Sisters of St. Joseph of CarondeletOctober 20, 2019

Earth Concerns News

Water Is Integral to Our Faith Journey, Our Life Journey by Sister Betsy Van Deusen, CSJ

We recently celebrated our Ahigh holy days,@ and I cannot get out of my mind all the water that we heard about.  At the Easter Vigil, as the story of our faith unfolded, we heard about the Adome in the middle of the waters, to separate one body of water from the other.@  In Exodus we heard of the parting of the sea.  From Isaiah, we heard, @All you who are thirsty, come to the water!@ In Ezekiel we heard, AI will sprinkle clean water upon you to cleanse you from all your impurities, and from all your idols I will cleanse you.@  In the reading from Romans, Paul reminds us of our baptism in Jesus Christ.  At this same Liturgy there was new fire and holy water as we went into the tomb and out.  Water is integral to our journey of faith, and it is also integral to our life. 

How many drops of water do you use in a day?  You would probably say, AI have no idea.@  How many glasses of water do you drink? Do you buy bottled water? How long do you run the water when you are brushing your teeth?  How often do you take a shower or a bath?  How often do you flush the toilet?  Many years ago there were a number of environmental groups who were trying to make us aware that what we do every day impacts the entire world.  Yes, the world. 

Potable water is a finite resource.  Most of us who are reading this article have safe drinking water that runs through our home.  We can turn on any of a number of faucets and drink what comes out.  Do you know the following facts:

One billion very important people lack access to clean water. Although we don't know these individuals personally, are they really less valuable than we are? They drink from polluted lakes and streams where animal waste, human waste and parasites infect the water.

In some places, women and children walk two hours each way to fetch water, hauling dirty water back to their families. They have no time or energy left for education or small business, and many of them die.

Preventable water-related diseases kill one child every eight seconds. That's 10,000 people every day, and that's just the children. Imagine if that many precious ones were dying in the United States!  (SourceCThe H2O Project website)

      What can we do?  We can use water sparingly and remember, as we turn on the faucet or open the tap, that one billion of our brothers and sisters don=t have safe drinking water. 

We can drink water out of the faucet rather than buy plastic bottles and contribute to the purchasing of public water supplies that rob others of this simple necessity.

We can turn off the water when brushing our teeth or washing dishes.

We can shorten our shower or run a shallower bath.

We can consider the H2O Project and invite others to join as well. As part of the project, you drink only water for two weeks and with the money you (and your local community) save, you will help to drill a well in the two-thirds world.  Brenda Koinis is the founder of the H2O Project and has a very compelling website at

Water is the stuff of our physical, emotional and spiritual life. Let us use these Easter days to consider how we can use less water, think more about it and share it with others around the world.


(April 2005)