Thursday, May 19, 2016

Call to Faith Communities to Advocate for Climate Change Action Now

"The environmental challenge that we are experiencing, and its human causes, affects us all and demands our response."  
- Pope Francis, February 2016, Mexico

Dear Friends,

WATERSPIRIT is a center committed to informing, inspiring and enabling people to deepen their consciousness of the sacredness and interdependence of all creation. At this time of climate crisis on our common home, we are urging all communities of faith to act now and to advocate for the Care of Creation.

We are sure that it is no surprise to you that Pope Francis, in his encyclical “Laudato Si' - On Care For Our Common Home”, calls for a “bold cultural revolution” to confront the environmental crisis Earth is currently facing. We are inviting you to heed the Pope’s call by supporting, and, if possible, joining in the March for a Clean Energy Revolution (CER) this July in Philadelphia, PA.

Sunday, July 24, on the eve of the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, thousands will march and present climate action demands directly to our current and future national leaders. Integral to the CER and the global movement for climate action is the voice and advocacy from the faith community. 
An authentic faith which is never comfortable or completely personal always involves a deep desire to change the world, to transmit values, to leave this earth somehow better than we found it. We love this magnificent planet on which God has put us, and we love the human family which dwells here, with all its tragedies and struggles, its hopes and aspirations, its strengths and weaknesses. The earth is our common home and all of us are brothers and sisters.” - Pope Francis

Leaders from different faith communities have collaborated and created a “A Call to Communities of Faith and Spirit” statement for the CER with an opportunity for faith communities to sign on to the statement online. We invite you to review the faith statement and to consider signing on for the community you are representing, or for yourself individually. Here is the link to the faith statement on the CER website: Link to Faith Statement (Please feel free to share and forward the CER Faith Statement and information).

The future of humanity does not lie solely in the hands of great leaders, the great powers and the elites. It is fundamentally in the hands of people and in their ability to organize. It is in their hands, which can guide with humility and conviction this process of change.” - Pope Francis

Climate Change is a moral, ethical and justice issue. Climate change action is a matter of justice. Justice for poor people who will be most severely impacted by changing weather and rising seas and who have the least capacity to adapt. Justice for future generations who will inherit an unstable climate and potentially catastrophic rises in sea level, migration of tropical diseases, and disrupted agricultural production. Justice for all of creation that is threatened by climate change. 
Together we can magnify the moral and ethical call for climate action by advocating for the implementation of renewable energy solutions now. As said by Mark Jacobson of Stanford University, a leader in the transition to renewable energy, “The main barriers to getting to 100 percent clean energy are social and political, not technical or economic.” We urge you to support the CER and the Faith Contingent of the March for Clean Energy Revolution. 
Thank you for your consideration of this important action on behalf of all life and the safety of our planet, “Our Common Home”. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at WATERSPIRIT 732-923-9788 or For more information on the CER go to:
In Peace,
Sr. Suzanne Golas, csjp

"We can no longer remain silent before one of the greatest environmental crisis in world history."
- Pope Francis, February 2016, Mexico

Friday, July 31, 2015

          “Care for Our Common Home”

Standing on the steps of the Trenton State House, surrounded by people waving posters, I had just
finished speaking at a press conference announcing the formation of a new coalition, The NJ Clean Energy Coalition. I had been asked to speak about the connection between this event and Pope Francis’
encyclical, “Laudato Si – Care for Our Common Home”. Standing there, I saw this excited young woman coming toward me. “Look, look,” she said with enthusiasm and a great smile, “I have a Pope poster!” She showed me her homemade poster which read, “Listen to the Pope. Stop fossil fuels.” Scanning the crowd, I noticed a sprinkling of other “Pope posters.”

The NJ Clean Energy Coalition, composed of a growing group of thirty-six environmental, labor,
religious, community and citizen groups, is advocating for a movement toward clean, safe energy.

The Coalition is calling for a 30% increase in energy efficiency and 100% carbon free electricity production by 2030. The Coalition is also committed to stopping the various oil and gas projects threatening New Jersey—projects such as the proliferation of pipelines, oil trains and proposals for fracking waste storage, and a natural gas facility off the NJ coast. These projects threaten drinking water, open space, the ocean, communities and neighborhoods.

This new coalition is the type of action stressed in “Laudato Si.” The encyclical talks about the
importance of local efforts and the coming together of people and groups who may have disagreements on some issues, but who recognize the urgency of addressing climate change and the need to work
together on this common threat.

It is in that spirit that the encyclical is addressed not only to Catholics, but to “the whole human family.” “The urgent challenge to protect our common home includes a concern to bring the whole human family together to seek a sustainable and integral development, for we know that things can change.”

