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‘Tis the Season of Visions and Dreams

Visions and dreams still have the power to bring about transformative change. What do Pope Francis, Greta Thunberg, and the Sisters of Providence have in common as they dream dreams? How do they call us to bring these dreams to action?

All over the world, young people are leading the way in the struggle for climate justice. Greta Thunberg has inspired youth as they dream of a world without climate deniers: Those who – fueled by short-term financial interests of the fossil fuel industry – refute demonstrated facts of climate science.

In Laudato Si, Pope Francis not only inspires us but calls us to holiness as he proclaims the relational nature of humanity. In his vision of the cosmos, Pope Francis highlights the integral nature of ecological and economic realities and the value for us all to remain connected.

During our Chapter of 2016, the Sisters of Providence chose Environment/Climate Change as their justice focus issue. In the Fall of 2017, the Sisters of Providence Climate Change Task Force began its work by setting its basic goal: To effect systemic change to the underlying causes of climate injustice through education, advocacy, and responses to current issues, especially issues affecting those most severely impacted by climate injustice. At the Annual Meeting in 2018, Sisters, Associates, and Partners in Mission signed the Providence Climate Agreement which, in part, proclaimed:

“Mindful of the effects of climate injustice on the cosmos, Earth, and all creatures of Earth, particularly the most vulnerable, we commit to work against climate injustice … We pledge, in addition, to advocate for strong environmental policy.”

Goals for 2019-2020 were chosen to further develop the Providence Climate Agreement and give participants tools for advancing commitments made via the Agreement. These goals clustered around three areas:

  1. Fossil fuel reduction and renewable energy increases,
  2. Political engagement for strong environmental policies on both local and national levels, and
  3. Dietary actions for greenhouse gas reductions.

As we look forward to the new administration of President-Elect Biden, our environmental hopes focus on three things:

  1. That the United States will re-enter the Paris Climate Accords,
  2. That key principles re environmental justice will become priorities, and
  3. That the creation of a strong bipartisan coalition for climate action will become a reality.

At this time, we congratulate President-Elect Biden upon his election and offer our prayerful support as together we move forward as a nation united under God with liberty and justice for all. We stand with President-Elect Biden in his commitment to prioritize climate change solutions. And we further congratulate him on his choice of John Kerry to be Special Presidential Envoy for Climate.

We invite the Providence Community, our friends and colleagues – and all those who hunger for justice for Earth and all of God’s creation – to join us in encouraging President-Elect Biden to take immediate action to effectively deal with the causes of climate injustice through establishing strong environmental policies that move our nation into its appropriate role of leadership in global efforts to heal Earth. We encourage President-Elect Biden to move from Plan to Performance through the implementation of strong environmental policies as found in “The Biden Plan to Build a Modern, Sustainable Infrastructure and Equitable Clean Energy Future.”

A letter to President-Elect Biden has been planned to express our support, encouragement and vigilance to bring climate justice priorities to action. We invite your support and encouragement by adding your name to this letter.

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Sister Marilyn Kofler

Sister Marilyn Ann Kofler has been a Sister of Providence for 67 years. Currently, she ministers as a social justice advocate in the Chicago area.

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4 Comments

  1. Donna Butler on December 17, 2020 at 7:38 am

    Marilyn, thank you so much for this opportunity!

  2. Sr. Cathy Buster, S.P. on December 23, 2020 at 11:43 am

    Thank you Marilyn for including each of us in helping to restoring the Climate Policies that were removed by the Outgoing President.

    Sr. Cathy Buster. S.P.

  3. Robert Rath on January 7, 2021 at 3:07 pm

    MARILYN,
    Very impressive! With all the challenges facing our Nation and our World today and tomorrow,
    climate change is one of, if not the most important challenge that human race must make
    significant progress in the very near future. We have lost four years under our current administration, as such we and Mr. Biden need to double down in our efforts going forward. The Paris accord is just the start.
    God help us ! Thanks for your efforts!
    Rath

  4. Virginia Anderson on January 7, 2021 at 3:42 pm

    Reading this article really sickened me. What the heck is CLIMATE JUSTICE??? As far as I am concerned, I go by Plato’s thoughts on justice…..there is just JUSTICE JUSTICE and not all these various types of hysterical demagoguery. To be associated with a crazed youth such as Greta Thunberg shows how desperate you are to grab at anyone and anything who agrees with you. To hang your coat tails on the Pope shows only your current excitement about him and not any of the other encyclicals written by popes over the years. The Pope comes from a socialist country so he probably thinks this overreaction is normal. It is hard to believe that the sisters are the same ones who taught me a while ago. They would not be caught dead doing the things you currently espouse.

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