Reflection - Easter April 9, 2023


May Easter

open up for us

passageways through

our mourning,

our fears,

and our times of


At Easter

may we be amazed

by the gift God offers us

in Jesus, our brother,

who passed through death to bring us with him

into the garden of life!


May Easter’s song

within us

sound a hope


than any abyss!      


May Easter

lead us

to the springtime

of new beginnings!

Translation of text of Charles Singer – A. Hari

EASTER: a new vision

Within each person we find a hint of resurrection. When we look into the depths of each person, we are enriched by beauty, goodness and light, traces of the Divine that we find there.

Jesus is present, deep within each person, waiting to be recognized, but we often pass by without noticing. Held captive by our denials, our prejudices, our rejections, and all the walls we erect around us, we miss these important encounters.

We need to pray for the grace to see as Jesus sees. Jesus gazed on people with such intensity, such freshness, and such newness that no one ever forgot his life-giving gaze.

Today the Risen Christ needs our gaze of tenderness and mercy in order to touch those along our paths. As we explore the best in each person, we receive a spark of the light of the Risen One.

Translation of Text by Guy Gilbert

Reflection - International Women's Day March 8, 2023

A word of introduction to the celebration

On this March 8, women are preoccupied with many issues: violence, the struggle against poverty, environmental destruction, unsafe migration, etc.

March 8, International Women’s Day, offers us a great opportunity to pay tribute to the women who contribute to the vitality of the Church and society, who struggle to live and who “walk to transform”!

Reading: Luke 13:10-13

One Sabbath day Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues and a woman was there who, for eighteen years, had been possessed by a spirit that left her enfeebled; she was bent over and quite unable to stand upright. When Jesus saw her. he called her over and said, ”Woman, you are rid of your infirmity.” Jesus laid his hands on her and at once she straightened up and glorified God.


  • Who is this woman Jesus looked at in the synagogue? Examine the way Jesus related to her.
  • Who are the women who are bent over today?
  • What help can we offer them?

Universal Prayer (Two people can alternate it.)


We are all responsible for sowing happiness and ensuring that the Gospel is proclaimed to those around us. Following the example of various women quoted in the Gospel who became witnesses to the faith, let us pray for the Church and the world today.

Response: Lord, may your love surround us.


For women committed to living the Gospel and bearing witness to it, that they may find understanding and openness to entrusting them with responsibilities, we pray as we journey together.

Response: Lord, may your love surround us.

For women who live in situations of poverty, violence, or injustice, that they may find welcoming people to direct them to appropriate services, we pray as we journey together.

Response: Lord, may your love surround us.

For women who are not understood or appreciated, that they may discover a place that offers them solidarity and a sense of belonging, we pray as we journey together.

Response: Lord, may your love surround us.

That Pope Francis’ efforts to promote women to decision-making positions in the Church will give rise to tangible actions, we pray as we journey together.

Response: Lord, may your love surround us.

Final Prayer

Father, through your beloved Son, in whom you delight, help us to build a Church that enriches lives, a Church that listens and has the audacity to be open to what is new, a Church of which it will be said, “See how they love one another.” Amen.

Blessing and Sending Forth

May God’s face be turned towards us and may God’s blessing of joy fill the hearts of women who collaborate closely in bringing forth a Kingdom of justice and peace in the world.

From Women and Ministries
With the collaboration of Hélène Anctil, Roger Labbé, Hélène Lessard and Georgette Sirois

Reflection - September 12: Feast of the Holy Name of Mary

To love Mary, to honor her on this day, is to keep alive

the heritage Mother Marie-Rose bequeathed to our Congregation

whose motto is: Jesus and Mary, my strength and my glory.


Mary in the Life of Mother Marie-Rose

It was on her mother Geneviève’s lap that little Eulalie first voiced the names of Jesus and Mary. She was surprised that, like her, Jesus had a mother! From her earliest years as a student, the Sisters of the Congregation of Notre-Dame initiated her into meditation on the mysteries of the lives of Jesus and Mary, a practice which would significantly mark her entire life.

For Mother Marie-Rose, Mary was not someone intangible and distant. On the contrary, she was a loving maternal presence. Moreover, Mother Marie-Rose rarely separated the name of Mary from that of her Son Jesus; for her, they were bound together in a single love. At the age of 23, Eulalie consecrated herself to Mary, asking her for the grace to be “a good and fervent religious” and, based on an image she cherished, “a rose of pleasant fragrance for Jesus Christ”.

