September 2022


Bi-monthly e-newsletter giving witness to our Precious Blood Spirituality,
grounded in Catholic Social Teaching and Gospel values

at the well in Ghana
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Michigan lake
at the water tank
California drought
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Clean Water for Life

By Jen Morin-Williamson
Peace, Justice and Ecology Coordinator

This summer, I was in Italy and Switzerland during the record-setting heat and drought. In Rome, it didn’t rain for more than 50 days, with temperatures soaring into the high 90s. One day, I noticed many people stopping to take a picture of a pharmacy sign. That seemed quite unusual, so I investigated. They were taking pictures of the temperature flashing on the screen. It was 42 degrees Celsius. That is more than 107 degrees Fahrenheit! Read More


Kenya and Ghana

By Sister Mumbi Kigutha, CPPS
The sight of women and girls trekking long distances to fetch water for their households is a common sight in many parts of rural Kenya. In urban areas, water bowsers, hand-drawn carts filled with 25-liter water containers pulled by young men, are also a common sight. Bucket baths are the norm for many Kenyans since water is a scarce and also expensive commodity for the majority of the population.

Pauline Siesegh, an aspiring Sister, talked with me about how people in her native country of Ghana respond to climate change. I asked about water, and she said it was all about trees. They also are experiencing extreme heat and drought in Ghana. Crops are dying. That means less food for the family and little to no income for any but the basic necessities. So trees are cut down to cook food, sterilize water and heat homes. There are many incentives to plant trees, and even punishment for not planting trees. Read More


Chile

By Sister Noemí Flores, CPPS, and Sister Rita Manríquez, CPPS
Thanks be to God, during this past winter we have received rain, although with much cold — but nothing compared to the drought of the past 13 years. During 2021, there was a horrendous drought which affected biodiversity and the welfare of thousands of animals. About 50,000 animals were affected by the lack of rain. As for the human population, more than 6 million were affected — 38% of the population. Because of the drought, 72% of the land was affected by not having enough harvests. That is why we are so grateful for the rain, even though it is less than usual. The hope is that the melting snow and the rain will be sufficient for the coming summer. Read More


Michigan, USA

By Sister Marie Kopin, CPPS
Michigan has been known for some time as the “Water Wonderland.” Without water, we have no life. Yet, many waters have become polluted and unclean from various human actions. There have been “invasives” and commercially produced toxins. Our task now is to keep our Michigan and world “Water Wonderlands” free from pollution. Even the purest of our lakes are becoming tainted, so we have more and more organizations educating us to prevent and remove pollution. No more do we want strange and even “evil” additions to our waters!

The same goes for our spirituality! As we grow throughout our lives, we are called to stay “purified,” and yet, on occasion we need to deal with various forms of “pollution.” But God gives me lots of ways to grow free of pollution and gives me ways to “clean up,” if only I thank God and praise God for these challenges! And when I ask for them, even more gifts of “cleanups” begin to happen. And guess what? Many of those gifts are surprises that only God can create! Read More


Guatemala

By Sister Joyce Kahle, CPPS
Water has been a part of our spiritual journey as Christians from before we were born and all throughout our journey of faith. We also know the importance of keeping our bodies hydrated and how essential water is for physical life. Here in Guatemala, water is often scarce. In many rural areas, women and children sometimes walk for a mile or more up and down hills every day with jugs and basins to get water from a stream or other source and bring it home for their families. Here in Guatemala City, in the area where we live now, water arrives during the night most nights, and we are fortunate to have a large cistern to hold it and an electric pump to bring it up to our second-floor showers. We use clay eco-filters to purify the water for drinking.

Many people don’t have cisterns and pumps, so they store as much water as they can in barrels or in the pila where they wash their clothes, and they boil their water to drink or buy bottled water. Climate change has brought drought to many areas, with not enough rain to grow crops. Sometimes too much rain washes away the homes of the poor on the hillsides, often causing families to die in the landslides. Read More


California, USA

By Sister Terry Maher, CPPS
California is no stranger to drought conditions. I remember back in the mid ’70s commentators were asking people to do what they could to save water. It was my first time ever having to think about water and how to conserve it. How much did I take it for granted? It was an eye opener.

Like many of us, I learned to “watch” my use of water while doing dishes, brushing my teeth, doing laundry, showering — and all those everyday tasks in which I used water. It has stayed with me since. Read More




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