As Sisters of St. Joseph we believe that we are a part of creation and not apart from it. We seek to treat it with love, respect and justice.
We believe that we are all one in the circle of God’s sustaining love. Earth is our home and all Earth’s creatures and systems are interrelated. Each living being is cherished by God. All have a right to be here. As conscious members of this Earth community, we recognize ourselves as responsible to act for the good of all. To ignore practices and attitudes which are destructive of any part of our living earth, would negate our expressed belief that we are called to be united in God’s creative love.
The call to ecological conversion is part of our developing spiritual vision in the 21st Century. An understanding of its theological and cosmological underpinnings will deepen our awareness of our interconnection with all creation and the unity of all things in God. We will avail ourselves of all opportunities to develop ourselves in this understanding and to act on it.
Chapter 2011 Direction Statement
To be is to be related, for relationship is the essence of existence. In the very first instant when the primitive particles rushed forth, every one of them was connected to every other one of them in the entire universe. At no time in the future of the universe would they arrive at a point of disconnection. Alienation for a particle is a theoretical impossibility. ..Nothing is itself without everything else…The universe is a communion of subjects rather than a collection of objects.
Most of us enjoy the sight of robins, sparrows and even cardinals, if we’re lucky, but what about yellow warblers, cedar waxwings and Carolina wrens?
On May 17 in Brentwood seventeen watchers joined a bird walk sponsored by the Earth Matters Committee and led by Sue Krause on the Motherhouse grounds of St. Joseph, amazed at the variety and beauty of the migrating birds enjoying the hospitality of our home. Beginning at the Convent the “birders” followed the path through the woods leading to the cemetery, continuing the itinerary in the rear of the property behind the convent.
The distinctive calls of the chickadee, the mockingbird and yellow warbler created a chorale of surpassing harmony punctuated by the staccato sound of the red-headed woodpecker, “the brisk motor of his heart singing like a Schubert”. Catching a glimpse of the brilliant gold-tipped cedar waxwing and the luminescent red plumage of the scarlet tanager was an art gallery of extraordinary loveliness.
As we returned from the cemetery and spied a cowbird and red-tailed hawk we couldn’t help but think that as we plan for the preferred future of this good, holy, motherhouse earth bequeathed to our care, we can only offer praise and thanks to God for this sanctuary of blessed habitat embracing our dear departed sisters and nurturing the life, beauty and goodness of all our living kin, “announcing your place in the family of things.”
(Quotes from Mary Oliver, New and Selected Poems)