At the age of 38, sensing her approaching death, Mother Marie-Rose asked for Mary’s intercession in order to be “completely stripped of her ego”. She wanted to use the time remaining to her to bless and love Mary … and above all “to have Mary blessed, loved and served by the whole Community.” She prayed:

Mary, my good Mother, place within my miserable heart

the sacred fire of divine love which burns within your heart for Jesus and for us.

I ask this same grace for all my sisters. Amen!

Throughout her entire life, our Foundress placed her trust in Mary, relying on her in her apostolic action as well as in her hours of darkness and suffering. Mary was always her inspiration, her confidante and her source of hope.

Mother Marie-Rose’s spiritual experience shines through in her personal letters which end affectionately with an invitation to “meet one another in the hearts of Jesus and Mary”.

Simone Perras, s.n.j.m.

Prayer to Mary

Hail to you, Mary, whose name is celebrated by all generations.

Hear the cries and hopes of the women and men of our time.

Accompany those who groan as they await the coming of justice, peace and love.

Be our light in times of doubt and upheaval in our lives.

Inspire our daily choices.

With Jesus, lead us into the depths of our spiritual being.  Amen!

Reflection - Earth Day

Climate Change

The 1st Earth Day held on April 22nd, 1970

sought to raise awareness about our role

in protecting  nature and celebrating our environment.


SETTING: Put on a ritual table a globe or a picture of Earth & some symbol that reflects your ties with Earth.




  1. Consider more specifically issues in your immediate What are the challenges? What is being done? How can you contribute to these efforts … personally?… on a communal basis?
  2. How is COVID-19 affecting Earth? In what way is its rampage inviting us to ponder more deeply the Paschal Mystery? What learnings, as a human community, can we draw from this difficult situation?
  3. Read the end section on “things to do” and bring your own suggestions. What will you do?




READING: Gen 1: 9 – 12, 24 – 25

 And God said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear.” And it was so.  God called the dry ground “land,” and the gathered waters he called “seas.” And God saw that it was good. Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” And it was so. … And God saw that it was good. And God said, “Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: the livestock, the creatures that move along the ground, and the wild animals, each according to its kind.” And it was so. … And God saw that it was good.



God made human beings in the divine image and likeness.  Can we not recognize that sky, streams, soil and seasons all reflect the majesty of the Creator? Help us, O God, to respect and protect all of your creation, remembering that you created it and gave it to us for our “common home”. May we learn to be ever more good stewards of this Earth you have entrusted to us.  May we find ways to pay homage to our Earth by our actions. Let us say again the prayer for the 31st General chapter: “God of fire … enflame our hearts with love for all your creation: enkindle in us care for the cosmos and our Earth, …”.

Video Capsule – Vimeo of another prayer for Earth from Laudato Si’


  •  Re-read parts of Laudato Si’ and reflect on the meaning of ‘integral ecology”. Plan to do something during Laudato Si’ week, which is May 16-24.
  • Read up on the situation in the Amazon and the Pope’s plea for this region of our Earth..
  • Plant a garden. Plant wildflowers! Invite native bees to your garden.
  • Conserve water … avoid over-watering. Reduce dependency on bottled water and drinks.
  • Help clean up your community – pick up litter in a local park, along a roadway or in your neighborhood.
  • Plant a tree. Donate a tree to a non-profit. Ask your local government to plant more trees.
  • Cut back on plastic consumption! Learn how to reuse and re-purpose everyday household items.
  • Share rides. Go transit when possible.
This reflection was prepared by the SNJM Water-Ecology Committee on the occasion of the 50th anniversary in 2020.

Reflection - A Light against Trafficking - February 8, 2021


Luke 4:18-19

“The Spirit of our God is upon me: because the Most High has anointed me to bring good news to those who are poor. God has sent me to proclaim liberty to those who are held captive, recovery of sight to those who are blind, and release to those in prison — to proclaim the year of our God’s favour.”


A major driver of human trafficking is neoliberalism, the dominant economic model of our time. It relentlessly promotes the assumption that creating wealth for those businesses and individuals who are already well-off will “trickle down” to those in greatest need. Over and over again, this has proven to be false. The rich see immense gains in their wealth while those who are poor continue to struggle against ever-greater odds. Under this model, there are currently more people trafficked and in slavery than ever in history. And the profits derived from the victims of human trafficking are enormous, especially in the sectors of mining, agriculture, hospitality, manufacturing, construction, domestic work, prostitution, and organ transplants.

