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Sisters join Catholic Climate Action Projects

The Sisters of Providence and the Providence Community are motivated to care for God’s wondrous creation. We strive to be responsible stewards of the resources God has given us. We are partnering with the Catholic Climate Action Projects (CathCAP) for practical ways to work together as people of faith. This action is inspired by Pope Francis and Laudato Si’, supporting the mutual well-being of nature and society.

CathCAP is a project of the Catholic Climate Covenant and the Association of U.S. Catholic Priests. It has created an online platform that serves as a vehicle for the Providence Community and others to create a fund. This fund will allow us to green our facilities. Or, alternatively, we can use funds collected to sponsor an external project that honors our commitment to support climate justice.

Where would the funds come from?

The Sisters of Providence will make contributions in proportion to the impact of our use of carbon-based fuels for air and auto travel. Auto travel offsets are calculated using your vehicle’s mpg and your inputs for typical workday and weekend miles traveled. You need only input this information once per year. A calculation based on your inputs results in the amount, in dollars, that your yearly travel costs. You are then given the option of contributing that amount to the Sisters of Providence Fund. Remember, this calculates your yearly impact.

Flight offsets are easy to accomplish. Whenever you travel by air, simply go to our SP CathCAP contribution page, plug in the departure and arrival city of a flight. Standard algorithms then determine how much it would cost to offset the greenhouse gases produced by that flight. Next, click on the green CONTRIBUTE button and you will be taken to a page where you put in your credit or debit card, name and email address. If you are wondering, a round trip flight from Indianapolis to Boston will cost you $8.44. Remember, we will get 95 percent of that money back to use on a climate justice supporting project in the following year.

How does the Providence Community collect money from such contributions?

Community members and friends log any air travel via our contribution page. The Congregation will log fuel purchases on a quarterly basis. We are asking you, our family, friends, co-ministers and donors, to consider participating in this project. Each year, the Climate Change Task Force, in collaboration with the Leadership Team, will determine projects to submit to CathCAP for the use of funds contributed. Annually, 95 percent of our contributions will be made available for us to support CathCAP approved climate justice initiatives. So, as we promote this project, we may end up having more than the Congregation contributed made available for such projects. Either way, we end up on the plus side. Everyone ends up paying more attention to activities that harm the environment. And we will be more intentional about funding internal or external projects that support climate justice.

While no one of us is completely responsible for the climate catastrophe we are facing. But each of us has a responsibility to do our part. By engaging in this project, we hope each of us will become more aware of our carbon impacts to the health of the planet from our use of fossil fuels. And, by sharing this project, we might help educate others on this impact.

What could we fund?

The moneys collected in the SP fund could support internal projects such as installation of solar panels, conversion to energy from renewable sources, improved insulation, more efficient lighting, tree planting and so forth. Each of these projects reduces one’s “carbon footprint.”

External projects might include contributing funds toward a community garden, a reforestation project or some other ecological project that promotes community development while reducing our carbon footprint.

Sisters of Providence CathCAP group representative

I, Sister Barbara Battista am our group representative. I will work in coordination with the Climate Change Task Force, which is overseeing our participation in the Laudato Si’ Action Platform. Contact me with any questions, requests for more information, or to offer suggestions for possible projects to support climate justice. 812-264-2318 or bbattista@spsmw.org.

You can find more information on CathCap here and the Sisters of Providence CathCAP contribution page here.

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Sister Barbara Battista

Sister Barbara Battista is a native of Indianapolis who currently ministers as the Congregation's Justice Promoter. She credits her social justice activism to her mother Alice's strong example. Raised in a large and extended Italian family household, Sister Barbara comes by community organizing quite naturally. She is a passionate and energetic advocate for full equity and equality for women and girls in church and society.

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