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1 September 2019

Statement by Canada’s Catholic Sisters Regarding the Climate Emergency

On this World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, leaders of Canada’s 64 Congregations of Catholic Sisters are calling on the country’s politicians to respond to the climate emergency declared by Parliament by taking concrete steps to avert it.

As Women Religious, caring for all of God’s Creation is an essential part of our faith. The drastic changes to our climate brought on by the release of greenhouse gases pose the greatest threat to all living beings. Yet, not enough is being done to address it. In Laudato Si’, Pope Francis points out that “reducing greenhouse gases requires honesty, courage and responsibility, above all on the part of those countries which are more powerful and pollute the most.” (169)

For our part, we have taken robust action to combat the destruction of our planet and to care for our common home. Many of our Congregations have taken steps to:

  • Divest from fossil fuel portfolios to clean and renewable energy projects.
  • Eliminate single-use plastics.
  • Retrofit residential buildings, including solar, bio-thermal and renewable natural gas installations.
  • Commit to the Blue Communities project which entails treating water as a sacred resource and shared commons.
  • Plant trees in Canada and in the countries where our Missions exist.
  • Compost, reduce and recycle.
  • Partner and provide support to community groups and movements committed to address the climate emergency.

We urge all politicians running in the upcoming federal election to acknowledge the climate emergency and to implement an immediate multilevel policy strategy for a just transition to ecologically sustainable living.

The actions to address the climate emergency should be concrete, justice-based and stripped of partisan politics. We invite political leaders to join us in caring for our common home by:

  • Keeping fossil fuels in the ground and ending subsidies to fossil fuel and plastic producers.
  • Redirecting investments and rapidly expanding the renewable energy economy, including investment in retraining for workers affected by job loss in fossil fuel production.
  • Continuing to hold companies to account by putting a cost against the greenhouse gas pollution they produce.
  • Coordinating an intensive and sustained public awareness effort to change attitudes and behaviours.
  • Implementing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) and developing climate emergency policies in line with the Indigenous knowledge and teachings.

We are facing an urgent and potentially irreversible threat to Earth. With so many others on the planet, we hope that politicians will show commitment, leadership and collective wisdom in the movement to protect our planet from destruction. This is the only way forward together.


