Sr. Francine Maas, Winooski community (USA)
On May 17, 2022, I gave a presentation, on Integral Ecology, to some of the staff members of Our Lady of Providence (OLP) Residential Care Home, in which our community resides. Last November, our nursing director asked me if I could help the staff learn about the importance of recycling, etc. Right away, I agreed to this request if it would be for the springtime. This delay was providential as in the meantime Sr. Begoña sent us more information on Integral Ecology and Ecological Conversion. This information helped me tremendously as this was my very first experience in doing something like this. Begoña sent me her PowerPoint on Integral Ecology and the video on Ecological Conversion agreeing that I would adapt the material to fit our multicultural and multi-religious staff. Working with the PowerPoint I learned a lot and had fun in the process, though it did take a lot of time. All along, my aim was and still is to motivate the staff to care for our creation.
After preparing the two presentations, I gave them both to my community members starting with the one on Ecological Conversion. For me this conversion is at the base of the process, of being motivated towards doing something for Integral Ecology. We discussed the matter, and I took notes of their suggestions. In the end, I decided to start with a session on Integral Ecology to adapt better to the reality of our caregivers. I made sure that my presentation would be holistic, that is, take into account the religious backgrounds of the staff members. Integral Ecology is of vital importance for all people regardless of religion or nationality.
I practiced giving the session many times to myself and then I gave the presentation on Integral Ecology, to the community of Mercy Sisters who are also residents here at OLP. As this went well, I felt that I was ready. These practices enabled me to be at ease when standing in front of our staff members. I sent them the notes of the seminar, for their own on-going formation, for their families, for the benefit of all people and our COMMON HOME. I encouraged them to read the notes and to discuss them with others, to talk amongst themselves and to reflect together … brainstorming on the topic: What can we do at OLP to help in the transformation our world? I told them that surely each one sees, within their own work environment, the improvements that can be made. When we meet next month, we will go deeper into the issue.
After the presentation to the staff our nursing director asked me to write 5 questions for the participants to answer. Those who would answer properly would get credit for one-hour of on-going formation.
In June I will present the session on Ecological Conversion to our staff. I want to say that if I could do this, many of you can as well. Even if only a handful of individuals are touched that is already very positive.