The Earth Charter

We are called to strengthen our interdependence with each other, the vulnerable and all creation…nurturing all life with reverence. We have come to embrace the Earth Charter as the lens through which we view all of our decisions regarding how we live, pray, and minister, and what we advocate for in public policy

Fourth GNSH Corporate Stand:
Supporting the Principles of the Earth Charter

Alleluia! Give thanks to God, who is good.
God’s love is everlasting…
God’s wisdom made the heavens…
set the earth on the waters…
made the great lights…the sun…the moon
(Psalm 136:1-9)

In these days of troubling images, actions, and words inside and outside our nation, it is urgent for us women religious to give witness by what we say, and do, and are to our commitment to:

  • Respect and care for the community of life
  • Ecological integrity
  • Social and economic justice
  • Democracy, nonviolence, and peace (Earth Charter Principles)

Common destiny beckons us to seek a new beginning. Such a renewal is the promise of the Earth Charter’s principles. To fulfill this promise, we must commit ourselves to adopt and promote the values and objectives of the Charter. Read the full text of our stand


The Big Picture:

The Earth Charter is a product of a decade-long, worldwide, cross-cultural dialogue on common goals and shared values. The Earth Charter project began as a United Nations initiative, but it was carried forward and completed by a global civil society initiative. The drafting of the Earth Charter involved the most inclusive and participatory process ever associated with the creation of an international declaration. The document has been endorsed by over 6,000 organizations, including many governments and international organizations. In 2003, the Grey Nuns of the Sacred Heart voted unanimously to endorse the Earth Charter. One of the principles of the Charter is:

“to promote a culture of tolerance, non-violence, and peace”

We are called to strengthen our interdependence with each other, the vulnerable and all creation…nurturing all life with reverence. We have come to embrace the Earth Charter as the lens through which we view all of our decisions regarding how we live, pray, and minister, and what we advocate for in public policy. Our Corporate Stances and advocacy efforts all flow from the principles of the Earth Charter.


How do we live our stand in Support of the Principles of the Earth Charter:

As Grey Nuns of the Sacred Heart we have been encouraged to take the St. Francis Pledge, a promise and a commitment to live our faith protecting God’s creation and advocating on behalf of the poor.  The five elements of the pledge are:

  • PRAY and reflect on the duty to care for God’s creation and protect the poor and vulnerable.
  • LEARN and educate others on the moral dimensions of climate change
  • ASSESS how we contribute to climate change by our energy use, waste, and consumption
  • ACT to change our choices and behaviors to reduce the way we contribute to climate change, and
  • ADVOCATE for Catholic principles and priorities in discussion and decisions especially as they have an impact on those who are poor and vulnerable.

We invite you to join with us in taking the St. Francis Pledge through the link at the bottom of this page.


Major changes in how we think and live are urgently needed.  The Earth Charter challenges us to examine our values and to choose a better way, encouraging us to search for common ground in the midst of our diversity and to embrace a global ethic that is shared by an ever-growing number of people throughout the world.


Our Initiatives and Committees related to the Earth Charter:

  • Earth Committee
    • EarthHeart – an eco-spirituality group founded by Sr. Sheila Stone, GNSH in Buffalo, New York.

      Read Save the Great Lakes, Save Ourselves to learn about new threats to the safety of these essential waterways.


    • SOIL- A program in Haiti to promote dignity, health and sustainable livelihoods through the transformation of waste into agricultural compost.Fracking
    • Anti-Fracking advocacy

      Through  Food and Water Watch we learned that Governor Cuomo has banned Fracking in the State of New York. We will keep you informed of further updates through our blog.


  • Peace Making and Non-Violence Committee
    • Human Trafficking- to prevent and draw awareness to victims of trafficking in our midst. Dawn’s Place (2009) is a shelter for women who have been victimized by human trafficking. Sr. Eileen White, GNSH serves as an on-site advocate for the women and many of our Sisters volunteer their presence during the 24/7 operation of the safe-house.
    • Immigration Reform- Fully aware of our mandate to welcome the stranger, we advocate for the dignity of those seeking US resident status. The Asylee Women’s Enterprise (AWE), based in Baltimore, provides safe housing, legal support and counseling for those seeking asylum in the United States.
    • Contemplative Dialogue: As we strive to promote peace in our world, we are aware that we must model the tenets of peaceful dialogue in our own interactions with one another. Workshops on Contemplative Dialogue have been offered to our Sister’s and Grey Nun Associates

Prayer

Let Us Pray,
Almighty God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, you created the Earth and entrusted it to human beings to fulfill your work. You filled the Earth with so many beautiful things. We praise and thank you, God, for your beautiful creation. Let us open ourselves to experience the presence and love of God in all created things: in the sun, the moon, the stars, and in each lovely planet, the flowers, birds, and animals; the sea and its waves. Every single creature is a book about God’s love. Every creature, even the most insignificant, is part of the Earth Community. Help us, Creator Spirit, to come to know and experience God our Father and Mother, through our relationship with one another and with the whole of creation. Amen.


Click on the following for more information:

St. Francis Pledge

The Earth Charter

USCCB on Care for the Earth

Save the Great Lakes

 

The Grey Nuns