=s accumulation of paper,

Pages I do not want to read again, useless words, fragments, errors.

And I put into it the contents of the outhouse:

Light of the sun,

Growth of the ground, finished with one of their journeys.

To the sky, to the wind, then, and to the faithful trees, I confess my sins:

That I have not been happy enough, considering my good luck;

And listened to too much noise;

Have been inattentive to wonders;

Lusted after praise.

And then upon the gathered refuse of mind and body, I close

The trench, folding shut against the dark,

The deathless earth. Beneath that seal the old escapes into the new.


And finally, I read in Connections (St. Louis Province) of how love of the Earth led two of our sisters to found St. Joseph=s Woods, a place being transformed into an earth-spirituality center in Ferguson, MO.

All of the above moved me to go to the Internet and search Greenspace. No doubt, you are aware that Greenspace is a not-for-profit organization set up to help those committed to the planning, design, use, etc., of public parks and open spaces. I learned that in order to breathe quality air, 40 percent of our land needs to be covered with trees. Do you want to clean the air and strengthen the ozone layer? Plant trees!

Greenspace members encourage us to choose an action to save the environment:

$        Speak up; it=s our right.

$        Write to your mayor and your councilor.

$        Contact the media.

$        Think and act green.

$        Get informed.

$        Speak to your neighbors.

$        Participate in initiatives.

$        Avoid using pesticides.


This last piece about pesticides includes some disturbing information. An increasing body of evidence indicates that certain chemicals in the environment, known as hormone disruptors, cause developmental and reproductive abnormalities in humans and animals. Studies of wildlife show associations between hormone-disrupting chemicals in the environment and declining populations, thinning eggshells and impaired viability of offspring. Scientists have postulated a relationship between these chemicals and abnormalities and diseases in humans, including declining sperm counts, breast, testicular and prostate cancers, neurologic disorders, including cognitive and neurobehavioral effects. Avoid using pesticides!. Is a lawn without weeds worth the consequences?

For other helpful information, the following organic household-cleaning products are excellent for people who suffer from allergies, asthma or dermatitis:


$        Mix white vinegar with water to clean windows, glass, tile, etc.

$        Mix baking soda with water to scour sinks and tubs.

$        Salt is a great abrasive for cleaning pots and pans.

$        Use lemon juice as bleach in the laundry and on kitchen surfaces. Combine with water and vinegar to unclog drains.

$        Mix olive oil with vinegar to use as furniture polish.


May the beauty of the Earth fill your heart with peace and joy!


(June 2005)