St. Philomena School Got a Little Greener

St Philomena School, in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, celebrated the birthday of FCJ Foundress Marie Madeleine d’Houët and the opening of the FCJ Bicentenary 1820-2020 with a number of activities. Care of the Earth in prayer and action was a focus of the celebrations on 20th September. Each teacher got a small frame for their classroom that reads:

During the coming Bicentenary year, we pledge to our Sisters, the Faithful Companions of Jesus, an effort to learn about the problems facing people all over the world who need us to help care for our planet. We pledge to learn from their example and care for the Earth by practicing the 3 Rs: REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE.  In this way we can use the gift of our excellent education, to show our respect for the dignity of all people, to bring hope to people in need.

The school has installed a new water bottle filling station donated by the nonprofit Greenlove Foundation. The machine, located in a foyer near the school’s gym, allows students to fill up a reusable water bottle with fresh water, rather than using single-use plastic bottles.

With the donation by the Greenlove Foundation, the school now has two water filling stations, according to Catherine Gurspan of the school’s Green Committee. The school has already seen a big decline in the number of single-use bottles, she said.


We’ve saved over 8,000 single-use water bottles right here on campus.

Ms. Gurspan, St Philomena School Green Committee

Catherine reminded students that potable water is a precious resource. “Ninety-seven percent of the earth’s water is not drinkable,” she said, noting that figure represents ocean water. Another 2 percent is frozen, leaving only 1 percent available for human consumption, she said. “Thanks for helping us remember the importance and privilege we have on our campus,” she said to members of the Greenlove Foundation.

This is just the beginning of a year of celebrations at St Philomena School!

Jen, Companion in Mission and teacher at St Philomena School, telling the story of Marie Madeleine to pre-K children on 20th September


Credits: Part of this text an and photo are taken from an article in the East Bay RI newspaper.

Follow celebrations across the world on the Bicentenary News page and on social media #FCJ200.