Statement by Canada’s Catholic Sisters Regarding the Climate Emergency

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On this World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation (September,1), leaders of Canada’s 64 Congregations of Catholic Sisters are calling on the country’s politicians to respond to the climate emergency declared by Parliament by taking concrete steps to avert it. 

As Women Religious, caring for all of God’s Creation is an essential part of our faith. The drastic changes to our climate brought on by the release of greenhouse gases pose the greatest threat to all living beings. Yet, not enough is being done to address it. In Laudato Si’, Pope Francis points out that “reducing greenhouse gases requires honesty, courage and responsibility, above all on the part of those countries which are more powerful and pollute the most.” (169)   

For our part, we have taken robust action to combat the destruction of our planet and to care for our common home. Many of our Congregations have taken steps to:

  • Divest from fossil fuel portfolios to clean and renewable energy projects.
  • Eliminate single-use plastics.
  • Retrofit residential buildings, including solar, bio-thermal and renewable natural gas installations.
  • Commit to the Blue Communitiesproject which entails treating water as a sacred resource and shared commons.
  • Plant trees in Canada and in the countries where our Missions exist.
  • Compost, reduce and recycle.
  • Partner and provide support to community groups and movements committed to address the climate emergency.

We urge all politicians running in the upcoming federal election to acknowledge the climate emergency and to implement an immediate multilevel policy strategy for a just transition to ecologically sustainable living.

The actions to address the climate emergency should be concrete, justice-based and stripped of partisan politics. We invite political leaders to join us in caring for our common home by: 

  • Keeping fossil fuels in the ground and ending subsidies to fossil fuel and plastic producers.
  • Redirecting investments and rapidly expanding the renewable energy economy, including investment in retraining for workers affected by job loss in fossil fuel production.
  • Continuing to hold companies to account by putting a cost against the greenhouse gas pollution they produce.
  • Coordinating an intensive and sustained public awareness effort to change attitudes and behaviours.
  • Implementing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) and developing climate emergency policies in line with the Indigenous knowledge and teachings.

We are facing an urgent and potentially irreversible threat to Earth. With so many others on the planet, we hope that politicians will show commitment, leadership and collective wisdom in the movement to protect our planet from destruction. This is the only way forward together.

UISG (International Union of Superiors General) is a worldwide organization of Superiors General of Institutes of Catholic Women Religious. It encourages dialogue and collaboration among Religious Congregations within the Church and larger society.  This statement is a collaboration of all 64 Canadian members of the UISG. 

Signatories:|

CONGRÉGATION / CONGREGATION

VILLE / CITY, PROVINCE

Antoniennes de Marie

Chicoutimi, Québec

Congrégation de Notre-Dame

Montréal, Québec

Dominicaines Missionnaires Adoratrices

Québec, Québec

Filles de la Providence

St-Constant, Québec

Filles de Marie-de-L’Assomption

Campbellton, Nouveau Brunswick

Grey Sisters of the Immaculate Conception

Pembroke, Ontario

Institut Notre-Dame du Bon-Conseil de
Montréal

Montréal, Québec

Les Dominicaines de la Trinité

Shawinigan, Québec

Les Missionnaires du Christ-Roi

Montréal, Québec

Les Sœurs de la Providence

Montréal, Québec

Missionnaires Notre-Dame des Anges

Sherbrooke, Québec

Missionnaires de l’Immaculée Conception

Montréal, Québec

Missionnaires Oblates du Sacré-Cœur et de 
Marie-Immacuée

Winnipeg, Manitoba

Notre-Dame du Sacré-Coeur

Dieppe, New Brunswick

Oblates de Béthanie

Québec, Québec

Oblates Franciscaines de St-Joseph

Montréal, Québec

Our Lady’s Missionaries

Toronto, Ontario

Petites Filles de Saint-François

Montréal, Québec

Petites Filles de Saint-Joseph

Montréal, Québec

Petites Franciscaines de Marie

Baie-St-Paul, Québec

Petites Soeurs de la Sainte-Famille

Sherbrooke, Québec

Religieuses Hospitalières de St-Joseph

Montréal, Québec

Servantes du Saint Cœur de Marie

Montréal, Québec

Servantes du Très Saint-Sacrement

Sherbrooke, Québec

Sisters of Charity of Saint Vincent de Paul

Halifax, Nova Scotia

Sisters of Charity of the Immaculate 
Conception

Saint John, New Brunswick

Sisters of Mercy of Newfoundland

St John’s, Newfoundland

Sisters of Mission Service

Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

Sisters of Providence of Saint Vincent de Paul

Kingston, Ontario

Sisters of Saint Joseph in Canada

Hamilton, London, Pembroke,
Peterborough, Ontario

Sisters of Saint Joseph of Sault Ste Marie

North Bay, Ontario

Sisters of Saint Joseph of Toronto

Toronto, Ontario

Sisters of Saint Martha of Antigonish

Antigonish, Nova Scotia

Sisters of Saint Martha of Prince Edward
Island

Charlottetown, Prince Edward
Island

Sisters of Social Service

Toronto, Ontario

Sœurs Augustines de la Miséricorde de Jésus

Québec, Québec

Soeurs de Charité de Saint-Louis

Montréal, Québec

Sœurs de Charité de St-Hyacinthe

Saint-Hyacinthe, Québec

Sœurs de l’Assomption de la Sainte-Vierge

Québec, Québec

Sœurs de l’Institut Jeanne d’Arc

Ottawa, Ontario

Sœurs de la Charité d’Ottawa

Ottawa, Ontario

Soeurs de la Charité de Montréal (Soeurs
Grises)

Montréal, Québec

Sœurs de la Charité de Québec

Québec, Québec

Soeurs de la Providence

Montreal, Québec

Soeurs de l’Assomption de la Sainte Vierge

Nicolet, Québec

Sœurs de Miséricorde

Montréal, Québec

Sœurs de Notre-Dame Auxiliatrice

Rouyn-Noranda, Québec

Sœurs de Notre-Dame du Bon Conseil

Chicoutimi, Québec

Sœurs de Notre-Dame du Sacré-Cœur

Dieppe, Nouveau Brunswick 

Sœurs de Notre-Dame-du-Perpétuel-Secours

St-Damien-de-Bellechasse,
Québec

Soeurs de Sainte-Anne

Lachine, Québec

Sœurs de Sainte-Croix

St-Laurent, Québec

Sœurs de Sainte-Jeanne d’Arc

Québec, Québec

Soeurs de Sainte-Marthe de Saint-Hyacinthe

Saint-Hyacinthe, Québec

Sœurs de Saint-François d’Assise

Québec, Québec

Soeurs de Saint-Joseph de Saint-Hyacinthe

Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec

Sœurs de St-Joseph de St-Vallier

Québec, Québec

Sœurs des Saints Noms de Jésus et de Marie

Longueuil, Québec

Sœurs du Bon-Pasteur de Québec

Québec, Québec

Sœurs Notre-Dame du St-Rosaire

Rimouski, Québec

Sœurs Servantes de Notre-Dame Reine du
Clergé

Lac-au-Saumon, Québec

Ursuline Sisters of Chatham

Chatham, Ontario

Ursuline Sisters of Prelate

Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

Ursulines

Québec, Québec