Saving our common home one step at a time

“…Among the most abandoned and maltreated of our poor, Mother Earth ‘groans in travail.” Laudato Si p. 3

 

Faced with a climatic urgency

In order to do our part to save our common home, here, in the Vice Province of Moncton, N.B., a team has been set-up to address this planetary urgency by focusing mainly on the problem of plastics that have invaded our entire environment… even our rivers and oceans. The team members from left to right are: Catherine Cormier, Elda Gaudet, Margaret Ann Lorway, Denise Lirette and Jénita Méthot.

 

First step

We held a meeting with our Sisters of Royal Court in Riverview to make a survey of all the plastic items in our apartments. What a revelation! We counted 60 items and more including toothbrushes, soap dishes, lotion and toothpaste containers, etc. and most of these cannot be salvaged. We took stock of the part we are playing in the degradation of our mother EARTH!

 

Plastic as a problem

 

When plastic was invented in the 1950’s we considered it quite an achievement in regards to food conservation and it took precedence over all the other means we had at the time for distributing, wrapping/packaging, of all our products. We have come to realize that what we had considered as a blessing is now a curse because of the wide-spread pollution caused to the environment … pollution that has even filtered our food chain.

What scientists tell us

 

Only 9% of plastics is recycled, whereas 79% is buried in landfills or remain dragging in our natural environment. Each year, 8 million metric tons of plastic end up in our oceans, lakes and rivers causing all our waterways to become increasingly polluted.

 

Plan of action

 

Having become aware of this, we realized that we could not remain indifferent to such a situation. But what can we do? Together we decided to take steps that would eventually foster awareness and action in our residence of approximately 115 people.

  • Raise awareness with the directors of Royal Court where 27 Daughters of Jesus live.
  • Meet with the City Councils of Dieppe and Riverview to encourage them to adopt an urgent plan of action regarding climate change.

In view of this, Denise, along with a lay person, rallied a group of students to meet with the Riverview City Council. These same young people would also encourage the youth of Dieppe to do the same in their municipality.

  • Approach surrounding parishes with regards to the weekly liturgy pamphlets “Living with Christ” as well as parish bulletins to be sent for recycling instead of being thrown away in the garbage.

 

Conclusion

These undertakings, by themselves, may seem trivial, but hopefully and in due time, may snowball causing others to follow suit.

Pope Francis proclaimed:‘‘In the heart of this world, the Lord of Life, who loves us so much, is always present. He does not abandon us, he does not leave us alone for he has united himself definitively to our earth, and his love constantly impels us to find new ways forward. Praise be to him!” LS 245

 

Catherine Cormier on behalf of the team Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada

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