  1. Antoniennes de Marie, Chicoutimi, Québec
  2. Congrégation de Notre-Dame, Montréal, Québec
  3. Dominicaines Missionnaires Adoratrices, Québec, Québec
  4. Filles de la Providence, St-Constant, Québec
  5. Filles de Marie-de-L’Assomption, Campbellton, Nouveau Brunswick
  6. Grey Sisters of the Immaculate Conception, Pembroke, Ontario
  7. Institut Notre-Dame du Bon-Conseil de Montréal, Montréal, Québec
  8. Les Dominicaines de la Trinité, Shawinigan, Québec
  9. Les Missionnaires du Christ-Roi, Montréal, Québec
  10. Les Sœurs de la Providence, Montréal, Québec
  11. Missionnaires Notre-Dame des Anges, Sherbrooke, Québec
  12. Missionnaires de l’Immaculée Conception, Montréal, Québec
  13. Missionnaires Oblates du Sacré-Cœur et de Marie-Immaculée, Winnipeg, Manitoba
  14. Notre-Dame du Sacré-Cœur, Dieppe, New Brunswick
  15. Oblates de Béthanie, Québec, Québec
  16. Oblates Franciscaines de St-Joseph, Montréal, Québec
  17. Our Lady’s Missionaries, Toronto, Ontario
  18. Petites Filles de Saint-François, Montréal, Québec
  19. Petites Filles de Saint-Joseph, Montréal, Québec
  20. Petites Franciscaines de Marie, Baie-St-Paul, Québec
  21. Petites Sœurs de la Sainte-Famille, Sherbrooke, Québec
  22. Religieuses Hospitalières de St-Joseph, Montréal, Québec
  23. Servantes du Saint Cœur de Marie, Montréal, Québec
  24. Servantes du Très Saint-Sacrement, Sherbrooke, Québec
  25. Sisters of Charity of Saint Vincent de Paul, Halifax, Nova Scotia
  26. Sisters of Charity of the Immaculate Conception, Saint John, New Brunswick
  27. Sisters of Mercy of Newfoundland, St John’s, Newfoundland
  28. Sisters of Mission Service, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
  29. Sisters of Providence of Saint Vincent de Paul, Kingston, Ontario
  30. Sisters of Saint Joseph in Canada, Hamilton, London, Pembroke, Peterborough, Ontario
  31. Sisters of Saint Joseph of Sault Ste Marie, North Bay, Ontario
  32. Sisters of Saint Joseph of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario
  33. Sisters of Saint Martha of Antigonish, Antigonish, Nova Scotia
  34. Sisters of Saint Martha of Prince Edward Island, Charlottetown, Prince Edward, Island
  35. Sisters of Social Service, Toronto, Ontario
  36. Sœurs Augustines de la Miséricorde de Jésus, Québec, Québec
  37. Sœurs de Charité de Saint-Louis, Montréal, Québec
  38. Sœurs de Charité de St-Hyacinthe, Saint-Hyacinthe, Québec
  39. Sœurs de l’Assomption de la Sainte-Vierge, Québec, Québec
  40. Sœurs de l’Institut Jeanne d’Arc, Ottawa, Ontario
  41. Sœurs de la Charité d’Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario
  42. Sœurs de la Charité de Montréal (Sœurs Grises) Montréal, Québec
  43. Sœurs de la Charité de Québec, Québec, Québec
  44. Sœurs de la Providence, Montréal, Québec
  45. Sœurs de l’Assomption de la Sainte Vierge, Nicolet, Québec
  46. Sœurs de Miséricorde, Montréal, Québec
  47. Sœurs de Notre-Dame Auxiliatrice, Rouyn-Noranda, Québec
  48. Sœurs de Notre-Dame du Bon Conseil, Chicoutimi, Québec
  49. Sœurs de Notre-Dame du Sacré-Cœur, Dieppe, Nouveau Brunswick
  50. Sœurs de Notre-Dame-du-Perpétuel-Secours, St-Damien-de-Bellechasse, Québec
  51. Sœurs de Sainte-Anne, Lachine, Québec
  52. Sœurs de Sainte-Croix, St-Laurent, Québec
  53. Sœurs de Sainte-Jeanne d’Arc, Québec, Québec
  54. Sœurs de Sainte-Marthe de Saint-Hyacinthe, Saint-Hyacinthe, Québec
  55. Sœurs de Saint-François d’Assise, Québec, Québec
  56. Sœurs de Saint-Joseph de Saint-Hyacinthe, Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec
  57. Sœurs de St-Joseph de St-Vallier, Québec, Québec
  58. Sœurs des Saints Noms de Jésus et de Marie, Longueuil, Québec
  59. Sœurs du Bon-Pasteur de Québec, Québec, Québec
  60. Sœurs Notre-Dame du St-Rosaire, Rimouski, Québec
  61. Sœurs Servantes de Notre-Dame Reine du Clergé, Lac-au-Saumon, Québec
  62. Ursuline Sisters of Chatham, Chatham, Ontario
  63. Ursuline Sisters of Prelate, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
  64. Ursulines, Québec, Québec


UISG (International Union of Superiors General) is a worldwide organization of Superiors General of Institutes of Catholic Women Religious. It encourages dialogue and collaboration among Religious Congregations within the Church and larger society. This statement is a collaboration of all 65 Canadian members of the UISG.

For more information:

Sister Margo Ritchie Congregational Leader
Sisters of St. Joseph in Canada
(519) 432-3781

Lisa Tabachnick
Director of Communications
Sisters of St. Joseph of Toronto
(416) 467-2630

Download the statement

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay