Nine recommendations for sustainability from the International Union of Superiors General (UISG)

During Laudato Si’ Week 2023 – the week dedicated to Pope Francis’ encyclical letter Laudato Si’the Catholic Sisters of the International Union of Superiors General (UISG) launch a policy brief outlining nine recommendations to address the challenges of climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution, with a particular focus on vulnerable people. UISG is an umbrella organisation for the leaders of Catholic women’s congregations, bringing together 1,900 members who represent over 600,000 Sisters worldwide.

These recommendations emerged from April’s Sister-Led Dialogue on the Environment, the first in a series of dialogues organised by the UISG initiative Sisters Advocating Globally, supported by the Global Solidarity Fund. The gathering took place in Rome on the 17th of April 2023, with the participation of representatives from Vatican institutions, embassies to the Holy See, UN bodies, international organisations, civil society and academia.

Suor Maamalifar
Sister Maamalifar M. Poreku, Coordinator of UISG’s environmental campaign Sowing Hope for the Planet.

“In order to tackle the root causes of problems that are generated by human activity and by our systems of profit, we need to imagine a transition across all areas of our lives.

As Catholic Sisters, this is how we approach the implementation of outcomes from COP27 and COP15: as a holistic challenge to strengthen our care for Creation. We must encourage global leaders to think outside the box when it comes to financial commitments and lifestyle changes, and seek radical solutions to radical challenges.”

An alliance between peoples, governments and international organisations is essential to protect our common home and bring excluded voices into the centre of dialogue, moving away from waste and greed towards a regenerative economy, in balance with nature and human needs – adds Sister Patricia Murray, Executive Secretary at UISG. – The role of women religious has traditionally been limited to education, healthcare and community development. Yet there are many areas of advocacy for systemic change in which Catholic Sisters can play an active and leading role, particularly in relation to the environment. The potential for religious involvement must be fully harnessed. Time is running out, and humanity cannot afford to procrastinate any longer.”

Sister Patricia Murray, Executive Secretary at UISG
Sister Patricia Murray, Executive Secretary at UISG