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DSI Ecological Conference

Message to the Dominican Family

A message to the Dominican Family from the International Gathering of Dominican Sisters International meeting (DSI) at Genesis Farm, June 8 -20th, 2006.

At the invitation of DSI, ten members of the Dominican Family from the bioregions of Asia and the Pacific, Europe, the Caribbean, South Africa and North America, gathered at Genesis Farm from June 8-20th to study and reflect on the question:

What is Earth asking of the Order?

They were joined by forty-eight additional members of the Order from North America for the weekend of June 16-18th, at St. Paul’s Abbey to further the study and exploration of the same question.

The international representatives from each of these bio-regions shared moving and poignant stories of the ecological destruction taking place in their part of the world that is affecting the people and the land. They did this through the lens of a New Cosmology based on the story of the unfolding Universe. A result of listening to these experiences was a recognition that the major spiritual and ecological crisis afflicting the planet in every part of the world is rooted in a perception that humans are separate from and dominant over all of creation.

Recognizing that the Dominican family is embedded in various cultures and pluralistic societies we urge the Dominican family and ourselves to:

explore the contemporary scientific understanding of the origin and evolution of the Universe, Earth, life and human consciousness and develop the skills to communicate it effectively so we can be effective preachers

invite the theologians of the Dominican Family to explore and reflect on the origins and evolution of human consciousness

recognize our dependency on corporate, industrial food systems and when possible to withdraw from these systems and to foster sustainable agriculture and healthy eating habits

examine in depth our dependency on fossil fuel

become aware of the role corporations play in the devastation of the planet in all parts of the world

act to support Fair Trade products

recognize the critical need to preserve land for future generations of Earth community and examine seriously a tendency to sell properties that we have held in common because of the diminishment of our resources and the aging of our memberships in some parts of the world

recommit ourselves to our contemplative stance and living simply, so that all species may have a home

We stand in awe before the Mystery and beauty of existence. We believe this is a graced moment and that we have the capacity to transform ourselves and our cultures. These possibilities open us to a future of hope.

International Participants:

Judith Robinson, OP (New Zealand)
AnnBraudis, OP (Philippines)

Nobulali Bulurelo, OP (Germany)
Aloysia Zellman, OP (South Africa)

North America:
Sharon Zayac, OP (USA)
Jane Abell, OP (USA)

Conference Team:
Margaret Galiardi, OP (Amityville)
Linda Gibler, OP (Houston)
Chris Loughlin, OP (Kentucky)
Miriam MacGillis, OP (Caldwell)
Patricia Siemen, OP (Adrian)
Monika Huppi, OP (Switzerland)
Hanna Remke, OP (Germany)

Latin American/Caribbean:
Diane Jagdeo, OP (Trinidad)
Therese Antoine, OP (Trinidad)

Dominican Sisters International:
Margaret Ormond, OP

International Commission on Justice and Peace:
Prakash Lohale, OP (India)

and 44 US Dominicans who attended the June 16-18 weekend.

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