Pope Francis has implored us to “promote a new way of thinking about human beings, life, society and our relationship with nature”.* If we accept this invitation and open ourselves to living more simply and compassionately, and to challenging our economic and political leaders, our economic models may finally begin to eliminate the differences between privilege and poverty. If we choose not to accept this invitation, the liberation of the oppressed that Jesus calls for in Luke’s Gospel will be difficult, if not impossible, to be realized.

(*Laudato Si: On Care for Our Common Home, Pope Francis, #215, 2015.)


“Can You See Me?”

©2017 Sr Margaret Scharf OP. Used with Permission of ACRATH

Silent Reflection

What touched your heart

  • as you reflected on the sculpture of Bakhita rescuing the captives, or
  • listened to the Gospel passage and the reflection, or
  • absorbed the sentiments of the song?

What commitment can you make to help “proclaim liberty to those who are held captive”?

Gesture of Commitment

You are invited to light a candle as a sign of your commitment to see and help to free those who are oppressed through human tracking and slavery.

Closing Prayer

St. Josephine Bakhita, you were sold into slavery as a child and endured   untold hardship and suffering. Once liberated from your physical enslavement, you found true redemption in your encounter with Christ and his Church.

O St. Bakhita, assist all those who are trapped in a state of slavery; intercede with God on their behalf so that they will be released from their chains of captivity. Those whom people enslave, let God set free.

Provide comfort to survivors of slavery and let them look to you as an example of hope and faith. Help all survivors find healing from their wounds. We ask for your prayers and intercessions for those enslaved among us. Amen.

(Pope Francis, 2018)

Reflection on the Paschal Mystery

We enter the Easter season accompanied by witnesses who believed in the Risen Christ at the very centre of their lives. Sr. Jolanta Kafka, President of the UISG (International Union of Superiors General), suggests that Mary Magdalene is an especially inspiring witness for us at this time:

       Let us contemplate that morning scene…

Mary Magdalene moves courageously through the night, defying darkness and fear … she daringly runs to the tomb of Jesus… fear is overcome by love…

This intrepid woman, this tireless seeker, does not surrender to the reality of the facts because all the words of hope spoken by her Master resonate in her and now in solitude and silence they echo in her heart as an unbreakable promise.

I see Mary Magdalene as a symbol of our religious life: we are women who anticipate the dawn, facing the darkness that surrounds us today, the experiences of pain and death. Women who believe, who run with love and for love to let themselves be encountered and surprised by Him, who lives. Women who announce the Resurrection with their lives.

During this Easter season, may each of us live the Paschal Mystery in a spirit of hope, believing ever more fully that death can open up onto new life, that darkness can be turned into light.

Year after year, we relive this mystery and we hear this promise of new life and light. However, in the midst of the covid-19 pandemic, we may be hearing the message with new ears and a new heart. Each of us is called to interpret it in the light of our own personal life experiences.

As we reflect on this, may we encounter the Risen Jesus, who speaks to us while still bearing the marks of his passion. The suffering and fear associated with the pandemic can connect us to Jesus and to one another in ways we may have never experienced before. Together, in solidarity, through gestures, telephone conversations, and musical experiences, people throughout the world are inventing ways to lessen each other’s suffering.

Confident that Jesus precedes us, as he preceded the women on their way to Galilee, let us join in this movement and be signs of hope for all those we meet.

Prayer and Reflection Vigil against Trafficking

2018 Theme: Trafficking and Migration

February 8, 2018

Commemoration of St. Bakhita


Definition of the theme of trafficking: concept, history, statistics

“Modern slavery, in terms of human trafficking, forced labour and prostitution, organ trafficking […] is a crime against humanity” (Signed Declaration of Religious Leaders Against Modern Slavery, 2 December 2014).

There are tens of millions of people in the world who suffer from trafficking and most of them are women. In recent years, unfortunately, the percentage of children of both sexes who are victims of this scourge has also increased significantly. It is an ever-changing phenomenon and it is therefore difficult to establish its magnitude precisely. Trafficking overlaps and merges with clandestine immigration, with the employment of foreign workers in conditions similar to slavery, with women involved in the sex trade or subjected to marriages of convenience.

Trafficking in persons is among the three largest illegal markets and generates clandestine economies worth $150 billion a year (source: ILO, 2015). Human life is an object, traded and exploited for profit, for forced or humiliating labour in various sectors of the economy, for sexual exploitation or domestic slavery. Many are forced into marriage, or to join criminal organisations; they are mutilated, so organs can be extracted, and forced to beg.

