We reproduce here a message from Mr Brian Cordeiro, Principal at Saint Philomena School, Portsmouth, Rhode Island, as the School starts a visionary plan to Care for Our Common Home by educating the youngest children to grow as knowledgeable, responsible and compassionate stewards of Creation.
We received this world as an inheritance from past generations, but also as a loan from future generations, to whom we will hate to return it!
With bold commitment to enshrine the FCJ legacy at Saint Philomena School, the school proposes a visionary plan to care for creation and the environment by educating the youngest of each generation to grow as knowledgeable, responsible and compassionate stewards of our common home.
Saint Philomena School, situated on twenty-six acres on the Narragansett Bay, serves as a Catholic educational campus with the unique geographical ability to inform and transform young people through experiential learning about the environment and care for creation. Humanity at this present moment has a critical responsibility to positively impact the environment, reverse systemic injustices, and protect our common home so as to advance the dignity of all people and the sanctity of creation.
Acknowledging that the Sisters FCJ would be showing exceptional generosity in working with the Saint Philomena Community during this transition, this truly creative investment solution values stewardship of the environment beyond monetary gain and prioritizes the FCJ legacy in not only caring for this beautiful landscape but also allowing it to serve as a mission site to teach children and families why and how to do the same. The generations of former FCJ Sisters who helped to build up, shape and transform our community on Cory’s Lane will be honored in the lives and work of new generations of children and teachers who will carry forward one of the most critical missions of our time – to protect and advance our common home on this planet.
We will work with the FCJ in the months to come carefully craft a visionary and pioneering document that details the legacy priorities of the FCJ, in relation to this exceptional and compelling initiative, as well as outline the school’s commitment to advance and educate to those goals. Based on FCJ priorities, the commitments may include:
- Instituting Pre-K-Grade 8 curriculum to educate about care for the planet, root causes of environmental degradation and impact on human dignity from unjust use of resources
- Creation of outdoor classrooms for experiential learning in and about nature.
- Creation of Stewardship Roles for every grade to have specific duty on campus that protects creation and trains habits for a lifetime of stewardship (litter removal, paper recycling, community gardeners, composting, care for bird houses)
The Saint Philomena School community has great courage and confidence that this time of transition can also be a great opportunity to clarify our mission, honor our heritage and make visible the transformative power of Catholic education to advance goodness in our world.
— Brian Cordeiro