At Glenmary’s recent Chapter of Affairs in Charleston, W.Va., the society passed the following statement to recommit itself to care for creation.
Glenmary Witness Concerning Creation
In the midst of God’s garden among the verdant hills of West Virginia, we Glenmary priests, brothers and co-workers met to discuss our ministry for the next four years. One immediate concern commanded our attention as we appreciated the lush expressions of nature around us: care of creation. From the rural areas where Glenmary labors, we hear stories of neighbors sickened from the persistence of pollution, and whole communities threatened by unsafe drinking water. These come from the abuse of creation. We see parishioners displaced by the exaggerated effects of violent weather and the oft repeated one hundred-year floods. Science tells us these result from climate change.
We reflect that Pope Francis reminds us that St. Francis of Assisi, the patron of ecology, showed us “how inseparable the bond is between concern for nature, justice for the poor, commitment to society and interior peace” (Laudato Si, #10.) As a mission society, we affirm this interconnectedness and we see examples of these relationships on a daily basis.
Stricken by the urgency to care for creation, we ask ourselves as Glenmarians and invite all friends of Glenmary, to reflect about our lifestyles. We accept as scientific fact that human activity is exacerbating the negative effects of climate change. We, therefore, pledge ourselves to avoid frivolous travel, to embrace a sustainable diet and to reduce, reuse and recycle in our patterns of consumption.
The words of Pope Francis echo in our hearts: “An integral ecology includes taking time to recover a serene harmony with creation, reflecting on our lifestyle and ideals, and contemplating the Creator who lives among us and surrounds us…” (L.S. #225.) We pledge ourselves to live intentionally with care for creation, and invite our friends to join us.