November 2023

“This Good Work” is the Congregation’s bi-monthly e-newsletter to give witness to Precious Blood Spirituality through the lens of social justice, rooted in Gospel values and Catholic social teaching. In it we share real, legitimate information and ways Sisters are thinking about and living out many issues of peace, justice and ecology. This is curated by Peace, Justice and Ecology Coordinator Jen Morin-Williamson and features articles by Sisters.

Laudate Deum
Rocky Mountains
PBMR urban farm
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Laudate Deum — the “sequel” to Laudato Si

By Jen Morin-Williamson, Peace, Justice, and Ecology Coordinator

On October 4, the feast of St. Francis, Pope Francis delivered his follow-up to the encyclical Laudato Si, which was released eight years ago. He aptly titled it Laudate Deum, which translates to “Praise God.” In this new apostolic exhortation, Pope Francis unequivocally states that our response to Laudato Si has been insufficient and that human beings are undeniably impacting the climate. Pope Francis makes the shift from referring to “climate change” to recognizing it as a “climate crisis.” This change in terminology is significant, as it emphasizes the importance of acting now in significant ways to reduce humans’ impact on the earth. Read More

Climate crisis — and hope? — in Colorado

By Sister Benita Volk, CPPS

Sister Benita is a volunteer with EarthLinks, a nonprofit that addresses homelessness and poverty through Earth-centered programming.

Climate change is affecting every corner of our beautiful earth. Colorado, where I’ve lived since 1965, is certainly no exception. Having lived here for more than 50 years, I’ve had a front-row seat to the effects of climate change in the Rocky Mountain West. Though these effects are evident in many ways, I’ll focus on two of the most obvious: fire and water.

Because the winters have become considerably warmer than in the past, a pesky critter called the pine beetle has survived its larva stage and grown into a full-fledged pine-eating machine. Consequently, thousands of acres of pine trees have been killed. It’s heartbreaking to see miles and miles of hills that used to be covered with healthy, green pines, now filled with dead trees. These dead trees easily become kindling for fire that can start with anything from lightning to a spark from a passing vehicle. Once a fire starts, it is difficult to control because of the mountain terrain. These fires are now occurring almost year-round. Read More

Sowing seeds of life and love

By Holly O’Hara

Holly is communications coordinator and a restorative justice practitioner at the Precious Blood Ministry of Reconciliation in Chicago.

“When we heal the earth, we heal ourselves.” —David Orr

As we know, the climate crisis is impacting every corner of our world, but it’s important for us to see how the burden is being heavily placed on the poor. Here in the Back of the Yards — the Chicago neighborhood where the Precious Blood Ministry of Reconciliation is located — we feel its impact daily: heat waves, droughts, poor air quality from smoke and chemicals, skyrocketing food prices, unsafe drinking water, etc. A community that already struggles under health, financial and social injustices is being further buried by the impacts of climate change. Read More

Climate turmoil in “the Land of Eternal Spring”

By Sister Theresa Walter, CPPS

Sister Terry is co-director of Casa Sofia, our residence for university students in Guatemala City.

When I first came to Guatemala in 1994, the country was proudly called “the Land of Eternal Spring.” The rainy season, from May through October, was predictable, with afternoon or evening thundershowers and dry mornings. September sometimes had a hurricane or two that affected the coasts; but otherwise, predictable. The dry season was chilly in December, and the hottest month was typically April.

In 2020, there were two damaging hurricanes that affected Guatemala in November — Eta and Iota — two weeks apart. They caused extensive flooding in the eastern part of Guatemala. These days, the rainy season seems to be mostly fueled by hurricanes, and the normal weather patterns in Guatemala have almost disappeared. Read More

“Mycologists have more “FUN-gi”!

By Sister Marie Kopin, CPPS

Sister Marie is a life member of the North American Mycological Association and winner of two national awards.

As a longtime mycologist in the central Michigan area, being outdoors in nature is one of the great joys of my life. The fall colors here in Isabella County are just beautiful and astounding, which always brings me closer to God. While so many days are busy and full of “to-do” lists, every now and then I just have to take time off to stop and “merge” with this beautiful, Godly atmosphere.

It was so beautiful to go out the last three weeks. I had quite a number of folks go to several preserves with me to study mycology and many things that grow in the woods. The community of fellow nature lovers — and, of course, the mycelium of mushrooms — is another way I feel like I am part of God’s creation. Read More

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