From coast to coast, Catholics are celebrating the lives and contributions of our women religious this week. National Catholic Sisters Week, which is taking place from March 8-14, honors women religious through a series of events that instruct, enlighten, and bring greater focus to the lives of these incredible women. It’s a chance to recognize women religious and all they have done for us. It also represents the hope that as more young women learn about women religious, more will choose to follow their example.
While recognizing the good work of all Catholic sisters, CRL wants to take this opportunity to celebrate the unique contributions of our women religious living on the land. Catholic religious communities have historically created new patterns of leading moral and sustainable lives. Even today, many religious communities are developing sustainable ways of living and forming innovative relationships with Creation, and women religious are very much at the forefront of these initiatives.
We highlight just a few of the real world examples of “gentle abidance” on the land as exemplified by rural convents that live lightly and contemplate the good earth:
- The Benedictine Sisters of Sacred Heart Monastery in North Dakota raise llamas and harvest their wool.
- The Monastery of Christ in the Desert, New Mexico, is making use of straw-bale construction and solar energy.
- The Dominican Sisters of Great Bend, Kansas, operate Heartland Farm and offer Heartland Ministries to their rural area.
- The Sisters of St. Francis Oldenburg, Indiana, operate Michaela Farm in the spirit of sustainable agriculture.
- The Franciscan Spirituality Center Prairiewoods, Iowa, offers education and contemplative space.
- And the Sisters of St. Francis of Tiffin, Ohio, who we featured in our Summer 2015 magazine, run an earth literacy center that offers educational opportunities to promote sustainable agriculture and the stewardship of creation.