Sisters of St. Joseph of CarondeletDecember 15, 2017

Earth Concerns News

Home/Land Committee Members Reflect on Communion within Earth Community


A recent discussion among members of the Province Home/Land Committee revealed the diversity of approaches we use to explore the significance of our work. Just as Earth herself is a microcosm of the universes in which we reside, our committee members reflect the diversity of backgrounds, beliefs, orientations and values that make our teamwork successful and our work meaningful. Listen to what our sisters have to say.

Sister Linda Neil reflects on the hope of our Chapter Call: "For me, the chapter Call to Action on Communion within the Earth Community is a sign of hope, challenge and collaboration. During Chapter, there were so many feelings of anguish at what our poor, beleaguered Earth is experiencing, so many desires to be a part of her healing, so many ideas and goals for how to help our CSJ family move more deeply into awareness and action for our Earth! By the grace of the Holy Spirit and a good amount of debating and reconciling ideas, I believe we came up with a call that reflects our desire to experience Earth's sacredness, our resolve to live in that reality with a deepening consciousness and a determination to act with urgency on behalf of the integrity, beauty and sustainability of Creation. This Chapter Call offers a future full of hope!"

Passion moves towards process in Sister Debbie Timmis' statement: "The Chapter Call to Action on Communion within the Earth Community is for me a symbol of our collective reflection and awareness. For the past three Chapters, we have engaged with our mind and with our spirit these Chapter Calls/Actions to one another, Earth, the dear neighbor, the Church and the Sacred. We challenged ourselves to go deeper and to move to action. I feel that, at this past Chapter, those who were part of the working group on this Chapter Call were able to articulate our growth as a community. The design of belief statements and commitments flow seamlessly. I appreciate especially the dance of thought and commitment this call to action invites us to live these next six years."

Sister Marguerite E. Donovan offers a relational and spiritual perspective: "Until we become convinced of the fact that we are part of Creation and not the creators, we will not be inclined to share the gifts of Nature with all others. As human beings, we have the privilege and responsibility to treat with respect and to keep free from any attitude of dominance and exploitation toward land, water, air and fire. I pray for that conversion of heart for myself and for the whole human family."

Sister Clare Pelkey offers her scriptural and spiritual insights: "Come, let us give birth to a new Earth!" (Ps.110,adapted by Nan Merrill). During Congregational Chapter 2013, delegates frequently entered into the practice of contemplative prayer, open to the movement of the Holy Spirit. From this spiritual stance emerged the deeper understanding of and commitment to Communion, the focal point of the Chapter documents. I believe we have the creative power to "give birth to a new Earth." Like Jesus who was open to ongoing conversion of heart, to emptying himself to death and resurrection, and in service to Love, may we have the heart and the will to do the same, so that we may help bring about the transformation which is so needed by ourselves and by our world."

CSJ Associate Dot Hathaway reflects on our duty as human beings: "Every aspect of Earth is essential to life: humans, animals, plants, insects, water. We are only part of the whole. The question is: Will we work to preserve God's creation for the generations that will follow us? As I see it, that's a matter of love and responsibility."

Finally, Sister Anne Tranelli brings her personal insight and resolve to the questions which all of us must ask of ourselves: "For me, Communion Within the Earth Community is a personal challenge which subsequently becomes a communal challenge. How do I respond personally? First of all, I need to make a conscious choice between my needs and my wants. Many times my wants contribute to the growing clutter. Do I really need the latest electronic gadgets (phones, iPads, computers, etc.), a trendy pair of shoes, etc., or will my present ones serve the purpose? Is what I choose to throw away adding to Earth's growing clutter?"

"See, I am establishing my covenantYwith every living thing." (Genesis 9:9-10)