Trafficking in persons can occur within a country’s territory, or at the international level, when it crosses national borders. In all countries, we can find victims of trafficking, for a specific country can be the origin, transit or destination for trafficked people. (From Talitha Kum’s website)

Definition of the specific theme 2018: trafficking and migration

The theme of the 2018 World Day of Prayer and Awareness against Trafficking highlights the human tragedy of trafficking in migrating persons: migrants, refugees and evacuees. We are called to open our eyes to this problem which touches so many men and women, our brothers and sisters.

Trafficking in persons and smuggling with migrants are two distinct realities that are always linked. The violence and exploitation suffered by migrants who move without a visa for the country to which they are going is often interpreted as trafficking in human beings. Their vulnerable state makes them easy prey for sex and labour trafficking. Refugees and migrants are subjected to longer working shifts than usual, on a meagre wage, in order to pay off the debt they owe. Over time, traffickers increase the amount of debt owed to them, and many migrants end up receiving threats and intimidation if they fail to pay. Many of them end up disappearing, becoming deadly victims of organ trafficking.

With globalisation, the flow of migrants has increased. Political movements in some countries act against this, thus reducing the entry of migrants. This increases the vulnerability of migrants, a human group with a high risk of becoming victim of trafficking in persons, both when they move from one country to another and when they are in the country where they have settled.

The 2018 International Day of Prayer and Awareness Against Trafficking invites us to accompany  with  prayer  and  our  efforts  the  commitment  of  the  United  Nations  in  its Meeting on Migration (Global Migration Compact), in which the heads of state and governors of all countries belonging to the United Nations give a special importance to the issue of migration and refugees within their political agendas. This issue is considered common and present for all states and human trafficking remains one of the main issues to be discussed.

Let us give this reality a significant centrality in our lives and in our hearts, opening ourselves to welcome, hope and encounter. Let us give light to freedom by fighting slavery.

Gospel of Luke –  Luke 10: 25-37

Parable of the Good Samaritan.

Who is my neighbour?

And behold, a lawyer stood up to put him to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?”

Jesus said to him, “What is written in the Law? How do you read it?” And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with allyour mind, and your neighbor as yourself.”  And Jesus said to him, “You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live.”

[…] But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion. He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him.  And the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take care of him, and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.’

Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?” He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” And Jesus said to him, “You go, and do likewise.”

 Elderly: waiting

Testimony:  a testimony telling of the sorrow and the hope of those who wait for their relatives to come back.

Letter from a mother

“Knowing what happened to my daughter, I felt my heart empty and my body freezing. But I prayed to God looking at my two grandchildren; that gave me strength to continue. It was not easy to stop crying. Every Thursday and Sunday I would light a candle asking God especially for my daughter’s sake.

Being away from my daughter, people would ask me about her; that affected me a lot. I lied saying that she was in poor health and therefore couldn’t talk to me … Even though I was dying inside!

After all this time of sorrow I knew that you gave refuge to her. I felt relieved because she is well and in a safe place. Now my wish is to see her again and be able to talk to her. I keep praying that she’s okay”.

Questions for reflection and silence

Put yourself in the shoes of the people of this testimony

If I were to see a similar situation, what would I do? What would be my reaction?

Does this testimony represent a reality of my country/city?

What is my prayer to God?


Sharing and/or Spontaneous Prayer


In the present day of our history, when migratory flows are increasing, we confirm our faith in the God of life, telling Him our concerns through prayer:

When we hear about boys, girls, men and women being deceived and taken to unknown places for sexual exploitation, forced labour and organ trade, our hearts feel indignation and our spirits suffer, because their dignity and rights are violated by threats, deceit and violence.

Oh God, help us fight against all forms of slavery. Together with Saint Bakhita we ask you to put an end to human trafficking.

Give us the wisdom and strength to be close to those who have been wounded in their body, heart and spirit, so that together we may reach the promise of life and tender and infinite love that you offer to our exploited brothers and sisters.

Touch the hearts of those responsible for this serious crime and support our commitment to work for freedom, the gift you desire for all your sons and daughters. Amen.


I have been told that I am dust
but I have never been told that I am STARDUST.
Is this only poetic language?

Let us look at this photo taken in 2014 by the Hubble Space Telescope which reveals nearly 3,000 distant galaxies and millions of stars hidden in a portion of the sky that seems blank and empty. We know that the beauty of the Universe is unfathomable.  The concept of 100 billion suns, each of them a star within one of the 100 billion galaxies is beyond our imagination.

