Dominican Sisters Aim For Climate Solutions
August 27, 2020
Three congregations who are present in the Diocese of Rockford are part of 16 Dominican congregations from New York to California that joined together to address climate change and its effects on marginalized communities disproportionately impacted by global warming.
Springfield Dominicans (Illinois), Sinsinawa Dominicans (Wisconsin) and Adrian Dominicans (Michigan) are part of the Dominican Sisters Climate Solution Movement. That movement is a strategic green investment initiative in partnership with the Chicago office of Graystone Consulting Group, which is a women-led consulting practice that is part of Morgan Stanley. 
The 16 congregations have committed $46,650,000 to the initiative to seed climate solutions funds. Those anchor investments have attracted additional investors, providing a pool of more than $130 million in capital investments in climate solutions that integrate the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals on water, sanitation, food security, energy and related challenges facing economically impoverished countries.
“We are bringing these resources to the marketplace to help address our deep concern about the integrity of God’s creation and the people most impacted by climate change,” says Sister Rebecca Ann Gemma, prioress general of the Springfield Dominican Sisters.
The initiative was five years in the making. Seamus P. Finn, OMI, chief of Faith Consistent Investing of the Oblate International Pastoral Investment Trust, says the OIP Trust was “especially attracted by the insight and innovation that is at the core of the (Dominicans’ climate) fund’s approach.”
“The vision for the fund,” he adds, “is grounded in the transformation of the current financial system and gives priority to people, planet and sustainability.”
Two years ago on June 18, 2018, leaders of the 16 congregations gathered at the global headquarters of Morgan Stanley in Times Square to celebrate the inauguration of the initiative with their anchor commitments.
“We seek to identify models for faith-based organizations and (others) ... to proactively invest in climate solutions ...,” said Sister Rebecca Ann. 
The approach is noted by the Dominicans as echoing the call Pope Francis issued in Laudato Si’ and as being aligned with efforts Catholic sisters around the world have undertaken for years to address issues related to poverty and ecological degradation.
At the gathering at Morgan Stanley, Sister Rebecca Ann noted the Dominicans’ hopes behind the effort in one simple sentence: “We want to do all we can to protect Earth, our common home and help safeguard the future for young people today and for generations to come.”
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