October 9-10, 2020
Want to know what members of the Vincentian Family are doing related to environmental sustainability and climate change? You are not alone! So did the more than 150 people from 14 countries who registered for our first virtual conference on “Leading with Values: Vincentian Contributions to a Sustainable World.”
The conference began with a poster session featuring reports on “Stories of Hope on One Page.” Created by DePaul students and faculty as well as representatives of other Vincentian universities and organizations around the world, these posters illustrate personal and organizational actions toward sustainability. The posters may still be viewed at: https://padlet.com/dpuhope/storyexchange
In addition, nine panel presenters spoke to universal, environmental, and Vincentian values that must drive our concern for environmental sustainability and to specific work being done to further sustainability through their Vincentian institutions and organizations.
Links to videos of all the presentations can be found below.
Kevin Cawley, CFC, executive director of the Thomas Berry Forum for Ecological Dialogue, shared a meditation placing the values related to environmental science and Vincentian values into the larger context of Berry’s teachings on the principles guiding the evolution of the Universe: differentiation, subjectivity, and communion.
Other panelists include Guillermo (Memo) Campuzano, CM, DePaul’s vice president for mission and ministry, who spoke on how Vincentian and DePaul University values inspire a commitment to sustainability; Caroljean (Cj) Willie, SC, program director, who offered a tour of the environmental center, EarthConnection, a ministry of the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati; Carol De Angelo, SC, director of the Office of Peace, Justice, and Integrity of Creation for the Sisters of Charity of New York, who spoke to the need for increased collaboration in the context of Pope Francis’ encyclical, Laudato Si’; and Sr. Margaret O’Dwyer, DC, the current UN delegate for the Company of the Daughters of Charity, who addressed sustainability in the context of Vincentian values, Catholic Social Teachings, and the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Barbara Willard, associate professor in both DePaul’s Department of Communications Studies and the Department of Environmental Science and Studies, expanded on a theory of hope, calling us to continue to communicate stories of hope; Lydia Stazen, executive director of the Institute of Global Homelessness, addressed climate change as just one of the interrelated realities adversely affecting persons who are homeless; and Christie Klimas from DePaul’s Department of Environmental Science and Studies, shared lessons learned regarding conservation and development during recent study abroad trips with her students in the Amazon region.
The most detailed and practical panel presentation was a tour of the Mount St. Joseph University campus given by the chair of the university’s sustainability committee, Colleen McSwiggen, who highlighted changes being made in five areas: infrastructure, utilities, landscaping, processes, and education. The university was founded by the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati.
The conference was supported by a Vincentian Endowment Fund grant, and hosted by Patricia M. Bombard, BVM, director of Vincent on Leadership: The Hay Project, and Amanda Thompson, director of Catholic Campus Ministry at DePaul.
Calls to action that emerged from the conference include commitments to continued collaboration and the telling of more Vincentian stories of hope. Next steps suggested include making the event annual, perhaps with its coordination rotated among the various Vincentian organizations, and the suggestion to invite observers from other sectors.
Recordings of the virtual event can be viewed at the following links:
Patricia Bombard, BVM, D.Min, director of Vincent on Leadership: The Hay Project, offers words of welcome and explains the inspiration and purpose behind the conference.
10 presenters describe their “Stories of Hope on One Page” (aka posters) that illustrate personal and organizational actions toward sustainability.
- Kevin Cawley, CFC, Executive Director, Thomas Berry Forum for Ecological Dialogue, Iona College
- Christie Klimas, Associate Professor, Environmental Science and Studies, DePaul University
- Guillermo Campuzano, CM, Vice President for Mission and Ministry, DePaul University
Saturday Presentations and Conversations: Toward a Response
- Caroljean (Cj) Willie, SC, EarthConnections Ministry, Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati
- Colleen McSwiggin, Sustainability Committee Chairperson, Mount St. Joseph University
- Lydia Stazen, Executive Director, Institute of Global Homelessness
- Carol De Angelo, SC, Director of the Office of Peace, Justice, and Integrity of Creation, Sisters of Charity of New York
- Barbara Willard, Associate Professor, College of Communication, DePaul University
- Margaret O’Dwyer, DC, NGO Representative to the United Nations, Company of the Daughters of Charity