Taking CARE and bring HOPE at Maria Linden

CARE of the EarthBy Michael O’Loughlin, Marketing and Communications Director

The International Justice, Peace, and Integrity of Creation Forum Committee has endeavored to highlight the service being done to care for Mother Earth in all our provinces and regions. For more than a decade in our U.S. Province, many actions have been carried out through the commitment and creativity of the C.A.R.E. Committee (Creating Actions to Reverence the Earth). Committee members raise community awareness daily through our Province Communication, and take direct action where they live and minister.

At Maria Linden Apartments on our Milwaukee campus, a recycling effort was initiated by resident and associate Pat Zealley, who encouraged residents through regular articles in the Linden Leaves newsletter. Pat recently relocated, so Sister Marjorie Ann Eisenmenger is now carrying on Pat’s good work.

“When Becky was the Oakbrook property manager at Maria Linden, she gave regular presentations about recycling that encouraged residents and shared information,” Pat recalled. “When Becky left Maria Linden, I felt that we should continue what she had started. Because I was a member of the C.A.R.E. Committee, it seemed appropriate to make this an outreach from the committee. I did this on my own and initially wanted to make the C.A.R.E. Committee more well known.

“The project continued to evolve with Maria Linden being the emphasis,” Pat continued. “Sister Marjorie Ann from the beginning showed a great interest in recycling, and she was willing to help me with the effort. Tina Rawlins encouraged us and gave us space in the newsletter each month to write about it. It seemed the time was right, and things developed from there!”

With Pat moving to her new home, Sister Marjorie Ann was determined to step up. “Pat used multiple themes to deliver her message,” Sister said. “She shared resources and always made sure that Earth Day on April 22 was celebrated in style. I decided to do what I could to keep Pat’s legacy going.”

Since Sister Marjorie Ann assumed responsibility, the initiative is being called the H.O.P.E. Project. “The word ‘hope’ came alive for me one day and I saw a motto to live by: ‘Hug Our Planet Earth.’ I believe that saving the earth is not an option, but rather an obligation.”

The H.O.P.E. Project’s biggest challenge is the housekeeping involved, Sister Marjorie Ann said. “Reviewing guidelines becomes a monthly necessity; there is much detail to remember,” she said. “In fact, around the nation, recycling has become a science. Locally, one starts by ‘going to school’ online to check out the Milwaukee guidelines. It’s no longer just the traditional chore ‘Please take out the garbage!’ The city provides posters, veritable ‘maps’ that direct ‘what’ goes ‘where’. These are posted in the Maria Linden Recycle Rooms.”

In addition to giving directions on how to dispose of trash and which types of recycled items go where, Sister Marjorie Ann has introduced the mantra, “Do not throw ODD stuff in the trash. If it’s ODD, its home is the DUMP.” Sister personally tackles the “odd stuff” by taking those items to the city’s Self-Help Center on Lincoln Avenue every two weeks.

“The Dump and I have become good friends and we have grown to respect each other,” Sister Marjorie Ann said. “I could write a book about my experiences in this ‘city within a city.’ I remember well my first visit there; I was surprised at the organization of its ‘streets.’”

Sister Marjorie Ann was impressed by the step-by-step process she encountered at the Self-Help Center. “I had volunteered to dispose of aerosol cans,” she recalled. “I was greeted at the gate, and I showed my driver’s license [only City of Milwaukee residents may use the Self-Help Center]. I was asked what I had and when I said aerosol cans, I was directed to ‘HazMat.’ Pulling my car forward, the next station captain explained where the hazardous materials tent was located. I later learned more of this new ‘alphabet’ online,” Sister said. “HazMat is part of MMSD, the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District.”

Sister has found these essential, earth-friendly trips to be exhilarating. “Over the years, I have invited others to accompany me to The Dump because I know they will not be disappointed. It’s a must-have adventure!”

Our thanks to Pat and Sister Marjorie Ann for bringing such care and energy to their love for Mother Earth at Maria Linden!