In February 2023, a twenty page guide was released as the result of a collaboration between the scientific and spiritual communities, between the Stockholm Environment Institute and the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development. It sets out essential facts and solutions on key topics, along with advice on how communities can respond.
It is inspired by Pope Francis’ second encyclical, Laudato Si’: On Care for Our Common Home, which explores our ecological crisis and its roots in over-consumption and current models of economic development.
Laudato Si’ Action Platform Launches with Leadership from the Congregation of Sisters of St. Agnes
On the World Day of Prayer for the Poor in 2021, the Vatican’s Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development announced the launch of the next phase of the Laudato Si’ Action Platform. The Congregation of Sisters of St. Agnes (CSA) played a key role in its development as a member of the Religious Order working group.
The Laudato Si' Action Platform is a key Vatican initiative to empower the universal Church to achieve total sustainability in the holistic spirit of integral ecology. The human family faces increasing risks of hunger, disease, migration, and conflict due to climate change and environmental degradation, unfortunately, the most vulnerable suffer above all.
The Laudato Si’ Action Platform provides practical tools to address this socio-ecological crisis. Anyone who pledges to be part of the platform can access free resources to evaluate where they stand on the road to sustainability, reflect on the principles of integral ecology, and make a plan to take action.
From 2020-2021, CSA has helped shape both the model and the content for this program. Through deep and sustained conversations with the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development and a global network of partners, the Holy Spirit has created a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts, a shared space for action that offers new momentum to urgently address our socio-ecological crisis.
We invite you and all members of the universal Church to join us and the Vatican on this Laudato Si’ journey.
Find out more at www.laudatosiactionplatform.org
The Congregation of Sisters of St. Agnes is grateful for the call of Pope Francis to Hear the Cry of Earth and the Cry of the Poor.
In light of the growing impact of climate change on the global community, we, the Congregation of Sisters of St. Agnes and the Associate Community USA, honoring our interdependence with all of God’s creation and in a spirit of nonviolence, personally, communally, and collaboratively commit to actions that:
We commit to actions that:
- Flow from a spirituality of integral ecology (Laudato Si’ – Chapter 4) that expresses interconnections among environmental, economic, scientific, social and cultural systems,
- Respect Earth and the interdependence of all life,
- Consume less of Earth’s nonrenewable resources through the six R’s: refuse, reduce, reuse, recycle, repurpose, and restore,
- Educate ourselves and others about the equitable development of renewable, cleaner energy sources in order to
- mitigate the impact of climate change and
- enable the most vulnerable to adapt to climate change
- Promote a low-carbon economy especially in Nicaragua and the USA where we serve,
- Cooperate with governmental and non-governmental organizations that are committed to care for Earth.
This is not a new commitment, but rather a deepening of our community’s recognition of the sacred interdependence of creation and our place in the web of life. This is an opportunity to recommit ourselves to developing and acting out an ecological consciousness both individually and corporately. This renewed commitment is especially critical given the urgent need to address the global climate crisis.
The Vatican’s seven-year Laudato Si’ Action Platform calls the worldwide Catholic community and “all men and women of good will” (LS 3) to publicly engage in the work of transformation through integral ecology.
The Congregation of Sisters of St. Agnes and the Associate Community USA publicly commit to the seven-year process of transformation by strategically engaging the seven goals of the Laudato Si’ Action Platform.
CSA's Ongoing Plans and Progress
Baseline for Goal 1
Greater use of clean renewable energy and reducing fossil fuels in order to achieve carbon neutrality, efforts to protect and promote biodiversity, guaranteeing access to clean water for all, etc.
A Few of CSA's Actions So Far
The 880-panel solar installation on our motherhouse grounds is a tangible reflection of our commitment to care for Earth. Our solar panels generate 50% of our energy needs and substantially reduce our carbon footprint.
In 2020, when Alliant Energy announced the launch of its first community solar project in Fond du Lac, CSA supported the endeavor by purchasing 538 solar panels (called “blocks”) of the solar garden. This investment means that the entire St. Agnes Convent and the on-site maintenance building will be 100% powered by the sun. The Community Solar program provides an opportunity for customers, both residential and corporate, to share the benefits of solar power without having to install solar panels on their property and will be fully operational by the end of 2021. Learn more about our solar array >>
The CSA motherhouse was designed to honor and accommodate the natural features that surround it including the spring-fed streams that run through the property. In the summer of 2021, as construction began on the road near the springs, CSA advocated on behalf of the springs and adjusted landscaping to protect waters from run-off during building and roadway construction.
On January 10, 2022, the Congregation of Sisters of St. Agnes (CSA) signed a Conservation Easement Document, in partnership with Glacial Lakes Conservancy (GLC), protecting 233 acres of Earth in perpetuity. CSA land, with its buildings, forests, prairies, wetlands, farm fields, cemetery, labyrinth, nature trails, and three stream channels running down the Niagara Escarpment will be protected from commercial development for all time.
CSA protects biodiversity by maintaining prairies of native plants and scheduled prairie burns. Read about the benefits of prairie burring and see photos from the 2021 burn. >>
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