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The Blessed Virgin Mary—Our Lady of Walsingham

Religious sisters protest pipeline by erecting a chapel on its proposed route

Deacon Greg Kandra - published on 07/13/17

From UPI:

The Adorers of the Blood of Christ, a St. Louis, Mo.-based organization, own a strip of land in Pennsylvania where the pipeline is planned to go through. But the nuns said the $3 billion pipeline violates their beliefs and values regarding the environment and oppose it construction. “The Adorers have a Land Ethic, approved by their congregation in October 2005, that: Honors the sacredness of creation; Reverences Earth as a sanctuary where all life is protected; [and] treasures land as a gift of beauty and sustenance and legacy for future generations,” the group said in a statement.

The statement explains:

The Adorers received a request from the grassroots coalition, Lancaster Against Pipelines, to install and use, and to invite other people of faith to use, a portable prayer “chapel” on their land. The hope is that the structure can draw people to prayer and reflection about just and holy uses of land. While the Adorers understand that the federal court order of eminent domain, once it goes into effect, can allow Transco to call for the removal of the “chapel” from the easement, they believe that having this structure on their land, for however long, gives tangible witness to the sacredness of the earth.

You can learn more about the Adorers of the Blood of Christ at their website. 

The site includes this reflection that was delivered by Sister Janet McCann when the pipeline chapel was dedicated:

When St. Maria DeMattias founded our congregation in 1834, she spoke of our call to help “bring about that beautiful order of things.” As Adorers, we believe that “beautiful order” happens when we reverence and respect creation. We “bring about that beautiful order of things” when our decision-making and our influence honor our interconnectedness and oneness with all creation. As religious women of the Catholic Church, our faith impels us to stand up when the principles we hold sacred are compromised on the very land that is ours. When the very land on which we stand is in danger of being exploited, we must stand up to the misuse of power and influence. This is not a political statement but a spiritual stand as people of faith. Perhaps you heard about the very confident and very arrogant scientist who decided to challenge God in a contest to see who could create a human being the fastest.  God accepted the challenge, came down to earth, along with St. Peter, to serve as timekeeper.  “On your mark, get set, Go!” The arrogant scientist and God immediately reached down to the ground to gather up a handful of dirt.  Before the scientist could gather another handful, however, God stopped him and said, “Oh, no you don’t.  If you’re gonna’ create your own human, then first you gotta’ create your own dirt!” The Land Ethic you heard today acknowledges that God is the source of all creation, and especially all this dirt. The Land Ethic was written by and proclaimed by Adorers, but we firmly believe it belongs to all of us gathered here today as we dedicate this land and witness to the holiness of this sacred space.

The website features this picture of the chapel:

Photo: from Adorers of the Blood of Christ website

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