Saskatoon

'A really big problem': Saskatoon nuns speak out on climate change

The Ursuline Sisters of Prelate in Saskatoon was part of 64 Canadian congregations of Catholic sisters that signed a letter calling for the federal government to do more on climate change.

Ursuline Sisters of Prelate commit to selling fossil fuel investments, eliminating single-use plastics

Saskatoon's Ursuline Sisters of Prelate, including Sister Anne Lewans (right), have signed a national letter calling for the federal government to do more on climate change. (Ursulines of Prelate)

For more than 60 years, Sister Anne Lewans has mostly kept her political opinions to herself.

This week that changed.

Lewans, a member of the Ursuline Sisters of Prelate in Saskatoon, was part of Canada's 64 Congregations of Catholic Sisters that signed a letter calling for the federal government to do more on climate change.

"I think it's a really big problem," said Lewans. "And one of the biggest things for us, as a small aging religious community, is awareness and helping to make other people aware."

The letter said that climate change poses an enormous threat to the Earth and that not enough is being done to address it.

Lewans hopes to get political parties in the upcoming election to talk more about climate-change solutions and allow the issue to transcend party politics.

"I wish we could all work together," she said. "Unfortunately, it becomes a partisan thing."

Lewans said the Ursuline Sisters have begun working on small initiatives locally, such as selling its investments in fossil fuel-based portfolios and eliminating single-use plastics.

However, she said, there's only so much that a small group of 35 elderly nuns can do.

"The whole point of this statement is to try to bring awareness to a wider group of people and particularly to our politicians who have some ability to make an impact," she said. "It's not just what my little community can do."

Pope Francis has made environmental issues an important part of his tenure. In 2016, he proposed that caring for the environment be added to the traditional list of good works that Christians are called to perform.

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