In an address at the UN, Cardinal Peter Turkson, who has been a key consultant and author in producing the encyclical, listed some of the main points that are emphasized in “Laudato Si”:

  • Humanity is not separate from the environment in which we live; rather humanity and the natural environment are one. Everything is connected. Everything is interrelated. We are one and humans have a moral obligation to care for this community of oneness. Pope Francis says, “The human environment and the natural environment deteriorate together; we cannot adequately combat environmental degradation unless we attend to causes related to human and social degradation.” Pope Francis calls us to hear “both the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor.”
  • The grave errors that increase our disastrous indifference to the environment include a throwaway-culture of consumerism, and a naive confidence that technological advances and undirected commercial markets will inevitably solve our environmental problems.
  • The accelerating change in climate is undeniable, catastrophic and worsened by human activities, but also amenable to human intervention.
  • We must address the ethical nature of our crisis, both through dialogue, and by recovering our fundamental spiritual dimension.
We are part of a universe in which all of creation – water, soil, mountains, ocean – everything that is speaks of God's love. Our role is not one of mastery over creation, but rather protection of creation. The meaning of “Laudato Si” is “Praise be to You, O Lord,” the beginning of the prayer of St. Francis, which acknowledges the sacredness of all creation.

In the encyclical, Pope Francis speaks to groups like that which gathered on the Trenton State House steps, perhaps especially to those young people proudly waving their “Pope Posters.” He says, “I want to recognize, encourage and thank all those striving in countless ways to guarantee the protection of the home which we share.”

WATERSPIRIT is energized and thrilled with the emergence of “Laudato Si” as a growing global catalyst and voice for the global shift in consciousness for the care of creation and climate change action!

- Suzanne Golas, csjp

Monday, January 5, 2015

In the dark of the moon,

In the flying snow, in the dead of winter

War spreading, families dying, the world in danger

I walk the rocky hillside, sowing clover.

- Wendell Berry

With the world in danger from climate change, we walk the rocky hillside of our world in danger from 
climate change sowing the clover of light, hope and action.  We gathered at WATERSPIRIT at Stella Maris Retreat Center on December 7th to pray, create, meditate and send, in concert with Mother Earth, positive energy, light and thoughts to the world leaders gathering in Lima, Peru. We hope that this light intention, from faith gatherings around the world, will help enable the world leaders to come to enabling positive decisions and actions for the sake of Mother Earth and her communities of life.

As we know, Earth is at a tipping point.  Can our global leaders once and for all, at this crucial time in history, make the tough, difficult decisions to shift societies away from massive extraction and consumption of fossil fuels, to move us towards a transformative renewable energy future with more socially just, equitable ways of living in harmony with nature?  We do not have all of the answers to this vision, but we do know that as we move away from our disconnectedness from nature, and we realize humanities interconnectedness with the life systems of the Universe, we will see change and be the change.   We see change at local levels, in cities, in communities.   

Now we are calling for the global, international leaders to join the change, to see the possibilities.  We can make this transition with our divine human spirit and love for life, enabled by the cry and energy of Mother Earth. We as a global community can bring forth this transformation for the sake of all life.

We implore our world leaders to be enabled to enter into a dialogue that welcomes change, that welcomes communion for Earth, that welcomes transformation, that welcomes making the hard choices and decisions for climate change action that will save the ecosystems that sustain all life here on Earth.


The Wisdom to Survive Wednesday, January 21, 2015 2:00PM & 7:00PM

Come and Join us on 

Wednesday, January 21, 2015 

at 2:00 PM or 7:00PM 

for a screening of "The Wisdom to Survive"

 followed by a Q&A with Co-Director and Co-Producer John Ankele.

Friday, September 5, 2014

People's Climate March in NYC - Sunday September 21st

People's Climate March in NYC on Sunday, September 21st
We will be taking the train from the Long Branch train station at 8:06am (arriving at 9:46am in NYC) for the People's Climate March (PCM).  Come and join us!  For discounted train tickets from Long Branch to NYC go to this link ($20 round trip):

The PCM is scheduled to begin at 11:30AM north of Columbus Circle. For details of the PCM route go to: .             
Other Transportation
If you prefer to leave from a different location closer to home, go to this link for other areas of transit (there are many!) that are being organized by the PCM, some with discounted tickets:

For More Information

Disruption - the Movie
To build momentum for the march and to encourage substantial attendance at the PCM, the documentary Disruption will be streaming free online this Sunday, September 7th.  Disruption is a one hour documentary about climate change and the movement towards action.
View the trailer here:

We and our partner organizations are encouraging as many people as possible to attend the PCM and to recruit as many people as you can to attend the PCM.  As we are all well aware of, this is a critical time for the Earth community. 

Given the enormity of the march and the amount of people entering the city, we do not expect to have the ability to coordinate to meet with people in the city on that day to march along side them.  Our experience from past "marches" is that we are lucky if we can just keep together with the people we arrived with!  So we hope to hear from you that you are attending the PCM or that we will be seeing you at the Long Branch train station.

Please call or email us if you have any questions.


Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Winter Solstice

May you believe in your resiliency when you are wintered.
May you have the strength you need to bear life's burdens.
May you trust the love and mystery within yourself to uphold you.
May your winter times of darkness become fruitful sources of growth,
gifts to be given to yourself and to our wounded world.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Winter Solstice

Mark your calendar 

 Winter Solstice 

Sunday, December 15 

 7:30-9:00 PM

Pause in the midst of busy holiday preparations and experience the sacred in the darkness and the coming of the light of the Winter Solstice.  Ritual darkness followed by the lighting of fire enhanced by music and liturgical dancers help all who participate to spark hope and deepen peace.