Care for Creation

We do not save what we do not love and we do not love what we do not know.

Pope Francis invites us to view our ministry for Justice and peace as integrally related to our commitment to Care for Creation: (Laudato Si, #70) The term Integral Ecology encompasses both the social and environmental, and emphasizes the relatedness between them. “St. Francis is the example par excellence of care for the vulnerable and of integral ecology lived out joyfully and authentically…..He shows us just how inseparable the bond is between concern for nature, justice for the poor, commitment to society, and interior peace.” (Laudato Sí, #10)

Dominican Sisters of Grand Rapids are in love with God’s creation and celebrate, steward, and protect it.

Our Care of Earth Direction Statement reads: “We commit ourselves to foster the contemplative stance that all the earth is sacred and interconnected; respect and accountability for the earth are necessary to the survival of life. We affirm that actions which impact the environment will be preceded by the question: Is this action which I (we) are performing supportive of the environment?”

For nearly 3 decades, the Dominican Sisters ~ Grand Rapids have lived into this Care of Earth Direction Statement by examining our individual and collective actions and providing opportunities for prayer, study, and reflection on this important topic. Stewardship is a core value of our Dominican Sisters, our Dominican Associates, and our employees and influences how we manage resources from our campus property to items we purchase and maintain.

Awareness of the the Interconnectedness of Creation

Our Care of Earth Committee is dedicated to helping our Congregation and friends foster a contemplative stance toward the Earth and to promoting awareness of the sacredness and interdependence of all God’s creation. We value making time to study, reflect, and act on issues that are harming Earth today: consumerism, global warming, pollution, and more.

 

“We are not faced with two separate crises, one environmental and the other social, but rather one complex crisis which is both social and environmental. Strategies for a solution demand an integrated approach to combating poverty, restoring dignity to the underprivileged, and at the same time protecting nature.” Laudato Si’ Section 139

Care of Our Common Home Laudato Si Action Platform Commitment

Pope Francis’ papal encyclical on the environment released June 18, 2015 was a call to the world about the interconnection of all creation.

In November 2021, the Church called upon Catholics and all people to join a seven-year initiative, Laudato Si Action Platform, to focus on redefining and rebuilding our relationship with each other and our common home.

The Dominican Sisters ~ Grand Rapids responded with our pledge.  https://www.grdominicans.org/pledge-to-pursue-laudato-si-action-platform/

Caring for Natural Habitats

May you fall in love with the natural beauty of Earth today and every day.

The Prairie Habitat at Marywood changes with the seasons. In summer, it is covered with vibrant blossoms galore. In its autumn phase is the flowering of assorted asters, goldenrods, sneezeweed and other later bloomers. It’s a busy time for finches and pollinators.

In 2023, we initiated a project to plant 100 trees on the Marywood Campus grounds to expand the tree canopy in our City and neighborhood by 2027. This re-foresting project is part of our Laudato Si Action Platform. The Response to the Cry of the Earth is a call to protect our common home for the wellbeing of all, as we equitably address the climate crisis, biodiversity loss, and ecological sustainability.

Water Protection

Care of Earth is just one example of how collaboration is essential to transforming the way we relate with the Earth and her resources. Locally, Dominican Sisters~Grand Rapids join other Michigan Catholic Sisters in support of water protection funding.  Water is a precious gift from God to all of creation and, as Pope Francis has written, “a basic and universal human right, since it is essential to human survival and, as such, is a condition for the exercise of other human rights” (Laudato Si’, 30). We urge our elected leaders in Lansing to do all they can to safeguard and protect our state’s cherished waterways and drinking water.

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