Contemporary research awakens us to the discovery that we come from the stars.  We are stardust!  But how can we be so sure?

At the time of the Big Bang, some 13.8 billion years ago, hydrogen and helium were released; clouds of these gases condensed into the first stars and galaxies.  In their nuclear alchemy, the stars released heavy elements which became the elements of life. That is what made our own existence possible.  Amazing!  In fact, we were born from the stars.  Our life, so precious and so fragile, originated from the stars!

We are stardust, miniature universes gifted with the mysterious faculty we call consciousness.   As we look at the soil beneath our feet, let us be aware that we stand on the blue planet, next to a yellow star we call Sun.  Let us contemplate the Milky Way in this vast cosmic space containing billions of galaxies.  We can say with Hubert Reeves and other scientists: “This is home.” Or to quote Pope Francis in Laudato ‘Si, this is “our common home”.

It is amazing to reread the Abrahamic text in light of the immensity of the Universe:

“God took Abraham outside and said: “Look up to the sky and count the stars if you can.  Such will be your descendants.” And   Abraham chose to trust in God.  (Genesis 15: 5).

With even more incredible amazement, David wrote Psalm 8:

“O Lord, our Sovereign, how majestic is your name in all the earth! When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and stars that you have established, what are human beings that you are mindful of them, mortals that you care for them?  You have made them a little lower than God, and crowned them with glory and honor.  You have given them dominion over the works of your hands.

Psalm 8, NRSV (inclusive language)

Wonder of wonders!  Without the stars, the Universe would be deprived of life, deprived of consciousness.  Are we aware of this? The minerals and other elements that constitute the life of animals and flowers were born from the stars. The nuclei of atoms which constitute human beings were engendered in the interior of collapsing stars some billion years ago.  The calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, nitrogen in our DNA all come from stars.  Amazing discovery!

We inhale today the same atoms of oxygen as did Julius Caesar, Einstein, Mary, Mohammed, Gandhi, Jesus, etc.  Contemporary scientists inform us that the matter of which we are made came from other galaxies.  Could we not consider ourselves as space travellers or extragalactic immigrants?

Where is God in all this? asks Hubert Reeves

“The need to give meaning to life and to all reality is a distinctive characteristic of humanity.”

Each one of us brings an answer.  Some scientists have doubts. Others are filled with awe. Some develop a spirituality of enquiry! With our limited human spirit, will we ever understand the immensity of the Universe?  There will always be a part of mystery!

For Einstein, “The finest sentiment in the world is the sense of mystery.   I feel my strongest emotion before the mystery of life.”

Let us take a moment to contemplate this great mystery!  (a few seconds)

One with those who have come before us, we ponder…

We are stardust:  such is the astonishing message of contemporary astronomy.  Thousands of researchers have participated and continue to participate in this discovery.  We give thanks for them!

We pay tribute to the brilliant team members who construct telescopes and observation instruments for NASA in their workshops or laboratories.  They contribute to our discovery of the vastness of the Universe.  We give thanks for them!

We pay tribute to our ancestors, who also came from the stars.  The genes and the spirit of our ancestors were transmitted to us by our parents. Their spirit is always alive in our cells.  Their genetic makeup is perpetuated in our bodies for all future generations.  We give thanks for them!

We pay tribute to researchers and environmental groups for their efforts. Their work increases our awareness of the devastating impact of the destruction of Earth and of the effects of climate change.  We give thanks for them!

We are also informed by the Buddhist tradition (Thich Nhat Hanh):

True change will take place only when we will fall in love with our planet.  For only love can show us how to live in harmony with nature and with one another.  We give thanks for them!

Let us take a moment of silence

God is the friend of silence.  Trees, flowers, grass all grow in silence.

Look at the stars, the moon and the sun.  See how they move so silently. (Mother Teresa of Calcutta)

Music :

(Photos from  the Hubble Space Telescope)


Close your eyes. Concentrate on your body.

Repeat silently:  I exist.

Open your eyes.

Look at the world around you.

Say to yourself: “I am stardust.”

“the world is stardust.”

Have we not been observing one of the most outstanding achievements ever realized?

A large number of galactic, planetary, stellar events of the past 14 billion years have brought us to this point of awareness. We cannot let the earth die!  It is imperative that we humanise humanity.

