Environment Day: Commitment of the Vedruna Family

This June 5, in celebration of World Environment Day, the Vedruna Family joins a global effort to care for and protect our planet. Here we share the outstanding actions of the sisters of the Province of Japan and the Holy Family Lay Community in Curitiba, Brazil, which demonstrate their commitment to the environment and reflect the spirit of Pope Francis’ encyclical “Laudato Si'”: “The ecological crisis is a call to a profound interior conversion” (Laudato Si’, 217).

Response of the Province of Japan to the Cry of the Earth

Sisters in Japan have adopted various sustainable practices, aware of the importance of caring for our common home. These practices include monthly monitoring of electricity, gas and water expenses to promote energy savings and efficiency. In their gardens and orchards, they avoid the use of herbicides and pesticides, preferring natural methods of weed and pest control.

Waste management is another crucial aspect. They carefully separate different types of garbage and use organic waste to make natural fertilizers. They also reuse water: bath water is used for cleaning and kitchen water is used to water the trees in the garden. During the shower, the initial cold water is collected in buckets for other uses, avoiding waste.

The composting project at the Provincial House is an outstanding example of its commitment. They use “Cubo Verde” to convert food scraps and fallen leaves into compost through a process that requires care and dedication.

To reduce energy consumption, sisters unplug appliances when not in use and minimize the use of electric vacuum cleaners and other devices. They support local commerce and recycling, promoting a green economy based on local production and consumption.

Your ecological spirituality is manifested in the maintenance of a vegetable garden and the care of the church garden, as well as daily prayers in nature and meditative walks (via crucis, while climbing a mountain), praising and thanking God for the surrounding nature and integrating ecological and spiritual themes in the space of their apostolate.

Children in Curitiba respond to the “Earth Charter”.

Maristela Meira Goinski, of the Holy Family Lay Community in Brazil, has years of experience in accompanying children. During the month of May, he worked with a group on the importance of avoiding the waste of materials in the production of everyday objects. As part of these activities, he presented the “Earth Charter” (see here) to the children and discussed the importance of caring for the planet and how individual actions can contribute to its conservation. Subsequently, the group planned and drafted a collective response letter to Earth, which they then shared.

As a Vedruna laywoman, inspired by the life and work of St. Joaquina de Vedruna, Maristela Goinski believes that love and care must be present in all actions, especially in the relationship with the environment. He argues that acting with environmental responsibility is an act of love that reflects respect for creation and future generations. In this way, teaching children about the importance of caring for the environment not only preserves the planet, but also cultivates values of love, respect and responsibility, which are fundamental to Christian spirituality.

Maristela invites us to follow Joaquina’s example, acting with love in our work and in our relationship with the environment, thus contributing to a fairer and more sustainable world for all.

Children’s response to the land charter.

Dear Earth,

We want to thank you for all that you give us. We give thanks for the trees that give us air to breathe, for the clean water we drink and for the animals that live on your soil.

We want to promise that we will take care of you as you take care of us.

We promise not to throw garbage on the ground and always put the waste in the proper container for recycling, to keep our planet clean.

We will take care of plants and animals, protecting them and respecting their habitat. We want to help make the world a better place, where everyone can live happy and healthy lives.