Monday, June 24, 2024
Concordia Sisters of St. Joseph

Concordia Sisters of St. Joseph

Loving God and neighbor without distinction: A pontifical institute of women religious of the Roman Catholic Church

Laudato Si’ – “Integral Ecology”

During 2016, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia made a renewed commitment to live in a more ecological and just way after reading Pope Francis’ encyclical, “Laudato Si, Care for Our Common Home.” We hope to do so by study, prayer and action. We also hope to work together with other like-minded people. As part of that, we will use this space to share awareness of ecological issues, as well as information for action and thought.

Public Commitment (June 2022)

As Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia, Kansas, we have a rural heart, a consciousness grounded in a long relationship with the people and land of the plains. In 1991 we made a commitment, Reconciliation with the Earth, committing “to intensify our awareness of ecological issues and their implications,” “to asking ecological questions before making decisions,” and to “take action based on our new understanding of ecology,” including working “to simplify our lifestyle.” (1) In 2016 we made our second commitment to “conversion of hearts and lifestyles for the sake of future generations and for the unfolding of all creation in Love.”(2)
These commitments were grounded in our charism of unioning love and our mission to bring about unity among and with our dear neighbors (human and all creation), and unity of neighbor with God. We recognized that “everything is interconnected through One Life energy that can only be sustained through solidarity with those caught in the web of poverty, and by right relationship with all creation.” (3) Thus we recognized our responsibility for caring for the earth, our common home. Our foci were the deepening of ecological spirituality, education for integral ecology, the greening of our lifestyles and policies, and earth justice through advocacy, networking and prophetic witness.
At this time, in response to:

• the call of the Church to implement the vision of the Laudato Siencyclical, becoming part of the critical   mass needed to heal the planet and transform human relationships,

• the urgent cries of the poor and the cries of the earth and her creatures (Laudato Si,48),

• the overwhelming scientific evidence that we have little time left to stop irreversible damage to the planet,

• the call of youth to everyone, particularly those holding political and economic power, to stop practices that are destroying the environment and their hope for the future,

• the call to be at one with vowed religious and their associates worldwide in working for a sustainable future and the transformation of consciousness,

• a desire to work at one with all groups engaged in integral ecology,

We, Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia, in continuity with our previous commitments of 1991 and 2016, and in solidarity with those implementing the global Laudato Si Action Platform, commit ourselves to walk the seven year Laudato Si journey toward sustainability and integral ecology. We will discern an action plan for each year, according to our charism, mission, present reality, and the seven goals of the Laudato Si Action Platform. (4) We will strive to implement our plan in a spirit of collaboration and Gospel nonviolence.

  1. First four quotes are from the 1991 Reconciliation with the Earth commitment of the Sisters of St. Joseph
  2. Excerpted from the 2016 commitment to Ecological Integrity by the Sisters of St. Joseph
  3. Excerpted from the 2016 commitment to Ecological Integrity by the Sisters of St. Joseph
  4. For an explanation of the Laudato Si Action Platform, use this link:
Click on a title for more:

A Climate Change Metaphor, by Ma’ikwe Ludwig (video)

Laudato Si’ — download as a PDF or read online
Laudato Si’ – Care of Our Common Home – watch

Recommended reading

Members of the Sisters of St. Joseph Ecological Integrity Committee are:

Sister Judy Stephens, chair
Sister Christina Brodie
Sister Christine Carbotte
Sister Philonise Keithley
Sister Janet Lander
Sister Betty Maschka
Sister Kathy Schaefer
Sister Mary Fran Simons
Sister Carm Thibault

To learn more about ecological integrity, or to offer ideas, contact Sister Judy at 785-243-2149 or

To read the full Senate Ecological Enactment, CLICK HERE.