About Society of Mary, Marists in the USA, Roman Catholic Priests, Brothers, and Laity
Environment

Our Environment is an important Justice and Peace issue for the Society of Mary US ProvinceMarists are increasingly alarmed by the current and developing conditions of our natural world and its resources. There is a clear relationship between ecology and wellness, and a breach in our planet's health yields devastating implications for all human life and dignity. We are passionate in our pursuit for a fair and sustainable world, for circumspect and responsible use of the earth's resources, and for addressing the disparity between desperate poverty and excess consumption.

The Marists serve collaboratively to be agents of change, affecting a shift in thought and action, changing mindsets to adopt a more informed, responsible and mindful way to utilize our shared but limited natural resources.

As Marists, we are actively concerned...

We pay close attention to the consequences of global warming and climate issues since they are already affecting our missions in the South Pacific. We also seek to educate ourselves and others about issues affecting our other mission territories around the world (Africa, Asia, the Philippines, and Latin America).

Fr. Roger Schroeder, SVD,(author of What is the Mission of the Church?: A Guide for Catholics) writes succinctly about our responsibility to care for our global environment:

"...concern for justice and peace within the human family extends to proper care for the rest of God's creation. Greed and injustice not only damage human beings but they also are the principal reasons for ecological damage. In 1971, Pope Paul VI called Christians to address the situation of the "ill-considered exploitation of nature" in A Call to Action on the Eightieth Anniversary of Rerum Novarum (No. 21)and in the same year the synod of bishops in Rome make the link between justice and preserving our natural resources and the biosphere itself (Justice in the World, Chapter 1)

In 1979, Pope John Paul II proclaimed Francis of Assisi the patron saint of ecology. Francis has been described as a "poet and nature mystic who discovered the transformation of the universe and the interrelatedness of all beings through a spiritual journey of conversion, penance and praise" (Nothwehr 2002, 99-100). In "The Canticle of Brother Sun", Francis’s references to "Brother Sun" and "Sister Moon," "Brother Wind" and "Sister Water," point to the unity and relationship of humanity with all of God's creation.

Aligning ourselves with God's mission in terms of ecological responsibility requires us to think differently about human beings, earth's creatures, and the created universe itself. Mission includes witnessing to the goodness of God's creation and joining the rest of humanity in caring for it."

Why is climate change a moral issue?
Society of Mary US Province

"You cannot care for creation if your heart lacks compassion for your fellow human beings."

President Donald J. Trump has just signed measures rolling back significant parts of President Obama's moves to protect the environment. Among other things, President Trump wants to withdraw and rewrite the Clean Power Plan, the centerpiece of Mr. Obama’s policies to fight global warming.

These may seem like political questions, but they are also moral ones. Pope Francis made that clear in his encyclical "Laudato Si" in 2015. There he called for a conversion in the way we think about what the pope calls "our common home."

A Reflection on Earth Day (April 22, 2017)
Society of Mary US Province

"Small yet strong in the love of God, like Saint Francis of Assisi, all of us, as Christians, are called to watch over and protect the fragile world in which we live, and all its peoples. Pope Francis, Evanelii Guadium, 2013STATUS REPORT
Multiple environmental factors adversely affect life on South Pacific islands

In Vanuatu
As reported in Pacific Guardians, Marist priest Fr Denis Revi, SM says in Vanuatu, the change in weather patterns is the outstanding environmental issue. Even outside the normal rainy season, he has seen excessive rain cause large floods, and soil erosion destroy roads and crops.

"The people don't know what to do to protect their crops," Fr Revi says. "So these heavy rains just come and wash the crops away. People are not used to it."

Weather patterns have changed.
The weather is hotter than it used to be, especially in the traditionally cooler months of July to September. Then in summer, there may be no rain.

Fr. Revi adds: "A lot of villages still rely on the rain for water. People expect to grow certain crops in a particular season, but then it doesn't rain as expected, and there is a shortage of food."

Crops grown at particular times of the year become scarce, their quality drops, or they become expensive. Staple crops such as bananas, yams and taro are affected, while pineapple and mango "used to be juicier and bigger".

Listen to Father Denis Revi, SMMarist Fr. Denis Revi, SM, of the island of Vanuatu, discusses the impact of the chaotic
weather patterns disrupting food supplies in the South Pacific.

WATCH VIDEO>

In Kiribati
In Kiribati, Marist Br. Chris Poppelwell, who heads St. Louis High School on the main island of Tarawa, says the atolls of Kiribati have a limited supply of fresh water available underground in water "lenses," which are layers of fresh water that sit directly under coral atoll formations.

