- by Mount Saint Mary College

Mount Saint Mary College MBA students recently applied their Business prowess to developing a strategic plan for the Care for Creation Center, a project to benefit the community that is being spearheaded by the Religious of Jesus and Mary (RJM).

RJM is a Roman Catholic religious congregation of women dedicated to the education and service of the poor.

The U.S. Providence of RJM owns 78 acres of land in Highland Mills, N.Y. Inspired by the second encyclical of Pope Francis on climate change and inequality, RJM would like to preserve the property for several purposes:

  • Creating a community garden
  • Opening a community compost area
  • Educating the community on the ecology of sustainable living
  • And other community and environmental goals

The Care for Creation Center project has been entrusted to a team of six sisters and ten laypeople, collectively known as the Care for Creation at Bethany Committee. Those who attended the Mount presentation included Sr. Joan Curtin, CND; Sr. Teresita Morse, RJM; Sr Doris Bissonette, RJM; and Thomas and Julie Brinkmann.

The students of Mount Business Professor Moira Tolan's capstone course spent several weeks researching their recommendations for the center's next steps, including how to effectively utilize the land and how to implement and generate membership in the organization.

"We do see a tremendous capability for the center to move out of its infancy and into reality by using the right tools," noted MBA student Julann Schwarz of Beacon, N.Y. "We recommend...that for the coming year, efforts are focused on developing a constituency of those who will work with passion and integrity of creation for the care of our common home [Earth] through ministry and education."

The Care for Creation Center Committee praised the graduate students for their thorough evaluation.

"What you have done for our new ministry, Care for Creation at Bethany, has been extraordinary," said Sr. Morse. "We can never thank you enough. Your class gave us, in two hours, a whole course in the business management we need in order to move forward."

She added, "To be the beneficiary of such outstanding guidance in professional business management is a blessing we could never have had but for Mount Saint Mary College's commitment to put its rich resources at the service of the local community." 


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