We, Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, recognize that the tenets of Pope Francis’s letter “Care of our Common Home” (also known as Laudato Si’) are integral to our DNA as daughters of St Julie.
The threat of climate change pushes us to act on behalf of all our sisters and brothers around the globe – including all our kindred beings in Creation – in response to the rising “cries of the Poor” and the “Cries of our Earth.” St Julie challenged us to have “hearts as wide as the world.” We know from those of us living and serving among the more disfavored peoples of the world that they have been the first ones to experience the effects of climate change. They bear the heaviest burden even though they have done the least or nothing to solve the problem.
First, we need to bring our life choices – what we eat, how we travel, what we choose as consumers, the products we use, the caring for and re-allocating our resources – into harmony with our fundamental option to promote life to the full for all. We want to all work together to live in a more ecologically friendly and sustainable way. We also need to reach out and support all who are trying to address the consequences of climate change and turn the situation around. All of us are citizens of the world, and this has political implications.
The major actors in this existential drama are corporations and governments. They are dragging their feet, and we need to hold them accountable. This means seeking out every opportunity to influence their actions – ensuring they are aligned with the common good of all. In the run-up to every election – be it local, state, or national – we must ask candidates where they stand on climate justice and tell them we will vote accordingly.
For these reasons, the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur of the East-West Province have chosen to be recognized as a “Laudato Si’ Community.” Join us in our efforts. Let us all strongly support our youth [young people of the world] whose future is at risk. This is an urgent issue of intergenerational justice.
Stories of our Sisters' Efforts in Ecological and Climate Justice
- Urgent Challenge, Small Steps, Growing a MovementBy Sister Joan Burke, SNDdeN This article originally appeared in our Winter 2023 issue of Sowing Goodness. The case for addressing the urgency of climate change can no longer be denied: extreme weather events give compelling evidence. The reality can overwhelm us and make us feel powerless, but for our call to “have hearts as wide as the world.” —
- The "Dome" Learning LabThe new environmental education curriculum aligns with the Hallmarks of a Notre Dame Learning Community and Pope Francis’s encyclical, Laudato Si’, related to care for our common home!
- The Power of HopeIn a corner of New England, gardeners as young as three are showing us that one person, no matter how small, can make an impact.