Sr. Sharon on Nobel Prize Committee

Sr. Sharon Zayac, Executive Director of Jubilee Farm, has been appointed to an international committee promoting the candidacy of President Anote Ton of Kiribati for the Nobel Peace Prize.  The Committee to Promote the Candidacy of Anote Tong for the Nobel Peace Prize is comprised of “prominent individuals drawn from the international community with diverse commitments to social justice, north-south equity and human rights.”*

President Tong is serving his third and final term as leader of Kiribati, a small island nation, which is one of many imminently threatened by the effects of global climate change.  During his tenure, President Tong has led efforts to draw international attention to global climate change and to convey the urgent need for action.

“President Tong has demonstrated the worthiness of this Nobel Peace Prize candidature by taking every opportunity to create a new understanding of global warming within industrialised nations – thereby playing a significant and constructive role in meeting the challenges of climate change on the world stage. He has joined with other leaders of small island states to lobby for the United Nations to address climate change as a threat to the security of the world’s people.  He has shown himself a builder of peace and reconciliation by continually striving to strengthen cooperation between nations, and by encouraging dialogue at international forums. Most importantly, he is internationally recognized as an advocate on the effects of climate change on the most vulnerable.  He is a peace-builder, worthy of international acclamation.”*

You may learn more about President Tong and the Nobel Peace Prize campaign AND voice your support on this website:


To support this nomination, complete the “Thought Towards a Better Planet” form at the bottom of the main page of the website.  A press release concerning the formation of the Committee appears on the main page of the website.


Congratulations, Sister Sharon!

14 Resolutions for 2014

14 food resolutions for 2014 from Food Tank. (

As we enter 2014, there are still nearly one billion people suffering from hunger. Simultaneously, 65 percent of the world’s population live in countries where obesity kills more people than those who are underweight. But these are problems that we can solve and there’s a lot to be done in the new year!

The issue of food loss and food waste is gaining ground thanks to the U.N.’s Zero Hunger Challenge, which calls for zero food waste, as well as the good work of many organizations including the Natural Resources Defense Council, Feeding the 5000, the U.N. Environment Programme, and who are showing eaters, businesses, and policy-makers solutions for ending waste in the food system.

Together we can find solutions to nourish both people and the planet!

Here are 14 food resolutions for 2014:

1. Meet Your Local Farmer
Know your farmer, know your food aims to strengthen local and regional food systems. Meeting your local farmer puts a face to where your food comes from and creates a connection between farmers and consumers.

2. Eat Seasonal Produce
By purchasing local foods that are in season, you can help reduce the environmental impact of shipping food. And your money goes straight to the farmer, supporting the local economy.

3. End Food Waste
More than 1.3 billion tons of edible food is wasted each year. Tips to reduce waste include planning meals ahead, buying ‘ugly’’ fruits and vegetables, being more creative with recipes, requesting smaller portions, composting, and donating excess food.

4. Promote a Healthy Lifestyle
Many diseases are preventable, including obesity, yet 1.5 billion people in the world are obese or overweight. Promote a culture of prevention by engaging in physical activity and following guidelines for a healthy diet.
5. Commit to Resilience in Agriculture
A large portion of food production is used for animal feed and biofuels–at least one-third of global food production is used to feed livestock. And land grabs are resulting in food insecurity, the displacement of small farmers, conflict, environmental devastation, and water loss. Strengthening farmers’ unions and cooperatives can help farmers be more resilient to food prices shocks, climate change, conflict, and other problems.

6. Eat (and Cook) Indigenous Crops
Mungbean, cow pea, spider plant…these indigenous crops might sound unfamiliar, but they are grown by small-holder farmers in countries all over the world. The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) reports that approximately 75 percent of the Earth’s genetic resources are now extinct, and another third of plant biodiversity is predicted to disappear by the year 2050. We need to promote diversity in our fields and in our diets!

7. Buy (or Grow) Organic
The Environmental Working Group (EWG) has found that at least one pesticide is in 67 percent of produce samples in the U.S. Studies suggest that pesticides can interfere with brain development in children and can harm wildlife, including bees. Growing and eating organic and environmentally sustainable produce we can help protect our bodies and natural resources.

8. Go Meatless Once a Week
To produce one pound of beef can require 1,799 gallons of water and one pound of pork can require 576 gallons of water. Beef, pork, and other meats have large water footprints and are resource intensive. Consider reducing your “hoofprint” by decreasing the amount and types of meat you consume.

9. Cook
In Michael Pollan’s book “Cooked,” he learns how the four elements-fire, water, air, and earth-transform parts of nature into delicious meals. And he finds that the art of cooking connects both nature and culture. Eaters can take back control of the food system by cooking more and, in the process, strengthen relationships and eat more nutritious–and delicious–foods.

10. Host a Dinner Party
It’s doesn’t have to be fancy, just bring people together! Talk about food, enjoy a meal, and encourage discussion around creating a better food system. Traveling in 2014 and craving a homemade meal? For another option try Meal Sharing and eat with people from around the world.

11. Consider the ‘True Cost’ Of Your Food
Based on the price alone, inexpensive junk food often wins over local or organic foods. But, the price tag doesn’t tell the whole story. True cost accounting allows farmers, eaters, businesses, and policy makers to understand the cost of all of the “ingredients” that go into making fast food–including antibiotics, artificial fertilizers, transportation, and a whole range of other factors that don’t show up in the price tag of the food we eat.

12. Democratize Innovation
Around the world, farmers, scientists, researchers, women, youth, NGOs, and others are currently creating innovative, on-the-ground solutions to various, interconnected global agriculture problems. Their work has the great potential to be significantly scaled up, broadened, and deepened—and we need to create an opportunity for these projects to get the attention, resources, research, and the investment they need.

13. Support Family Farmers
The U.N. FAO has declared 2014 the International Year of Family Farming, honoring the more than 400 million family farms in both industrialized and developing countries, defined as farms who rely primarily on family members for labor and management. Family farmers are key players in job creation and healthy economies, supplying jobs to millions and boosting local markets, while also protecting natural resources.

14. Share Knowledge Across Generations
Older people have challenges–and opportunities–in accessing healthy foods. They’re sharing their knowledge with younger generations by teaching them about gardening and farming, food culture, and traditional cuisines. It’s also important to make sure that older people are getting the nutrition they need to stay active and healthy for as long as possible.




Merry Christmas!


Click here to view the Christmas Greeting from the Dominican Sisters of Springfield, Illinois!

Whenever Christ is born anew Joy resounds in all Creation and Peace echoes throughout the land!

May the Gift of Peace fill your hearts and homes this Christmas.

Sisters Rose Marie Riley, OP Sisters Barbara Blesse, OP Sr. Rebecca Ann Gemma, OP Sr. Kathleen Cour, OP Sisters Kathlyn Mulcahy, OP and All the Dominican Sisters of Springfield, Illinois

Sisters Rose Marie Riley, OP Sisters Barbara Blesse, OP Sr. Rebecca Ann Gemma, OP Sr. Kathleen Cour, OP Sisters Kathlyn Mulcahy, OP and All the Dominican Sisters of Springfield, Illinois

İCuando Cristo nazca de nuevo, resuena los ecos de la Alegría en toda la Creación y la Paz en toda la tierra!

Que el don de la Paz llene sus corazones y sus hogares esta Navidad.

Sisters Rose Marie Riley, OP Sisters Barbara Blesse, OP Sr. Rebecca Ann Gemma, OP Sr. Kathleen Cour, OP Sisters Kathlyn Mulcahy, OP and All the Dominican Sisters of Springfield, Illinois