The Sisters of St. Dominic are known champions of the environment, and have been for quite some time. From their on-site organic farm in Amityville, and the geothermal system at the Motherhouse, to the hybrid vehicles that they drive, the Sisters have greatly reduced their carbon footprint here on Earth.

Homecoming Farm, a certified organic community land use project, was one of the Sister’s first major environmental initiatives. Since then, the Sisters have continued to evaluate new ways to leave the planet better than they found it and encourage others to do the same by acting as a positive example.

In his 2015 encyclical, “Laodato Si,” Pope Francis encourages the faithful to take on an ecological conversion, asking, “What kind of world do we want to leave to those who come after us, to children who are now growing up?” This sentiment especially resonated with the Sisters of St. Dominic, who are as forward-looking as they are present.

Sister Margaret Galiardi, OP, a dedicated leader in the environmental movement, notes, “We Sisters, with Pope Francis, recognize human-induced global climate change to be among  the most serious issues facing the global community today. Going solar even in a modest way, gives us the opportunity to make some small contribution toward the mitigation of this problem.”

Together with Sunpower by EmPower Solar, the Sisters identified several Congregational sites where solar power was a viable option. These included: the Motherhouse in Amityville; an apartment in Malverne, housing seven sisters; and the Amityville apartments, shown in the above photo. Since installation, the surplus energy is used to credit the Motherhouse electric account. The Sisters will be able to monitor their system’s energy production in real time and measure their actual environmental impact over the 30+ year life of the solar panels. To read more about the actual energy savings, please review this report: Sisters’ Solar Savings

EmPower was impressed. “The Sisters of St. Dominic are some of the most inspirational and motivating people we’ve ever worked with.”

While the Sisters of St. Dominic have always supported and promoted energy efficiency and renewable resources, they now lead by example. The Sisters proudly show off their solar panels and plan to use their experience to further educate the community and to encourage others to switch to clean, renewable energy.