In commemoration of the 25th Anniversary of the International Day of Action for Rivers, the Sisters of Charity of New York join with the Leadership Council of Women Religious (LCWR) and all women religious in celebrating and giving thanks for the rivers of the world. We are particularly grateful for the Hudson River, whose life, energy and gifts have been so richly bestowed on us.
We are grateful for our collaboration with faith and environmental groups, especially Religious Organizations Along the River (ROAR) and Riverkeeper. Their mission, values and experience guide us to raise awareness, educate and act on behalf of the Hudson River.
Rivers matter. They are vital to restoring and maintaining biodiversity. The life of the Hudson River affects our lives. As Sisters of Charity of New York address critical issues that affect the life of the Hudson River and the communities of life that depend on it, we continue to grow in our understanding of the River as a living being. The Hudson River calls us to act on behalf of its life.
On this International Day of Actions for Rivers, we invite you to pray with the attached ritual and choose one action for the river near you.
A Prayer Ritual with The River Nearest You, Celebrating March 14, 2022, International Day of Action for Rivers
Preparation: On March 14th, the International Day of Action for Rivers, take some time to walk to a river, stream, or waterway near you or find a picture of the Hudson River or a favorite waterway. Spend time with it. Invite the River to speak to you.
Choose one of the following readings or activity to quiet and center you.
- Psalm 46: 1–7
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in time of trouble.
Therefore, we will not fear though the earth should change, though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea; though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble with its tumult.
There is a River whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy habitation of the Most High.
God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved; our Creator is an ever-present help.
The nations rage, the kingdoms totter; the Voice of the Almighty is heard, the earth melts. The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge.
- Revelation 22: 1–2
Then he showed me the River of the water of life, bright as a crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.
- Find a favorite poem or song that speaks to you about Rivers and spend time with it.
- Invite the River or a favorite waterway to speak through you by writing your personal “psalm” – a song of praise, joy, sorrow, plea for help. Or just jot down a few phrases.
Prayers of Intercession — Response: May our actions be rooted in faith, hope and love.
- In gratitude for Rivers, especially the River of our bioregion, and the ways they restore and maintain biodiversity so needed for a healthy life and future, we pray…
- For those preparing to participate in the second part of the 15th Convention on Biodiversity (April 25-May 8, 2022) when governments from around the world convene to agree on a new set of goals for nature, we pray…
- For the Hudson River and all rivers, that their right to flow and thrive as beings in their own right might be respected, honored and acknowledged, we pray…
- For rivers and all waterways, humans, animals, plants, and all life forms who are poisoned by toxins and waste from mining, large scale farming, and other industries and corporations, we pray…
- For the grace each day to connect in some way with the life-giving source of a River or favorite water place that we might hear the cry and call of the Rivers of the world, we pray…
A Mutual Blessing – Use whatever gestures will help you go forth in peace and hope.
- May our eyes open to the wonder and beauty Rivers offer us, even as we see the harm done them.
- May our ears open to hear the call of Rivers, near and far, even as we are attentive to their cries.
- May our hearts and spirits remain gentle, compassionate, and courageous as we act for Rivers.
- May we find nourishment in journeying together as a people whose passion, commitment and strength are rooted in peace, justice, hope and love.
Photo courtesy of the College of Mount Saint Vincent