Wells contaminated by seawater, sewage.
The township of South Tarawa is home to half the nation's population. Its irregular water supply, pumped from one of the lenses, is often unavailable or at low pressure. There are also problems with leaks and wastage. Residents resort to well water but they are often contaminated by seawater, sewage or waste.

"Increased demand is making the problem worse," says Br. Chris, "and when a La Nina event comes, there is near total drought for up to two years."

TAKE ACTION

Help Ban Fracking
Fracking is a risky technique that uses millions of gallons of water, sand and chemicals to break open rock formations deep underground to release oil and gas. The oil and gas industry has spent millions of dollars on slick public relations campaigns and high-profile lobbying efforts to buy the ability to extract fossil fuels from our communities with as little government oversight as possible, all while destroying our air, water, health, communities and our climate.

Fracking threatens the air we breathe, the water we drink, the communities we love and the climate on which we depend.

Sign the Global Frackdown petition to stand with citizens across the globe fighting to ban fracking in their communities.

 

The Society of Mary USA JPIC cares about our global environmentMeditate
We share with you this prayer for our Environment.

St. Francis's Canticle of the Sun
(St. Francis, 1182-1226)

Most High, all-powerful, all-good Lord, All praise is Yours, all glory, all honour and all blessings.

To you alone, Most High, do they belong, and no mortal lips are worthy to pronounce Your Name.

Praised be You my Lord with all Your creatures, especially Sir Brother Sun, Who is the day through whom You give us light.

And he is beautiful and radiant with great splendour, Of You Most High, he bears the likeness.

Praised be You, my Lord, through Sister Moon and the stars, In the heavens you have made them bright, precious and fair.

Praised be You, my Lord, through Brothers Wind and Air, And fair and stormy, all weather's moods, by which You cherish all that You have made.

Praised be You my Lord through Sister Water, So useful, humble, precious and pure.

Praised be You my Lord through Brother Fire, through whom You light the night and he is beautiful and playful and robust and strong.

Praised be You my Lord through our Sister, Mother Earth who sustains and governs us, producing varied fruits with coloured flowers and herbs.

Praise be You my Lord through those who grant pardon for love of You and bear sickness and trial.

Blessed are those who endure in peace, By You Most High, they will be crowned.

Praised be You, my Lord through Sister Death, from whom no-one living can escape. Woe to those who die in mortal sin! Blessed are they She finds doing Your Will.

No second death can do them harm.

Praise and bless my Lord and give Him thanks, And serve Him with great humility.

(from Catholic Online)

 

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Pope Francis
Care for Creation

During his weekly general audience, Pope Francis highlights the Christian duty toward the environment.
(www.catholicnews.com)

Pope Francis' Care of Creation, Care of Environment
Watch Video>


Pope Francis’ prayer intention for February
"That we may
take good care
of creation
- a gift freely given -
cultivating and
protecting it
for future generations."


February 2016.
The Pope Video:
Care for Creation.

For the Pope's Worldwide Prayer Network
(Apostleship of Prayer - http://www.apmej.org).


Pope Francis Releases Encyclical on the Environment - On Care for Our Common Home

Pope Francis Releases Encyclical on the Environment
Warns of 'serious consequences' if the world does not act on climate change

Pope Francis has warned of an "unprecedented destruction of ecosystems" and “serious consequences for all of us” if humanity fails to act on climate change, in his encyclical on the environment, published June 18, 2015 by the Vatican. Read More>

"I would like to ask all those who have positions of responsibility in economic, political and social life, and all men and women of goodwill: let us be 'protectors' of creation, protectors of God's plan
inscribed in nature, protectors
of one another and of the environment."

-Pope Francis
Inauguration, 3/19/13

 

Earth Day
Ecological Examen to
commemorate Earth Day

(April 22, 2015)

Society of Mary USA Province Environment Article from Today's Marist Spring 2014
Read "The Environment: A Marist View"from Today's Marist Magazine (PDF)

Educate

Blessed are the Peacemakers
(Pope Benedict XVI, Jan. 1, 2013)

Common Declaration on Environmental Ethics
(John Paul II and Bartholomew I, June 2002)

Environmental Justice Program
(U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops)

Renewing the Earth
(U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops)

National Religious Partner-
ship for the Environment

Melting Ice, Mending Creation


Advocate

Contact Your U.S. Elected Officials

How You Can Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

Environmental Action Ministry


Relate

"It is manifestly unjust that a privileged few should continue to accumulate excess goods, squandering available resources, while masses of people are living in conditions of misery at the very lowest level of subsistence."

Pope John Paul II, 1990 World Day Peace Message