When President Barack Obama announced to the world on Friday that he had rejected TransCanada’s application to build the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, there was surely no better place to be than at a conference of committed environmentalists. When the news broke, there was universal applause, glee and relief -- all rolled into one.
Sisters of Loretto
I have to admit: I was stunned.
I am a Sister of Loretto, and my Loretto community is very environmentally conscious. For years, we have passed strong resolutions on climate change and preserving creation, but this week our delegate assembly voted unanimously to divest the congregation from all stocks and bonds in fossil fuels.
I had been working on that resolution for months, so I did expect it to pass. But unanimously? I was stunned.
When developers announced that work on the Bluegrass Pipeline had been suspended, members of the Sisters of Loretto community in Marion County, Ky., saw it as a step forward. They believe their many prayers and protests played a part in the bringing about suspension. But the Loretto community has also been quick to point out that the pipeline's suspension is not a victory -- not, they say, as long as energy companies and their pipelines continue to destroy Earth elsewhere.
Imagine the surprise of my Loretto sisters at our motherhouse in Kentucky when they awoke Wednesday to find that the lead editorial in the Louisville Courier-Journal was celebrating their efforts to keep the notorious Bluegrass Pipeline out of Kentucky.
In Guatemala, I am a guest of the Hermanas de la Sagrada Familia (Sisters of the Holy Family). They are a sister community to my Loretto community. These are great Guatemalan women, tracing their community roots to Belgium, and they now have sisters in Africa. (Yes, Mary Ann McGivern is a Loretto friend and NCR blogger, as well!)