Let us stand with Teilhard de Chardin, theologian Elia Delio and many others, who firmly believe that love is at the heart of the evolution of the world:

“In the depths of our DNA we belong to the stars, the trees and the galaxies…  Deep within we long for unity because, at the most fundamental level, we are already one. We belong to one another because we have the same source of love; the love that flows through the trees is the same love that flows through our beings…  We are deeply connected in this flow of love, which is the foundation of the universe.” (Elia Delio, Franciscan and theologian)

Let us go forth and let love transform us.

Youtube: Ingrid Lefort and students

References for this reflection on “Stardust”

•Google : Poussières d’étoiles

•Poussières d’étoiles, Hubert Reeves, 1984

•Laudato’Si, Encyclical Letter on Care for our Common Home, Pope Francis, 2015

•Le banc du temps qui passe, méditation cosmique, Hubert Reeves, Seuil, 2017

•La terre comme soi-même. Repères pour une écospiritualité, Michel Maxime Egger, 2012

• Priez 15 jours avec Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, André Dupleix, nouvelle cité, 1994

– The Occasional Papers, Interview with Cynthia Bourgeault, Shaping the Planet with Transformed Love, Winter 2017

– Ilia Delio: “On Consciousness and Christogenesis: Teilhard’s Two Energies”


Pierrette Daviau,  fdls et Lise Gagnon, snjm

English Translation: Lorraine St-Hilaire snjm

Spanish Translation: Eduardo Borrell


Integral Ecology

Text for reflection and sharing when preparing 2017-2018 budgetary projections


In September 2015 at the United Nations, 193 countries signed on to 17 Sustainable Development Goals to be reached by 2030.  It is critical that these goals be met for, as Pope Francis stated in his encyclical Laudato Si’, “Doomsday predictions can no longer be met with irony or disdain.” (161).  The 17 goals take into account not only our planet with its worsening climate in which destructive human activity has played a significant role, but the fate of all life on Earth. The goals call for prosperity, partnership and peace for all peoples. No one is to be left behind.  Scientists, including social scientists, agree that an integrated approach to a solution, a solution that takes into account every aspect of the global crisis, an integral ecology, must be promoted.

Pope Francis in his encyclical Laudato Si’ echoes this new paradigm of an integral ecology for just action. However, the brand of integral ecology promoted by Pope Francis, while confirming him as an ally of environmentalists in combating the earth’s exploitation, calls for an exaltation of the Creator God and a defense of the dignity of the human person.

“Today, however, we have to realize that a true ecological approach always becomes a social approach; it must integrate questions of justice in debates on the environment, so as to hear both the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor.”(49)

“Everything is related, and we human beings are united as brothers and sisters on a wonderful pilgrimage, woven together by the love God has for each of his creatures and which also unites us in fond affection with brother sun, sister moon, brother river and mother Earth.” (92)

Pope Francis also reminds us:

“Saint Therese of Lisieux invites us to practise the little way of love, not to miss out on a kind word, a smile or any small gesture which sows peace and friendship.  An integral ecology is also made up of simple daily gestures which break with the logic of violence, exploitation and selfishness.” (230)

The Acts of the Thirty-fourth General Chapter give many concrete examples of ways to promote integral ecology in our daily lives, for instance on the subject of clean water (page 10). They also encourage us to commit ourselves“… to reduce our level of consumption; to advocate and to act for an end to the dehumanization of human beings and communities; and to work toward a more equitable distribution of resources and the greater sustainability of Earth, our common home.” (page 5).

Questions for reflection and possible sharing:

  1. What speaks to me in this text? What calls do I hear?
  2. Concretely, in our lives, how will we demonstrate commitment to bringing about this new world order?
  3. In preparing our budgets, what action can we choose in order to lessen our consumption of the world’s goods?

“I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse.  Choose life” (Deut. 30:19)

Websites on integral ecology:


Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi           

(Laudato Si’, No. 87)

“Praised be you, my Lord, with all your creatures,
especially Sir Brother Sun,
who is the day and through whom you give us light.

And he is beautiful and radiant with great splendour;
and bears a likeness of you, Most High.

Praised be you, my Lord, through Sister Moon and the stars;
in heaven you formed them clear and precious and beautiful.

Praised be you, my Lord, through Brother Wind,
and through the air, cloudy and serene, and every kind of weather
through whom you give sustenance to your creatures.

Praised be you, my Lord, through Sister Water,
who is very useful and humble and precious and chaste.

Praised be you, my Lord, through Brother Fire,
through whom you light the night,
and he is beautiful and playful and robust and strong”.

Reflection prepared by Dorothy Guha, SNJM Associate