Mission and Focus

The Franciscan Sisters of Mary Focus Implementation Group invites you to join in celebrating World Environmental Health Day and World Rivers Day, commemorated worldwide this month

World Environmental Health Day

The theme for this year’s observance of World Environmental Health Day, celebrated Wednesday, September 26, is “Global Food Safety and Sustainability.” With the goal of providing more safe food and making use of earlier water and nutrient resources, the event encourages communities to grow in valuing sustainable food production.


The sheer global scale of food supply chains presents a major challenge to food safety. Communities need to reduce food waste and use natural resources like clean water wisely and efficiently.


Food safety ensures that a nation’s food chain is protected from the introduction, growth, and survival of hazardous microbial and chemical agents. But global trading vastly increases the safety challenges for international communities.


Other threats challenge food safety: changes in the production, distribution, and consumption of food; environmental changes; new, emerging pathogens; and antimicrobial resistance all pose challenges. Increases in travel and trade enhance the likelihood that contamination can spread internationally.


On World Environmental Health Day, spend a moment in gratitude for the safety you have perhaps always enjoyed. Hold in your heart the millions—many of whom are very young children—for whom foodborne illnesses are a way of life. Ask for wisdom to know what you can and must do to help alleviate the threat to food safety and sustainability.


World Rivers Day

Sunday, September 30, is World Rivers Day, held annually since 2005 on the last Sunday in September. World Rivers Day is a global celebration of the world’s waterways, highlighting the many values of rivers. The day is meant to increase public awareness of rivers and to encourage improved stewardship of rivers worldwide, ensuring the future health of our waterways.


The day’s events include riverside cleanups, habitat restoration, nature walks, paddle trips, school projects, art displays, music festivals, and parades. Event call attention to the truth of this quote by renowned environmentalist and river advocate Mark Angelo: “Rivers are the arteries of our planet; they are lifelines in the truest sense.”


Consider spending time near a river (either literally on its banks or figuratively in the quiet of your mind). As you watch the water flow by, ponder Mark Angelo’s words. Sit in gratitude and praise for the world’s waterways. Remember those currently suffering the effects of flooding rivers.

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