Sisters of St. Joseph in Pennsylvania host festive celebration for our Common Home

As we continue to get stories from the Victory Noll Sisters Small Grant program winners this year, and how they are using their awards, we share with you a recent update from a winner today!

The Sisters of St. Joseph in Baden, Pennsylvania, welcomed neighbors to their grounds along the Ohio River on Earth Day this Spring for a sunny day of celebration, education and appreciation of nature’s bounty. 

While musicians strummed tunes and food trucks fed the crowd, the Sisters distributed information about Laudato Si’, gave tours of their gardens, offered an introduction to beekeeping and acquainted the community with their chickens. 

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In keeping with the Earth Day theme, the Sisters of St. Joseph also invited local environmental activists to set up booths where they explained their efforts to protect Beaver County’s water, air and land from fracking, pollution and other forms of degradation. A geologist taught about the Earth’s inner crust, a nonprofit that works to address food insecurity sold seedlings and a community swap enabled neighbors to reduce waste by exchanging gently used clothing and household items. 

For the kids, a Girl Scouts troop offered lessons in crafting binoculars from recycled toilet paper rolls, name tags from tree bark and bird feeders from pine cones, while a local storyteller encouraged her young audience to help spin tales about nature and the Bible.  

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“As Sisters of St. Joseph, we believe in a ‘sacramental universe’ of wondrous diversity, a gift of God that requires our care and respect,” the community said in a recap of the day. “On Earth Day, we celebrate this gift and recommit to caring for our common home, together.”

The delightful day was made possible by 30 committed volunteers and a grant from the Victory Noll Sisters Small Grant through a program run by Catholic Climate Covenant.

“Because of (the program) more than 300 children and adults from our neighboring communities visited our Motherhouse grounds to deepen their understanding of and respect for the environment,” the Sisters of St. Joseph said, “to learn how to live more sustainably; and to become attuned to how all of creation lives and has its being in God.” 

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Among the other Victory Noll Sisters grant awardees are college campus ministries, parishes, elementary and high school creation care programs, charities agencies and state Catholic conferences. To view a full list of winners, click here.

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