Statement by Canada’s Catholic Sisters Regarding the Climate Emergency

Scan of PrayerlogoSeptember 1, 2019

On this World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, leaders of Canada’s 64 Congregations of Catholic Sisters are calling on the country’s politicians to respond to the climate emergency declared by Parliament by taking concrete steps to avert it.

As Women Religious, caring for all of God’s Creation is an essential part of our faith. The drastic changes to our climate brought on by the release of greenhouse gases pose the greatest threat to all living beings. Yet, not enough is being done to address it. In Laudato Si’, Pope Francis points out that “reducing greenhouse gases requires honesty, courage and responsibility, above all on the part of those countries which are more powerful and pollute the most.” (169)

For our part, we have taken robust action to combat the destruction of our planet and to care for our common home. Many of our Congregations have taken steps to:

  •  Divest from fossil fuel portfolios to clean and renewable energy projects.
  • Eliminate single-use plastics.
  • Retrofit residential buildings, including solar, bio-thermal and renewable natural as installations.
  • Commit to the Blue Communities project which entails treating water as a sacred resource and shared commons.
  • Plant trees in Canada and in the countries where our Missions exist.
  • Compost, reduce and recycle.
  • Partner and provide support to community groups and movements committed to address the climate emergency.

We urge all politicians running in the upcoming federal election to acknowledge the climate emergency and to implement an immediate multilevel policy strategy for a just transition to ecologically sustainable living.

The actions to address the climate emergency should be concrete, justice-based and stripped of partisan politics. We invite political leaders to join us in caring for our common home by:

  • Keeping fossil fuels in the ground and ending subsidies to fossil fuel and plastic producers.
  • Redirecting investments and rapidly expanding the renewable energy economy, including investment in retraining for workers affected by job loss in fossil fuel production.
  • Continuing to hold companies to account by putting a cost against the greenhouse gas pollution they produce.
  • Coordinating an intensive and sustained public awareness effort to change attitudes and behaviours.
  • Implementing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) and developing climate emergency policies in line with the Indigenous knowledge and teachings.

We are facing an urgent and potentially irreversible threat to Earth. With so many others on the planet, we hope that politicians will show commitment, leadership and collective wisdom in the movement to protect our planet from destruction. This is the only way forward together.

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UISG (International Union of Superiors General) is a worldwide organization of Superiors General of Institutes of Catholic Women Religious. It encourages dialogue and collaboration among Religious Congregations within the Church and larger society. This statement is a collaboration of all 64 Canadian members of the UISG.

For more information:
English:
Sister Margo Ritchie
Congregational Leader
Sisters of St. Joseph in Canada
mritchie@csjcanada.org
(519) 432-3781 ext. 418
Lisa Tabachnick
Director of Communications
Sisters of St. Joseph of Toronto
ltabachnick@csj-to.ca
(416) 467-2630

Français:
Sœur Aurore Larkin
Supérieure de Congrégation
Les Sœurs Grises de Montreal
alarkin@sgm.ca
t (514) 842-9411
c (514)

Signatories:
CONGRÉGATION / CONGREGATION VILLE / CITY, PROVINCE
Antoniennes de Marie Chicoutimi, Québec
Congrégation de Notre-Dame Montréal, Québec
Dominicaines Missionnaires Adoratrices Québec, Québec
Filles de la Providence St-Constant, Québec
Filles de Marie-de-L’Assomption Campbellton, Nouveau Brunswick
Grey Sisters of the Immaculate Conception Pembroke, Ontario
Institut Notre-Dame du Bon-Conseil de Montréal Montréal, Québec
Les Dominicaines de la Trinité Shawinigan, Québec
Les Missionnaires du Christ-Roi Montréal, Québec
Les Sœurs de la Providence Montréal, Québec
Missionnaires Notre-Dame des Anges Sherbrooke, Québec
Missionnaires de l’Immaculée Conception Montréal, Québec
Missionnaires Oblates du Sacré-Cœur et de Marie-Immacuée Winnipeg, Manitoba
Notre-Dame du Sacré-Coeur Dieppe, New Brunswick
Oblates de Béthanie Québec, Québec
Oblates Franciscaines de St-Joseph Montréal, Québec
Our Lady’s Missionaries Toronto, Ontario
Petites Filles de Saint-François Montréal, Québec
Petites Filles de Saint-Joseph Montréal, Québec
Petites Franciscaines de Marie Baie-St-Paul, Québec
Petites Soeurs de la Sainte-Famille Sherbrooke, Québec
Religieuses Hospitalières de St-Joseph Montréal, Québec
Servantes du Saint Cœur de Marie Montréal, Québec
Servantes du Très Saint-Sacrement Sherbrooke, Québec
Sisters of Charity of Saint Vincent de Paul Halifax, Nova Scotia
Sisters of Charity of the Immaculate Conception Saint John, New Brunswick
Sisters of Mercy of Newfoundland St John’s, Newfoundland
Sisters of Mission Service Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
Sisters of Providence of Saint Vincent de Paul Kingston, Ontario
Sisters of Saint Joseph in Canada Hamilton, London, Pembroke, Peterborough, Ontario
Sisters of Saint Joseph of Sault Ste Marie North Bay, Ontario
Sisters of Saint Joseph of Toronto Toronto, Ontario
Sisters of Saint Martha of Antigonish Antigonish, Nova Scotia
Sisters of Saint Martha of Prince Edward Island Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island
Sisters of Social Service Toronto, Ontario
Sœurs Augustines de la Miséricorde de Jésus Québec, Québec
Soeurs de Charité de Saint-Louis Montréal, Québec
Sœurs de Charité de St-Hyacinthe Saint-Hyacinthe, Québec
Sœurs de l’Assomption de la Sainte-Vierge Québec, Québec
Sœurs de l’Institut Jeanne d’Arc Ottawa, Ontario
Sœurs de la Charité d’Ottawa Ottawa, Ontario
Soeurs de la Charité de Montréal (Soeurs Grises) Montréal, Québec
Sœurs de la Charité de Québec Québec, Québec
Soeurs de la Providence Montreal, Québec
Soeurs de l’Assomption de la Sainte Vierge Nicolet, Québec
Sœurs de Miséricorde Montréal, Québec
Sœurs de Notre-Dame Auxiliatrice Rouyn-Noranda, Québec
Sœurs de Notre-Dame du Bon Conseil Chicoutimi, Québec
Sœurs de Notre-Dame du Sacré-Cœur Dieppe, Nouveau Brunswick
Sœurs de Notre-Dame-du-Perpétuel-Secours St-Damien-de-Bellechasse, Québec
Soeurs de Sainte-Anne Lachine, Québec
Sœurs de Sainte-Croix St-Laurent, Québec
Sœurs de Sainte-Jeanne d’Arc Québec, Québec
Soeurs de Sainte-Marthe de Saint-Hyacinthe Saint-Hyacinthe, Québec
Sœurs de Saint-François d’Assise Québec, Québec
Soeurs de Saint-Joseph de Saint-Hyacinthe Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec
Sœurs de St-Joseph de St-Vallier Québec, Québec
Sœurs des Saints Noms de Jésus et de Marie Longueuil, Québec
Sœurs du Bon-Pasteur de Québec Québec, Québec
Sœurs Notre-Dame du St-Rosaire Rimouski, Québec
Sœurs Servantes de Notre-Dame Reine du Clergé Lac-au-Saumon, Québec
Ursuline Sisters of Chatham Chatham, Ontario
Ursuline Sisters of Prelate Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
Ursulines Québec, Québec

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