Our Congregation follows Direction Statements and sets priorities that guide our prayerful preaching to raise awareness and focus ministry activities — and we always strive to address injustice in a spirit of respect, compassion, and solidarity.

Our Care of Earth Commitment

“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?

ECH-Initiative logo

The Earth Charter

In 2005, our Congregation voted on a corporate stance to endorse the Earth Charter. The Earth Charter Initiative is a global movement of organizations and individuals that embrace the Earth Charter.  This ethical framework offers a guide to building a just, sustainable, and peaceful global society in the 21st century. It seeks to inspire in all people a new sense of global interdependence and shared responsibility for the well-being of the whole human family, the greater community of life, and future generations. It is a vision of hope and a call to action.

The Charter offers an ethical vision of interdependent and indivisible realities based upon four pillars and sixteen principles.

The Four Pillars of the Charter & Sixteen Principles

  • Environmental protection
  • Human rights
  • Equitable human development
  • Peace

Read the Sixteen Principles of the Charter


COP 21

COP stands for Conference of Parties – with ‘parties’ meaning the countries that ratified the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 1992 at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. Representatives from countries around the world attend annual conferences. The Dominican family is represented by our Dominican United Nations NGO reps Margaret Mayce, OP and Mike Deeb and additional reps from our Sister congregations in the U.S.

Thousands of world leaders, experts, activists, creative thinkers, and private sector and local community representatives gather annually to work on a collective action plan to realize critical commitments made by all the countries of the world in Paris, three years ago. In November 2018, the United Nations published an article entitled “COP24: UN climate change conference, what’s at stake and what you need to know”. Read it now.


More Ministries, Initiatives & Background

    • In 2019, the Dominican Sisters~Grand Rapids joined Michigan Catholic sisters in support of water protection funding. “We are deeply concerned about the deteriorating quality of drinking water throughout our state, particularly as it impacts children and the most vulnerable.”
    • Dominican Sisters ~ Grand Rapids Eco-Justice Commitment and Background
    • Prairie Habitat at Marywood – learning to care for God’s Creation at home in Grand Rapids, Michigan
    • Catechist resources for teaching Care of Earth
    • In 2017 and 2018, the Dominican Sisters~Grand Rapids Care of Earth Committee focused our advocacy: water crisis in Nigeria, and in Detroit and Flint, Michigan; EPA standards on carbon emissions; Keystone XL oil pipeline; funding for Green Climate Fund.
    • Through our Dominican Alliance, we regularly attend eco-justice retreat gatherings in Brighton, Michigan and at Dominican Center at Marywood.