November 17, 2017, Washington, D.C. – Four Adrian Dominican Sisters are among 162 Catholic leaders urging President Donald Trump and all Members of Congress to continue to help fund global efforts to address climate change.
Among the signatories of a letter initiated by the Catholic Climate Covenant are Sisters Patricia Siemen, OP, Prioress of the Adrian Dominican Congregation; Linda Bevilacqua, OP, President of Barry University in Miami Shores, Florida; Mary Margaret (Peg) Albert, OP, President of Siena Heights University in Adrian, Michigan; and Donna Markham, OP, President and CEO of Catholic Charities USA, and a former Prioress of the Adrian Dominican Sisters. Barry University and Siena Heights University are sponsored institutions of the Congregation, which is based in Adrian, Michigan.
“We call on our government leaders to ensure that the United States does its part to help support the UN’s efforts to address global climate change,” Sister Patricia said. “As the world’s largest historic carbon emitter, we have a special responsibility when it comes to helping reduce and counter the effects of carbon pollution.”
The letter, dated November 16, 2017, calls on President Trump’s Administration and members of Congress to:
In the letter, the Catholic leaders affirm the Church’s longstanding commitment to care for creation and our poor and vulnerable neighbors, and reiterate the U.S. Catholic bishops’ call to act upon the widely accepted understanding of climate change science.
“Women religious are keenly aware of the threat climate change poses to God’s creation, especially to those who are most vulnerable,” said Sister Teresa Maya, CCVI, President of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious. “We believe that we are called to live in right relationship with all of creation and we know that each of us has a responsibility to cooperate with God to protect our common home.”
Adrian Dominican Prioress Patricia Siemen affirmed that statement, noting, “As a Congregation ‘we are still in’ the Paris Agreement – taking steps to mitigate our own carbon footprint and to move towards a clean-energy future for the common good of people and planet.”
October 2, 2017, Miami Shores, Florida – In an unprecedented move, Barry University chartered a private plane to evacuate 72 students, faculty, staff, and family members from its Physician Assistant Program on the St. Croix Island.
The evacuees – which included a few family pets – landed in Miami on the evening of September 18 in advance of Hurricane Maria. Sister Linda Bevilacqua, OP, President of Barry University, and other administrators greeted the group on their arrival and put them up on Barry’s main campus in Miami Shores. Barry administrators made the decision, coordinated logistics, and received the students on campus in less than 24 hours. For details, read this article in The Miami Herald by Monique O. Madan.
Feature photo: Sister Linda Bevilacqua, OP, President of Barry University, greets 72 Hurricane Maria evacuees from the University’s Physician Assistant Program on St. Croix.