2200 acres of sacred land on the James River. land that has been entrusted to the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament, is at risk for sale under the rationale “money is needed to do our work”. This land represents the true legacy of this congregation and the most important work of our time–preservation of wild places so Earth can heal.
Photos here include the Slave Cemetery on site, the Granary which was to become a Thomas Berry Earth literacy center, the grounds that converted a former southern plantation into transformative education for future african-american leaders.
I find it so ironic that SBS is considering selling Belmead in order to “continue the work of the congregation”, when Belmead and its surrounding estate is THE most significant legacy and represents SBS’s greatest work at this moment in time. Thomas Berry (mystic, theologian, seer and widsom figure for our age) himself shared the following message with this congregation at their Motherhouse:
“”The primary role of religious congregations of women at present might well be to preserve Earth from future devastation” “…. the extensive properties owned by religious communities, properties that are still in a relatively undisturbed state, where wildlife is often abundant, where human predation is limited, where the primordial impress of the divine can still be felt, and where a sense of the sacred is available. Preservation of such lands is one of the greatest urgencies of the moment.”
The preservation of this sacred gift entrusted to you (on behalf of all humans and the living systems of the planet) would be remembered for generations, if not millennia. To squander the gift is a desecration and a huge mistake — one that will reverberate for all time.
Sisters, I urge you to consider the following:
Your greatest shrine was never at your Motherhouse… it was the 2200 acres of sacred lands entrusted to you at Belmead along the James River. Your greatest legacy is contained in these sacred lands.
We sit at the foot of the cross. The crucifixion of the sacred incarnation is underway and we weep, horrified, as lots are cast.
Please reconsider your decision to sell your property on the James River. Earth and her People Need You to preserve this place.