Laudato Sí – Statement of Commitment
We, Rochester Franciscan Sisters and Cojourners, recognize the great challenges of our Mother Earth and ask, “How can we be Silent?” Mother Alfred Moes tackled the needs of her day with conviction and determination that gives rise to our current and urgent call to respond to the cry of the earth and vulnerable communities.
Led by the Holy Spirit in prayer and service we, Sisters and Cojourners, commit ourselves to the Laudato Sí Action Platform and join in its seven-year journey to integral ecology. We seek to reverence all creation, promote sustainable lifestyles, and collaborate with other faith-based and civic agencies to advocate for systemic and structural change.
by Sister Jennifer Corbett
About two weeks ago, I was listening to Amy Goodman, the articulate, independent journalist. She was interviewing advocates for eliminating all accessibility to firearms and challenging the bloated Pentagon budget. The tragedies of Buffalo, Uvalde, and Tulsa had happened. Amy Goodman spoke with righteous anger as she interviewed families of the victims of violence, dedicated organizers and advocates for non-violence from around the world, and journalists.
I heard inside, “OK, social justice promoter, so now what?” What is the ground of protest offered by the Tradition of non-violent protest by religious believers? The response: “Disarm with Love.”
This became “Love Disarms” as the message for our fence.
“Love Disarms” is intended to be provocative, not obvious. This Love is truthful, it is not sentimental. This Love is kind and does not judge the cause of the suffering of others. This Love knows that when God has interrupted a person’s satisfied view of themselves, “the old creation is gone.” This Love is very costly; it brings true freedom “the world cannot give.” This Love makes the darkness of Evil clear. The Word of God will not be overcome by Evil.
“For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come nor powers, nor height nor depth, or anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our savior.” (Romans 8:37-39)
So, let us ask each day and each night of our lives for this promised Love of God for us. And, as is given to each for the Common Good, may our deeds speak as truly as our words. Love Disarms.
Laudato Sí is the second encyclical promulgated by Pope Francis in 2015. It was written in response to the environmental degradation of our planet causing climate migration, starving nations, global warming. There was concern regarding a lack of interest and action of the rich nations. Pope Francis calls upon all peoples of the world to take “swift and united global action.”
Laudato Sí Action Platform (LSAP) is the collaborative action response between the Vatican and Catholic dioceses and organizations, bringing together “all men and women of goodwill” to empower and take “decisive action here and now” to care for our common home.
Laudato Sí teaches us “everything is connected.” (LS 91) The relationship with our divine Creator has been neglected, human relationships have faltered, and our world has grown hotter, less stable, and more lifeless. As a result, we all suffer, and the poorest and most vulnerable suffer most of all. We face a complex crisis that is both social and environmental. (LS 139) We need to embark on new ways of living on the planet, caring for our brothers and sisters, the waters, soil, forests, and air the world over. The time is now!
What is our commitment statement for the next 7 years? (abbreviated version)
Climate change will be understood as an integral concern to our lives and spirituality and understood as multiplier effect in all the issues in justice working groups within the Franciscan community.
NOTE: Scroll down for links to view our Goals, Actions, Resources, and Prayers
Our History: Actions Taken by the Rochester Franciscans
Led by the Holy Spirit to embrace the Gospel life of continual conversion, through prayer, community, and service, in the tradition of Francis, Clare, and Mother Alfred, we, Rochester Franciscan Sisters and Cojourners, commit ourselves to be a compassionate presence for peace in our world, striving for justice and reverence for all creation.
Excerpt from Corporate Stance on Global Climate Change (2009)
We recognize that global warming is the all-encompassing problem that exacerbates each of the other environmental concerns because life as we know it developed in stable climatic conditions that have existed on Earth for thousands of years. Changes averaging only one degree worldwide have already produced melting ice, rising seas, and water deprivation, setting off mass evacuations, loss of livelihood, and water wars for our brothers and sisters in other parts of the globe.
Invitation to Respond:
The web of life on Earth now stands imperiled (with climate change). We face a deeply spiritual and ethical crisis that offers us the opportunity to engage in spiritual practices and actions for life and for the future of the children. I and we choose to take a corporate stand for life and commit myself and ourselves to actions for the common good:
Actions We Have Taken Through 2021:
- Educational programs, prayers, and rituals have been planned throughout the year to include a focus on the components of Laudato Sí.
- Personal lifestyle choices and decisions have been implemented by Sisters and Cojourners, including care of the land, water harvesting, eco-friendly parking lots, food production, etc.
- Hybrid cars have been purchased.
- At Assisi Heights:
- The grounds have been cared for in light of climate with native prairie, tending of the forest, care for water and gardens, and pollinators.
- Energy conservation and the transition have been addressed through building energy efficiency measures and the installation of solar.
- Financial decisions include divestment from fossil fuels and investment in transition energy and climate change projects while continuing to advocate for corporate changes through investment managers.
- Engaging in public policy advocacy work at local, state, and federal levels.
Click below for the Goals, Actions, Resources, and Prayers for each Component: