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Justice, Peace and Earth Care

Pope Francis warns of environmental and climate disasters, but hopes to “bring the whole human family together, redefine progress, and move forward in a bold cultural revolution.”


Franciscan Federation, 2015 JPIC Resolution

Be it resolved that we, as persons of faith in relationship with all of Creation, and in a privileged position of faith leadership within our society as members of the Franciscan Federation, are called to personal and communal reflection that leads to action to sustain our one planet Earth, so that all creation may share in the generous gifts of Earth provided by our Creator and Sustainer God.  Climate change, especially those changes caused by human ignorance, indifference and greed, calls us to be prophets of change – to act in prophetic ways to halt human-induced abuse of Earth’s resources that are given to be shared by all.  As followers of St. Francis of Assisi we are called to right relationship with our Sister Mother Earth, our home.

Therefore, committed to our relationship with all Creation, we call upon ourselves and one another, to be prophets of change – to live simply, using only what we need; to seek greater contemplation in lieu of accumulation; to share instead of hoarding; to discipline our wants instead of seeking our whims.

Call to Respond

In the spirit of caring for the environment that we inherit from the Franciscan tradition of St. Francis and

St. Clare of Assisi, we call on one another to address the challenges of climate change in concrete ways.   

  1. In a Franciscan spirit of gratitude for God’s gifts, use the “ecological footprint” below to identify your own and your congregation’s contribution to greenhouse gas emissions and choose to make changes to your lifestyle. www.carbonfootprint.com   
  2. In the Franciscan spirit of simplicity, choose to reduce, reuse, recycle – when we “throw things away, where is “away” but landfills that hold our trash while it supposedly deteriorates and disintegrates, but science shows us that much of our “trash’ remains intact for hundreds of years.
  3. In the Franciscan spirit of poverty, be an informed consumer so you can make wise choices; buy items that are reusable and come with less packaging.
  4. In the Franciscan spirit of conversion, turn down appliances; set the water heater at 120 degrees to save energy. Buy low-flow showerheads to save water. Wash clothes in warm or cold water to reduce use of hot water and the energy required to produce it. Only use a dishwasher if full and then use the energy-saving setting.
  1. In the Franciscan spirit of caring for Sister Water, use a rain barrel to water your garden.
  2. In the Franciscan spirit of penance, eliminate red meat and dairy once weekly; this saves water and energy, both used heavily in its preparation.  The average American diet contributes an extra 1.5 tons of greenhouse gas each year compared to a vegetarian diet.
  3. In the Franciscan spirit of caring for our Sister Mother Earth, just say no to plastic – 2.5 million individual plastic bottles are discarded every hour in the United States. Begin using reusable water bottles. http://www.pnas.org/content/111/28/10239  
  4. In the Franciscan spirit of love for our Sister Mother Earth, buy organic or locally produced food that is free of the pesticides and other chemicals used in modern agriculture that pollute our water supply and require excessive energy to transport across the continent.
  5. In the Franciscan spirit of celebration, plant a tree (perhaps as a memorial); trees absorb carbon dioxide cleaning the air that we breathe.
  6. In the Franciscan virtue of charity, unplug unused electronics that, even though “off,” use energy.





Bernardine Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis
450 St. Bernardine Street, Reading, PA 19607      |      484-334-6957      |    © 2012

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