Protecting the Environment
Protecting the environment is about the future of God’s creation and the one human family. It is about protecting both ‘the human environment’ and the natural environment.
God also blesses the other creatures who share the earth and makes clear the connection that exists between all living things (Genesis 1:27-31). God calls us as His stewards to care for the garden He created. The natural world serves as a source of inspiration for our faith and our love for the Creator.
Maryknoll Sisters are dedicated to protecting the environment and our One Earth Community.
Sister Story: Sister Jocelyn (Joji) Fenix
Sister Jocelyn (Joji) Fenix, M.M. has been in Panama since 1993 where she has worked to protect and conserve 96 acres of rainforest that has been growing back with native plants and animals. Sister Joji also serves at the Sisters’ pastoral care center, which gives workshops on integrated health and nutrition, organic agriculture, small project administration, and the family.
In the rainforest, Sister Joji uses her skills as a doctor to help farmers find and cultivate medicinal plants. There are some 15 family farms that produce and process medicinal plants and market them. They also make medicinal tinctures, soaps and essential oils.
Sister Joji also started a small savings and loan association to help members develop their farms and produce their own basic foods in addition to the medicinal plants. Health education now includes environmental education and alternative means of production through organic farming practices (composting, crop rotation, use of natural fertilizers and natural herbicides), processing and commercialization.
The people often ask Sister Joji, “Why did you go to a place like Darien, so far from your own family and friends?” And her answer is, “It’s because of you people and Darien itself.”
““…join together in a common project, building not only human community, but the Earth Community.”
— Sister Ann Braudis, M.M.”
Sister Story: Sister Pat Ryan
It is the Condoraque River in Peru, and it is being filled by acid drainage and toxic sludge from mining activity. Sister Pat Ryan is working hard to stop environmental issues such as this and you can help too!
Sister Pat is in Peru working with the Organization for Human Rights and the Environment, offering educational services, information and legal advice, and acting with the indigenous people to defend their rights and the rights of Mother Earth.
With your help, this organization, with Sister Pat, can achieve their goal to equip and empower the Aymara & Quechua native people with the understanding and skills to non-violently focus on working to curb irresponsible mining activities that disrespect indigenous people’s rights and threaten the environment and the people’s water supply in the area.
A Prayer for the Environment
All-powerful God, you are present in the whole universe and in the smallest of your creatures. You embrace with your tenderness all that exists. Pour out upon us the power of your love, that we may protect life and beauty. Fill us with peace, that we may live as brothers and sisters, harming no one. O God of the poor, help us to rescue the abandoned and forgotten of this earth, so precious in your eyes.
Bring healing to our lives, that we may protect the world and not prey on it, that we may sow beauty, not pollution and destruction. Touch the hearts of those who look only for gain at the expense of the poor and the earth. Teach us to discover the worth of each thing, to be filled with awe and contemplation, to recognize that we are profoundly united with every creature as we journey towards your infinite light. We thank you for being with us each day. Encourage us, we pray, in our struggle for justice, love and peace.