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Sisters of Mercy of the Americas September 2017 Report

September 23, 2017

Participants at the Institute’s 2017 Chapter walked through the streets of downtown Buffalo, New York, June 23rd to to call attention to the sacredness of water and the human right to this resource.

In response to the global issue of climate change and the need for all to transition to a low-carbon future, Mercy Investment Services' Social Responsibility Committee, in collaboration with the Investment Committee and the support of the Mercy Investment Services Board of Directors, developed a Statement on Climate Change, which outlines how investments are used to address climate change. They also developed a video that you may watch here.

Mercy Investment Services - Our Response to Climate Change from Mercy Investment Services on Vimeo.

The Sisters of Mercy of the Americas’ Institute Leadership Team, and the Leadership Team of the Northeast Community, signed onto a legal brief in support of youth suing the U.S. government to press for action on climate change to secure their health and future. Similar court cases have been winding their way through the U.S. court system for a few years and last year the youth secured a victory that is allowing their plea to move forward.

Mercy sisters, associates and companions, and co-workers continue to advocate for the environment and the most impacted communities throughout the Institute. Some examples include:

  • Participating in successful opposition to a nuclear power plant in Rio Negro province in Argentina
  • Continuing efforts against a fracked gas power plant on the edge of a conserved forest in Rhode island, including confrontations with our Senator (Whitehouse) who will not speak out against it while at the same time speaking to Congress on climate change every single week. There are now 33 towns in RI who have signed on against the power plant due to what we call a "Learn the Facts" program initiated by the Land Trust of Burrillville.
  • Continuing to work against the building of a liquifaction facility in a poor area of Providence, Rhode island. We attend meetings put on by the energy company who will plans on building the facility and speak out in the public process.
  • The Connecticut water bottling plant unfortunately passed and is now up and running despite opposition, including from a Mercy International Reflection Process (MIRP) small group. These kind of corporate deals give all of the tax breaks and first uses to the Corporation while the people will have to conserve even in drought!
  • Another MIRP group of sisters and associates visiting a government-owned island off of the Connecticut shoreline called Plum Island on Sept 8. Apparently there is animal research going on there and the sisters had to get governmental clearance to even be allowed to go. A second reason is that there are rumors that the island might be developed by someone such as Donald Trump, so they are joining a group called "Conserve Plum Island" to try to prevent the takeover.
  • Participating in a celebration of a Year of Creation in the Burlington, Vermont, diocese during the Season of Creation. Sisters Mary Pendergast and Nancy Audette will be offering a workshop titled. "Spirituality, Justice and Laudato Si."
  • Students returning to Carlow University in Pittsburgh were gifted with re-useable water bottles in anticipation of a policy to be implemented in January that limits the purchase and sale of disposable water bottles. Members of the campus community will be educated about the impacts of the commodification of water and the harm caused by the proliferation of plastics. The university has, over the past three years, purchased and installed 23 bottle filling stations across the campus. According to the counters on each, over 155,000 bottles have already been saved from going into landfills.
  • Sisters Catherine Kuper and Kathleen Erickson along with justice coordinator Mike Poulin participated in a rally against the Keystone XL pipeline as the Nebraska Public Service Commission weighed whether to approve a route for the pipeline through the state.

Messages to: Marianne Comfort - Institute Justice Team