Sisters Ana Senties, Jessica Gatty, Carolyn Morrisson & Astérie Mukampore r.a. as a JPIC team, had the opportunity to visit the Center of Alternative Technology in Wales.
The Centre is an eco-Centre which aims to empower people for a more sustainable life through various educational courses and practical examples, and learning skills for the future. It was a very interesting visit for us as Assumption because of our international commitment to ecology in the spirit of the LAUDATO SI encyclical. It was lovely to have this chance on Mercy Sunday. We felt our earth is asking mercy from us.
Our aims as Assumption were:
-To discover new ideas and greater inspiration to educate ourselves in sustainable living
-To pick up practical tips
-Assess whether his world be something that we might offer Assumption JPIC in Europe for a future visit.
We were blessed with a glorious day. The Centre for Alternative Technology (http://visit.cat.org.uk) is set in a remote part of Wales among the Welsh mountains and lakes. The trees were showing young green and there were spring flowers everywhere. All creation was indeed praising the Lord!
The Center started in the 1970s and developed different kinds of alternative technologies in energy, agriculture, architecture. More recent experiments were about how to profit from human waste. This was put over to us as a symbol of how we fail to makes the changes necessary to save our common home because of deep seated taboos. It was a way of showing us that we need a really new vision about ourselves and our relationships, recognizing ourselves as part of nature. This was one example about how we need to change our mentality… our use of things as we recognize that we are creatures like others, not abusing, learning to live with joyful sobriety… learning to live with other creatures and let be…
We appreciated their outlook and the way they have researched new ways of doing things according to the local situation, for example in Africa or other places where they are. They put the accent on the local materials and possibilities. During the visit we felt with joy a lot of links with the Assumption projects we know around the world. Seeing for ourselves had brought so much to life, we were changed by our experience.
After this very interesting day we keep the inspiration words “be part of the solution” and “there is only one thing more painful than learning from experience and that is not learning from experience” (Archinald Maed). We asked ourselves -what questions arise from this experience and what solutions do we see, even a little solution, to become a part of creation that allows life and helps preserve the integrity of Mother Earth?
We thanked God for our visit and entrusted to him our wishes and decisions at Our Lady of the Taper the National Shrine of Wales. We then went on to enjoy a visit to the Cistercian sisters of Holy Cross Abbey who are trying as a community to live and produce sustainably, with bees, chickens, vegetable beds and fruit trees and a bio -mass boiler using local wood chips, and so on.
On our long journey back home we shared our reflections and wishes: to use more the solar energy, to put green in our community houses (roof, walls), to use to buy bio products, cutting down on packaging. We allowed our imaginations free rein as we thought about a sustainable project with Assumption friends and students… we felt very inspired after this adventure!
Sisters, volunteers, their families and guests gathered for an afternoon together in Milleret House, Central London.
If you are interested in finding out more about religious life and discernment, why not think about joining us for a Discernment Weekend, taking place in Kensington, London?
Please pray for the new community of the European noviciate of the Religious of the Assumption.
The Assumption Sisters, together with the Assumption Fathers and Oblate Sisters invite young adults for monthly mini-retreats in Milleret House, Kensington.