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Statement by Canada’s Catholic Sisters Regarding the Climate Emergency  

September 1, 2019

Statement by Canada’s Catholic Sisters Regarding the  Climate Emergency

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 gas 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.

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.



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 MontréalMontréal, Québec
Les Dominicaines de la Trinité                  Shawinigan, Québec
Les Missionnaires du Christ-Roi              Montréal, Québec
Les Sœurs de la Providence                     Montréal, Québec
Missionnaire 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
Sœurs de St-Joseph de Saint-Hyacinthe               Saint-Hyacinthe, Québec
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





Rose of Our Lady

Delicate flower of Lima

Bless this day and protect our nation

               Listen to the poor

               Who fight for justice and peace 

               And strengthen their hope.

               Inflame the faith of all people. 

Patron Saint of the Sick

She had an open door ready to receive and assist anyone in need. Father Melendez who wrote of his memories of her remembered: she did not distinguish between the Spaniard, the stranger, the Indians, the blacks, whomever was poor she attended to their need.

Patron Saint of the National Police of Peru

Rosa was sensitive to and became aware of the injustices present in her world. At the age of 11 she recognized the suffering of and the injustices endured by her father who became a miner and who worked in slave-like conditions along with the indigenous people.

Her Life Story

On the 20th of April 1586 she was born. Her father was Puerto Rican and her mother from Lima. She was baptized with the name of Isabel Flores Oliva, however her black caregiver started to call her Rosa because of her beautiful features like a rose.   Rosa lived in her parents home choosing a life of helping those in need.   She loved nature and enjoyed tending the garden.  As well she built a hermitage in a corner of the garden and began a life of solitude dedicated to her spiritual routine.  At 24 she chose to wear the habit of the Third Order of St Dominic.  She died the 24th of August in 1617 at 31 years of age and canonized in 1671. She is venerated as patron saint of Peru as well as all of Latin America and the islands of the Philippines.

Remembering Saint Rose of Lima today

  • Every church, chapel or school in Peru that bears her name will honour her with processions, novenas and fiestas
  • Many little girls carry her name
  • Tourists visit her Lima home, hermitage and garden and write prayer intentions to drop into the well
  • The National Police Force include her their annual day of celebration   
  • On the bulletin board in the Chincha Church her name in large colourful letters has been a reminder of the August 30th date when she is remembered in the Peruvian Liturgical calendar. 

Assisted by details from Un Santo Para Cada Dia  Mario Sgarbossa and Luis Giovannini

-  Submitted by Hermanas Gloria, Maria y Mabel


August 30th marks the commemoration and public holiday in Peru, of Saint Rose of Lima, or Santa Rosa de Lima in Spanish. Saint Rose was the patron saint of Peru and the rest of the indigenous people of Latin America and the Philippines. The beautiful patron saint was born in 1956 in Lima to Spanish Colonists and was known for her piety and chastity. Today she is celebrated across Peru, with a national holiday declared in her name!



A Book  Review


This novel is difficult to put down because it is so captivating. The thoughts and feelings of the main characters are revealed in such a way that draws you personally into the drama. Modern day issues and dilemmas that can and do exist in modern life are part of the drama. You become an ‘insider’ rather than a bystander.

The novel moves back and forth from the present to the realities of war in Nazi-occupied Poland in 1942. Kelly Rimmer’s characters reveal the emotions that war provokes and turns fear and doubt into bravery and trust.

The reader is led on this journey, between the past and the present, in a most captivating way. 

-Sister Valerie



Water News

There is a water justice Summit coming to London this fall. The Water is Life Alliance is hosting its next gathering at Western University on Saturday, September 28th. Speakers include: Maude Barlow, Lela George, Holly T. Bird, Claire McClinton, and more.   Find out more on their website.   REGISTER HERE

TV Ontario segment on drinking water crisis on First Nations reserves. See the video. From the TVO website: Water quality advisories are nothing new in Indigenous communities and Attawapiskat First Nation is the latest place to declare a state of emergency over water. The crisis highlights the long, rocky road still ahead for reconciliation. The Agenda welcomes Willow Fiddler, an APTN video journalist and Dawn Martin-Hill, academic director of the Indigenous Studies program at McMaster University, and Marc Miller, parliamentary secretary to the minister of crown-Indigenous relations, to discuss this issue.

Water Actions

Support the Water Doc Film Festival. No other film festival in Canada brings together so many water educators, activists, artists, organizations and protectors into one space to raise awareness and inspire action to protect water. See and share their fundraising page now reaching only 50% of their goal.

Any day now, Nestlé will have to submit a new application for a permit and you can bet it’s hoping to do so under the radar. But if we can make a huge stink now, we can pressure Ontario’s government to deny the permit and stop Nestlé’s greedy water grab for good. Sign and share the petition.

To learn more about water issues and to take action, visit the Blue Community website.






Weekly Pause &  Ponder

Women’s Equality Day - Aug. 26th

Gender equality is the goal that will help abolish poverty that will create more equal economies, fairer societies and happier men, women and children.

Graca Machel.  https://stories.plancanada.ca

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