The Sisters of St. Francis of Assisi, as part of their commitment to protecting the environment and promoting the dignity of all creation, gathered March 10, 2022, on the Lake Michigan shore to pray for our waters and mark the March 14 International Day of Action for Rivers. In 2021, 32 countries participated in this witness of the global need for clean water.
The site of the Sisters’ witness represents the confluence of three rivers — the Milwaukee, Menomonee, and Kinnickinnic. Their action is in support of the $1 billion approved by the Biden administration to clean up toxic pollution in the Great Lakes. The commitment of funds will support the protection of drinking water, public health and thousands of jobs in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Minnesota, New York, and Wisconsin. The Milwaukee estuary — the convergence of the three rivers at Lake Michigan — has been on the Department of Natural Resources “Areas of Concern” list since 1987. The funding will accelerate projects already underway to restore these waters.
The Sisters’ Water Witness is part of their work in support of Laudato Si: On Care for Our Common Home, the encyclical issued by Pope Francis in 2015.