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USA: Franciscan Sisters co-sponsor huge eco-cleanup

 The Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity co-sponsored a huge beach cleanup in Wisconsin this week. As part of the Ocean Conservancy's International Coastal Cleanup, the Beach Sweep is the largest and most successful volunteer event of its kind. Since 1986, the International Costal Cleanup has cleaned more than 100 million pounds of trash on more than 170,000 miles of shorelines of rivers and beaches. The collected trash is documented to determine sources of pollution and prevention. Sr Mary Ann Spangers said: "St Francis saw in creation a reflection of God's own goodness. He had a special love for Sister Water for it was a reminder of the sacrament of baptism. A Franciscan can not help but be mindful of precious marine life and reverence them, creatures also mirroring God's own goodness." In welcoming the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity's participation, Wisconsin Beach Sweep coordinator Kae DonLevy said: "I'm glad more and more people are participating in the Beach Sweep and that the Franciscan Sisters in particular are leading the way in NE Wisconsin. The Franciscan Sisters offer a clear appreciation of nature and Catholic Sisters tend to be well organized, which really bodes well for a successful and fun Beach Sweep." Sr Mary Ann Spangers notes that the Beach Sweep often attracts young men and women "We are encouraged by the enthusiasm of youth to do service and their reverence for creation. There is a growing consciousness among the young that efforts like beach sweeps are not merely about our own survival. Our Sisters chose this part of Wisconsin to begin our community. Its beauty is part of our heritage, and thus it is ours to care for. This Lake Michigan shoreline bears the imprint of Christ." Established in 1869, the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity serve in Catholic health care, education and parish ministries in 11 US dioceses (Green Bay, Milwaukee, Phoenix, Tucson, Honolulu, Chicago, Marquette, Jackson, Omaha, Columbus and Steubenville). Source: FSCC