India, Asia

Sister Meri Halam, CSC

Congregation Justice Committee Member for India

Climate Update

The region of Northeast India, where the Sisters of the Holy Cross serve, is the greenest in the country, as more than 80% of it is covered in forests and trees. However, between the effects of climate change and environmental degradation, our country is suffering.

The once beautiful hills are being destroyed to use the trees, stones and coal for profit. As our forests thin, areas of neighboring Bangladesh receive excess water during the monsoon season, resulting in floods, and then face water scarcity during the winter. Drastic changes in rainfall have also seriously impacted Northeast India’s crops. 

The monsoon rains are now unpredictable and impacting agriculture. According to local residents, the fruit is less sweet and extremely small. In addition, the average temperature is rising. The local tribes know how to conserve the forests, hopefully they can receive the support and action they need to be successful.

Current Initiatives in India

Traveling to the villages on a regular basis to teach children catechism, we visit families and lead awareness programs for youth that address their life, goals, and the importance of caring
for creation. 

Partnering with other Catholic religious in India, we work to raise awareness about human trafficking groups and their operations. Together we share this information with faculty and staff at local schools.  

Visiting the families and villages to share about sustainable living practices—we encourage residents to avoid using plastics, to use public transport, and to promote recycling.

Proposed Initiatives for 2022–23

Ecological Education

Redesign curricula to foster ecological awareness by creating educational opportunities that encourage care for creation.

Organize and lead workshops that address the problem of deforestation and the importance of caring for the Earth.

Educate and respond to the needs of the most vulnerable children at our schools.

 Share knowledge and resources on ecological economics with the community.

Share faith formation resources related to Laudato Si′ in catechism classes, prayers, retreats, etc.

 Encourage people to avoid single-use plastics and promote public transport and recycling.

Empower the sisters studying to ensure their belonging and success in a male-dominated culture.