We believe, as people of faith, that we can look to God's promise in scripture, and remember that God used ordinary people all the time to work God's purpose in the world. And God is calling us - each of us - to action, to care for creation right now.

Renewing our Sylvania Franciscan commitment to
A year of personal action





Renewing our Sylvania Franciscan commitment


Dear Members of the Sylvania Franciscan Village,

In 2012, the leaders of the Sylvania Franciscan Village endorsed a Statement of Principles on Care for Creation and the Environment. The document, set within the Franciscan tradition of connection with creation and the Sylvania Franciscan commitment to caring for the Earth, is a call to embrace our spiritual responsibility to preserve the gifts of creation for future generations. It is in this spirit, that the Environmental Wellness Committee of the Sylvania Franciscan Village invites you to join us in reflection, education and action on behalf of our Sister Mother Earth this year.

The Environmental Wellness Committee is a Village-wide committee comprised of members from various ministries on the Sisters of St. Francis/Lourdes University campus grounds. Much of our effort in the past centered on environmental education and on our recycling program on campus; events for Campus Sustainability Month (October) and Earth Day (April) were the highlights of our efforts.  Our current focus is on education for sustainability. 

Pope Francis, in his 2015 encyclical “Laudato Si’: On Care of Our Common Home” stresses the need for education and conversion around sustainability. He outlines our moral obligation to celebrate and care for the planet which nourishes and sustains us. We believe that God is calling us – each of us – to action, to care for creation right now.

Each month you will receive information on a different earth-related topic, along with small steps that we can do together on campus and actions that we can take at home. We believe that they are helpful steps and hopeful steps, that as more of us take these small steps their impact is magnified. Archbishop Desmond Tutu reminds us that “it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.”

October – Zero Waste                                     April - Energy Efficiency              
November – Reducing Food Waste                May Creation Friendly Yards         
December – Shrinking Consumerism             June - Healthy Air                   
January – Conserving Water                          July - Composting           
February - Plant Rich Diet August - Healthy Soil, Garden & Soul
March - Women in the World September - Francis as Our Guide

Blessings as we stretch ourselves to choose the “little bits of good” that we can do. May you find God in each action and delight in God’s creation as God delights in you!

Environmental Wellness Committee Members,

Kelly Allen                    Christine Deemer      Sister Pat Gardner     Sister Sharon Havelak   
Sophia Lloyd         Kris Moline                  Elizabeth Reiter          Rebecca Smith         
Sister Rosine Sobczak     Jennifer Southerton

Reducing Food Waste

Food waste is a social, environmental, and financial problem. More than 1 billion people suffer from chronic hunger, yet in the U.S. alone $48.3 billion of food is thrown away on an annual basis. At the household level, 25% of food ends up in the trash.

November’s ACTION is Reducing Food Waste on campus. Commit to one action that allows for members of the Sylvania Franciscan Village to contribute to the effort of reducing food waste in our world. Let’s ACT together this year to restore the fullness of God’s earth!

Campus Action:     

  • When going through the cafeteria line, be mindful of not wasting food. Take what you like, but eat what you take. You can always go back for more!
  • If hosting a campus event, donate leftover food to Helping Hands of St. Louis Soup Kitchen. Contact Sue Shrewsberry at 419-691-0613.
  • Establish a food collection & redistribution system to serve food-insecure students on campus.

Personal Actions at Home:  

  • Shop in your refrigerator first! Cook or eat what you already have at home before buying more.
  • Plan your meals for the week before you go shopping and buy only the things needed for those meals.
  • Many fruits give off natural gases as they ripen, making other nearby produce spoil faster. Store bananas, apples, and tomatoes by themselves, and store fruits and vegetables in different bins.  

When they were satisīŦed, he told his disciples “gather up the fragments left over so that nothing may be lost.”    (John 6:12)