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Jaculyn Hanrahan, CND

Announcing TWO exciting invitations for our recent transition from Summer to Fall 2019. One, a local call to participate and celebrate, the other, a call to global work to affect the Sustainable Development goals. Both ventures invite us to continue to engage as pioneers in the Call of our Congregation de Notre-Dame Chapter Orientation: “How Then Shall We Live?”

FIRST: A welcome to all Congregation de Notre-Dame sisters and associates to participate in the work of the Sister Deignan Institute for Earth and Spirit of Iona College. Its Mission is to foster an integral and peaceful Earth community in the light of religious faith, evolutionary cosmology, and environmental science. The Institute comes about as a gift of Alumnus and benefactor Christopher J. O’Connor, one of Sister Kathleen's first students at Iona, whose generosity enables her legacy of liberating education to live on to serve and prosper future generations of Iona students and the many diverse publics served by the Institute in its enriched programming. The Institute will work in collaboration with its three ventures founded by Kathleen Deignan, CND during her 40-year tenure at Iona: The Iona Spirituality Center, The Thomas Merton Contemplative Initiative and The Thomas Berry Forum for Ecological Dialogue.

Challenged by our planetary crisis while rooted in the inspiring legacy of St. Columba's monastic university at Iona, Sister Deignan, CND Institute for Earth and Spirit will conspire with dedicated and creative partners to revive and protect our Common Home through transformative environmental education, spiritual animation, and creative celebration.

In Kathleen’s words, “May we who build this Institute and all whom it will serve be graced to take up the arduous, the supreme Great Work of becoming worthy and wise gardeners and governors of this once-in-a-universe planet. Let the Humans say “AMEN.’”

SECOND: A Welcome to Sustainable Solutions Network (SDSN's)

Consider this invitation to be aware of the work of the Sustainable Solutions Network and the resource that it could be for us in our work of liberating education in all its facets. Consider how, most specifically for us, the SDSN resources will help us know the world in which we live. Their commitment to identify the actual global data shows us how the way we live impacts each and every one of us. SDSN mobilizes global scientific and technological expertise to promote practical solutions for sustainable development, including the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SGDs) and the Paris Climate Agreement.

There is an SDG Academy which aims to inform and empower the next generation of leaders and practitioners to take on the challenges of sustainable development through knowledge and tools from massive open online learning. It provides FREE, high-quality online graduate-level courses on sustainable development from the SDSN for students around the world.

From sustainable cities to human rights to climate action, each of their courses addresses the fundamental challenge facing our world today: How do people, communities, governments and companies not only coexist, but also cooperate and collaborate, to save the one planet we have?

“We are not lacking in the dynamic forces needed to create the future. We live immersed in a sea of energy beyond all comprehension. But this energy, in an ultimate sense, is ours not by domination but by invocation.”

(Thomas Berry, “The Dynamics of the Future,” in The Great Work, 175)


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