Pope Francis’s encyclical letter Laudato Si’ and the Laudato Si’ Action Platform have encouraged many religious congregations to either start or continue to seriously engage with how to care for our common home. Several congregations of women religious have undertaken projects of varying complexity to enact the teaching of Laudato Si’.
The Adrian Dominicans have a series of projects underway at their motherhouse, including rainwater storage, control of invasive species via livestock, beekeeping, fruit tree cultivation, and charging stations for electric vehicles. Like the Adrian Dominicans, the Sisters of Mercy have undertaken a variety of efforts to better care for our common home. They detail their three years of efforts to implement the Laudato Si’ Action Platform at the Catholic Climate Movement.
The Sisters of Charity of Nazareth, based out of Bardstown, KY, USA have set the ambitious goal to be carbon-neutral by 2037. They’ve implemented a series of changes to help, including planting native trees to reduce urban heat sinks, electric mowing and vehicle charging stations, and the addition of 140 solar panels.
Several men’s congregations have gotten involved via solar panels, too: the Glenmary Home Missioners tweeted about the installation of their new solar panels, saying: “Solar power will reduce our dependence on energy created from burning fossil fuels and oils, which is so damaging to the environment.” Similarly, the Maryknoll fathers and brothers have installed a significant solar panel array near their headquarters, a story covered by Patch.com:
“As Maryknoll Missioners, we hold environmentalism very close to our hearts, as this is God’s Earth,” said Maryknoll’s Superior General, Father Raymond Finch in a news release. “The stewardship of our environment is critical to continuance, just as self-preservation is critical to our own survival and that of our community. We are beyond grateful for the opportunity to provide clean resources to the community and contribute to saving our planet.”