Sr. Joan Brown’s Love of Creation

9 May 08 | Posted in Stewardship, U.S. Catholic

Joan Brown, OSF wrote an inspiring article for U.S. Catholic Magazine on the environment. It discussed the background and focus for her Ecology Ministry, and how love of creation has deep roots in our Catholic spiritual tradition. s-joan-brown.jpg

“One night when I was six years old, while walking outdoors before bed, I gazed at the sky and found myself wrapped in the vast mantle of stars, the Milky Way. Standing in awe, my body felt both small and large. In that instant I felt God.”

“The natural world has always taught us about God. Thirteenth-century mystic Meister Eckhardt said, ‘Creation is a revelation of God, a home for God, a temple for God.’ But with the growth of industrialization, technology, materialism, and consumerism, we have been lulled to sleep, forgetting who we are and our place on earth.”

“Our Catholic and Christian spiritual tradition–its saints, sacramentality, and practices–can help us to navigate this new challenge. In fact, the ecological crisis may very well lead us into a deeper relationship with God and help awaken us to the true meaning of life, which is loving all that exists.”

“Passionist Father Thomas Berry, the most influential Catholic eco-theologian, speaks of this time in history as a moment of grace, yet because of the urgency of this crisis, the transformation of our understanding of who we are must take place in a short period. Celebrating the wonders around us is part of our vocation to love and serve God and might very well be the path that can transform our lifestyles from consumerism to sustainability.”

Joan Brown directs efforts with the faith community through her work in Ecology Ministry. She is a Sister of the Rochester, Minnesota Franciscans; President of the Partnership for Earth Spirituality in Albuquerque, New Mexico; serves on the board of the National Catholic Rural Life Conference; Vice President of New Mexico Interfaith Power and Light (NMIPL) and chairs the NMIPL’s education committee.

Her work entails organizing, education, outreach, retreats and advocacy around water, climate change and sustainable living. Brown is the co-founder of Tierra Madre, a sustainable and self-help strawbale community for people of low income in Sunland Park, New Mexico.

Joan Brown, OSF is one of those people who makes you feel proud to be Catholic. Hers is a prophetic ministry for this century.

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