Sisters Release Earth Day Video Urging Environmental Justice for St. James Parish, LA

This Earth Day, the Sisters of St. Francis have released a video ( to amplify the voices of Rise St. James – a faith-based grassroots organization that is fighting for environmental justice as it works to defeat the proliferation of petrochemical industries in St. James Parish, Louisiana.


In St. James Parish the air is choked with life-threatening pollution from massive petrochemical plants crowded throughout the riverside community, whose residents are primarily African American and many are struggling with poverty.  Area families have lost so many loved ones to the unhealthful air that they now refer to the region as “Cancer Alley.”  


As Pope Francis says in Laudato Si, “Everything is connected. Concern for the environment thus needs to be joined to a sincere love for our fellow human beings and an unwavering commitment to resolving the problems of society”.


It is important to recognize the ways that the ecological crisis is intertwined with social issues, including systemic racism.


In their video message, the Sisters of St. Francis celebrate the ongoing efforts of Rise St. James and urge viewers to sign a petition to help prevent additional plants from being built and further endangering the lives of the people who live there.


In 2021, the Sisters of St. Francis, Clinton, Iowa, Sojourners, and Associates, called by the spirit of Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si’, joined with Catholic sisters and brothers worldwide in committing to a seven-year transition to Integral Ecology as part of the global Laudato Si’ Action Platform.


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