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Monday, 02 May 2016 23:34

Solar Sister

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Mary Ryan-Hotchkiss – NSFA Co-Editor

We had a quick visit with Sr. Rose Marie Cecchini, MM, and noted that the Pillars that animate Maryknoll Affiliates—Spirituality, Community, Global Vision, and Action—are also evident in her work.

Sr. Rose Marie Cecchini, MM, is based in Gallup, NM, and is the director of the Office of Peace, Justice, and Stewardship of Creation for the Diocese of Gallup. During her many years in mission in Japan, she learned of the lasting damage from nuclear disasters. Her diocesan office is now an ally of MASE, Multicultural Alliance for a Safe Environment, which addresses the legacy of uranium contamination and related illnesses in the Gallup area. Sr. Rose Marie spoke on this topic at the 2011 Affiliate Conference in Las Vegas. Related articles were in the NSFA in 2011 and 2013.


Sr. Rose Marie now proposes using New Mexico’s plentiful sunshine as an alternative to mined uranium-dependent nuclear power. In October, an article in Gallup’s newspaper, The Independent,  “Gallup’s ‘Solar Sister’s Driving Force for Change,” recognized her as one of the founding members of the Gallup Solar organization, Gallup Solar and related groups advocated for a law that would increase solar power incentives, but the bill was subsequently vetoed by the governor. They continued their advocacy with an article, “Groups demand creative solutions to climate change,” in The Independent, Dec. 12, 2015. In conjunction with New Mexico Interfaith Power and Light, Sr. Rose Marie also helps develop monthly prayer services that educate and reflect on the importance of care for creation.

The approach to mission taken by Sr. Rose Marie—her spirituality, working with allies in the interfaith community, and using her global experiences to inform her actions—resonates with Maryknoll Affiliates and our Four Pillars!

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