Congregational buildings go green

3-photos_congregational-buildings-go-greenLeft, workers drill eight holes 150 feet into the ground in the first step of the geothermal installation; middle, pipes are installed and connected to new equipment in the building; right, solar panels were installed on the roof, on the front and back of the CPPS Administrative Offices (back of building shown here).

Our office is all abuzz today with excitement, and many of our Sisters are out on the patio at Salem Heights gazing at the sky. All are sporting their fashionable solar eclipse glasses. The first total solar eclipse since 1979 certainly has the attention of millions from coast to coast. Seems to be an apropos setting in which to write an article on “green energy”!

Global warming, like this solar eclipse, is certainly on people’s minds. From Pope Francis, who clearly understands the implications of not taking steps to reduce our “carbon footprint,” to those who would believe this to be a hoax, thus doing everything in their power to prove their point, global warming is a hot topic! No pun intended!

We Sisters of the Precious Blood at our 2015 General Assembly heard the cry of our fragile planet when we adopted the following statement as one of our Emergent Future Directives: “As religious women formed in and informed by the Spirituality of the Precious Blood we will . . . Act responsibly in the use and care of our planet’s resources.”

During this past year in response to this directive, the Leadership Team of the Congregation began the conversation and research that led to the adoption of “green energy” for two of our buildings. The administrative office building, known officially as the “CAO” and affectionately called the “White House,” is now equipped with geothermal energy that is using the Earth’s constant temperature of 65 degrees to cool my office, while panels on the roof are collecting the sun’s energy to power the computer on which I am creating this article. Our “Orchard House,” which provides housing for four Sisters and office space for the novice director, has also been equipped with solar panels.

With the United States leading the way as the world’s top “carbon polluter,” we are rapidly surpassing dangerous benchmarks that move us toward the point of no return. A point that will no doubt leave a very dismal legacy for future generations. This planet has been entrusted to us by a loving and gracious God. The greatest gift we can offer in return is to protect this gift for those who come after us. This problem will not solve itself! It takes all of us to make a difference! If not now, when? If not us, who?

– Story by Sister Patty Kremer, photos by Michelle Bodine

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