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Posts Tagged ‘JPIC’

Notre Dame Center sits on about 4.5 acres of land on Hendrix Avenue in Thousand Oaks and houses 32 Sisters of Notre Dame. In light of the worsening drought, several sisters were concerned that their 1.5 acres of landscaped space might be using too much water. So, with the help of California American Water and Blue Watchdog Conservation firm, they conducted a water survey on their property.

The survey revealed that there were, in fact, several simple fixes that could save the sisters water and money. First, the surveyors recommended installing two new Weather Based Irrigation Controllers (WBICs).  According to the survey, the WBICs “work by using specific information about the site, including weather patterns, plant types, soil type, slope, and irrigation system application rates to automatically adjust irrigation schedules.”

A Weather Based Irrigation Controller that can suspend irrigation in the event of rain.

A Weather Based Irrigation Controller that can suspend irrigation in the event of rain.

The surveyors also recommended that 84 sprinklers be replaced with more efficient ones that will save about 149,600 gallons of water per year. The sisters will also need to repair 12 leaky sprinkler heads and adjust 39 nozzles contributing to overspray.

Ripping out the existing lawn on the sisters’ property would be too costly, according to Sister Mary Karlynn Werth, house administrator at Notre Dame Center. However, she does plan to use drought-tolerant plants on all new landscaping projects including the area behind the convent, adjacent to La Reina High School.

Overspray on the sisters' property in Thousand Oaks.

Overspray on the sisters’ property in Thousand Oaks.

“Now’s the time,” Sister Mary Karlynn said of the changes, “Saving water is a personal responsibility and we have to keep encouraging each other to do better.”

Inside Notre Dame Center, saving water has always been important to the sisters, who make sure that loads of laundry and dishes are full before they start.

“We have cut our water usage by nearly half since June of last year,” said Sister Mary Anncarla Costello, provincial superior for the Sisters of Notre Dame in California, “This represents our very conscientious awareness of the seriousness of the situation and our responsibility to contribute to a solution. Each of the sisters is doing her part and those who oversee the daily operations of our property are also working toward conservation.”

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If you sign up for the Nun Run 5K, you will be the proud recipient of a Nun Run t-shirt, a savory pancake breakfast, great company and a goodie bag with impressive coupons; but did you know you’ll also be doing something good for the planet?

Since the sisters are very concerned with caring for the earth, all participants will get a Virtual Event Bag instead of a regular goodie bag. Instead of filling a goodie bag with paper coupons and booklets-  which costs a few trees – everything can be retrieved on your preferred electronic device. Isn’t that so cool? If you use your iPhone or iPad to retrieve your coupons, just take your device to the store to get your items. No printing of the coupons – it’s all paperless! This is awesome!!!

Many sisters are making gigantic steps in reducing their carbon footprints on this wondrous earth of ours. They do this by using fewer plastic water bottles, bringing reusable shopping bags to the store, taking shorter showers, washing full loads, recycling and reusing as much as possible.  What are you doing to make a small difference?  Do you have a household plan and appropriate containers for sorting your trash?  Do you know where to take old batteries, electronics, medicine, light bulbs and other hazardous waste?

As committed folks who want the best future for our children and grandchildren, we need to continually educate ourselves about better ways to use the resources and energies of the earth.  Go to your city’s website to be informed about their environmental programs and events.  You will learn much to share with your family, friends and neighbors. And don’t forget to sign up for the Nun Run!

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Gratefully,

Sister Betty Mae Bienlein
Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation Coordinator for the California Province

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Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation (JPIC) coordinators from each Sisters of Notre Dame US province met in California in June to share their achievements from the past year and set new goals for the future. JPIC initiatives cover a broad range of issues that the Sisters of Notre Dame are passionate about including global conservation and human trafficking.DSC_0896

Sister Mary Lea Paolucci from the Covington, Kentucky province reported that her community held a purse and shoe drive that raised $2,100 to install a water tank in Buseesa, Uganda.  Sister Mary Ann Baran from the Chardon, Ohio province discussed her involvement with the nonprofit Water for Life Institute, which “uses a combination of appropriate water technologies, water health education and basic research so that communities can identify and solve their water problems” according to their website. In addition, Sister Joyce Marie Bates filled the group in on her research into micro-financing projects in the US and abroad; and Sister Betty Mae Bienlein stressed the importance of educating other sisters about JPIC.

“Our big goal is to help our sisters understand that our whole vowed life is for Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation,” she said “We each have to live so that our Christian presence is a silent witness that shows people that there is hope. The world is not in a hopeless situation.”

This year all four provinces held Awakening the Dreamer symposiums for their communities. Awakening the Dreamer educates and motivates participants to do what they can now to curb climate change.  The sisters believe that every small act of respect for the earth and other people is important, and they chose Awakening the Dreamer to communicate that message to a larger group of people. Respect is a key concept in JPIC initiatives.

“Respect for the earth, for the animals, for people and for the whole cosmos is our ministry,” said Sister Betty Mae. She hopes that sisters and others will make an effort to stay aware of JPIC issues via daily news and that they will show hope and joy in the face of those challenges.

Photo from left to right:

Sister Mary Ann Baran (Chardon), Sister Mary Lea Paolucci (Covington), Sister Betty Mae Bienlein (California) and Sister Joyce Marie Bates (Toledo).

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Below is a prayer for World Refugee Day, provided by the Sisters of Saint Joseph of Orange. To read more about World Refugee Day and to find ways that you can help refugees around the world, go to http://www.un.org/en/events/refugeeday/.

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God of love, we bring our needs before you in prayer.

For all the children who are forced to abandon their families, livelihoods and all that they have in search for safety and a better future, we pray . . .

For our governmental leaders that they promptly find ways to address the magnitude and urgency of this humanitarian crisis, we pray . . .

For the release of the children as quickly as possible to their family members in the U.S. and/or to therapeutic placements, mentor homes, and foster homes rather than placing such children in large institutional settings, we pray . . .

For all the children that they may be provided access to humane living conditions, medical care, mental health and pastoral support without delay, we pray…

For the prayers we hold deep in our hearts, we pray . . .

Loving God, giver of peace, hear our prayers and also our silence. Give us strength. We make all our prayers through our brother Jesus. Amen.

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