Nun to share truths about climate crisis

DAVENPORT, Iowa — There’s a new resource for champions of the environment on both sides of the Mississippi River, and she offers words of hope for the future along with words of caution.

“It’s not too late,” said Sister Cathleen Real, CHM, who was one of 135 men and women chosen to take part in The Climate Project’s first-ever Faith Community Training. Among the presenters was Nobel laureate Al Gore, who sounded the alarm about global warming in the 2006 film “An Inconvenient Truth.”

“There are many things happening and many things we can do,” Sister Cathleen told The Catholic Post when she returned from the training session in Nashville, Tenn., last fall. “It’s not too late, but we need to change our attitudes toward the way we live.”

She will share what she learned — as well as a selection of the 400 slides Gore provided for the faith leaders to use — as part of “Stewardship of the Earth,” a conference sponsored by the Sisters of St. Benedict at St. Mary Monastery in Rock Island. Sister Cathleen will speak about “The Burning Truth of the Climate Crisis” on Tuesday, Jan, 13, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the monastery, 2200 88th Avenue West.

The second part of the conference will be held on Thursday, Feb. 5, and feature Father Robert “Bud” Grant, associate professor of theology at St. Ambrose University. He will explore “An Ethic of Sacrifice for the Earth” from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the monastery.

There is no fee to attend either session, but a free will offering will be accepted.

One of the conditions for Sister Cathleen’s participation in The Climate Project training was that she give 15 presentations within six months of returning home. She is also scheduled to talk about global warming on Monday, Jan. 12, at 1:30 p.m., at the Humility of Mary Center in Davenport, and on Sunday, Feb. 8, at an environmental forum at the Unitarian Church in Davenport.

She said it has taken some time to sift through the facts and the slides — and the help of three or four members of her community, the Sisters of the Humility of Mary — but she is glad to be spreading the word.

“There’s a lot of science here, but I think people are ready to look at the science and understand what’s happening a little better so they can see what the solutions might be,” said the Wyoming, Ill., native who calls St. Dominic’s her “home parish.”

For more information about the stewardship conference at St. Mary Monastery, call (309) 283-2108 or visit the Benedictines’ Web site at

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