It’s an incredibly busy time of the year. Many Creation Care Teams are involved in Season of Creation events. Some plan to stand in solidarity with youth during the upcoming Climate Strikes, others are hosting Feast of St. Francis educational programs and Blessings of the Animals, and others are figuring out how to connect with the upcoming Amazonian Synod.
I wish to lift up a few examples of what Creation Care Teams and others in the US Catholic community are doing and resources that are available:
1) The Archdiocese of Chicago has a website for the 2019 Season of Creation, has designated Sept. 20th as “Climate Action Day” and invited Catholic schools to plan an assembly about climate change and participate in prayer and action. Their wonderful Climate Action Day resource is available here.
2) St. John Neumann Parish (Reston, VA) has a series of Season of Creation Activitiesincluding highway cleanup, nature walk, educational programs, and special liturgies.
3) Father Jacek Orzechowski, OFM, provides this homily help, a reflection on the parable of the Prodigal Son (Gospel of Luke 15:1-32) for the Season of Creation. For more homily helps and other resources for Season of Creation see www.seasonofcreation.org. Please share this with your pastor.
4) Weekly prayers for the Season of Creation from the Congregation of St. Joseph.
5) Celebrate the Season of Creation by observing Mercy Meatless Mondays! The Sisters of Mercy of the Americas have a “Mercy Meatless Mondays” booklet, which you may use or adapt for your school or parish. Or just copy individual pages for use as educational items and recommendations for having less meat-centric potlucks, breakfasts, and other such gatherings.
What activities do you have planned? Email me your info so I can share in an upcoming CCT email.
How will you take action?
This month, His Holiness, Pope Francis calls us to pray for the protection of oceans and seas. Watch this month’s “Pope Video”.
Please join in prayer for all of the web of life during this Season of Creation:
Season of Creation Prayer
Creator of Life: Our living Earth is one among countless planets that fill the galaxies throughout the cosmos, and reflect your compassionate creative presence. Earth is full of life—all of them Your creatures, and by Your wisdom you made them all. At Your word, the cosmos burst into being and many billion years later Earth brought forth plants yielding seed of every kind, and trees of every kind bearing fruit, the waters teemed with swarms of living creatures of every kind, and the dry land was filled with every kind of winged bird, walking animal, and creature that creeps upon the ground.
Mountains, plains, rocks, and rivers shelter diverse communities, and through the changing seasons Your Spirit renews cycles of life.
During this Season of Creation, open our eyes to see the precious diversity that is all around us, from the stars above to the smallest beings. Enlighten our minds to appreciate the delicate balance maintained by each creature. Inspire us to heal and conserve the precious habitats that nurture this web of life.
In the name of the One who came to proclaim good news to all creation, Jesus Christ. Amen.
Season of Creation Prayer 2019-Adapted by Congregation of St. Joseph
(Full Season of Creation resource from thhe Congregation of St. Joseph available here)
Urge your Senators to support the International Climate Accountability Act (S.1743)
The International Climate Accountability Act would help keep the United States in the Paris Agreement and ensure it remains a global leader in the effort to prevent climate change. Urge your Senators to support the legislation. If your Senator has already co-sponsored, be sure to thank them.
Feast of St. Francis
Is your Creation Care Team planning to commemorate the Feast of St. Francis on October 4th (or on a date that fits your community’s schedule)?
The 2019 Feast of St. Francis 90-minute educational program, “We Are All Connected: Cry of the Earth, Cry of the Poor", complements and accompanies the Vatican's Synod for the Amazon and focuses on integral ecology, environmental and climate justice, and lifting the voice of indigenous communities. The program contains prayers, readings, a short video, and suggested activities. Also available is a Blessing of the Animals liturgy.
DOWNLOAD FEAST OF ST. FRANCIS PROGRAM
Also available to help celebrate the Season of Creation is this year’s Earth Day program, “All Creation Gives God Praise: Protecting Biodiversity in a Time of Climate Crisis”. The theme for this year’s Season of Creation is “Protecting the Web of Life”, and this program includes prayers, discussion, questions, activities, and a video that focuses on biodiversity.
If you host a Season of Creation event, be sure to register it here.
Synod for the Amazon
The Bishops of the world will be gathering in Rome from October 6 to October 27 to discuss the needs of the Pan-Amazonian region, especially the needs of the indigenous people who inhabit the Amazonian basin (and other critical habitats) and the eco-systems they protect. The Synod's preparatory document titled "Amazonia, new paths for the Church and for an integral ecology", was published on 17 June 2019.
To learn more about the upcoming synod (in addition to the 2019 Feast of St. Francis program and especially the video that accompanies the program) we invite you to check the following resources:
1) CIDSE, Together for Global Justice, in collaboration with REPAM, released a series of 17 mini-video interviews on the Amazon covering issues such as the upcoming Synod, nature, climate, gender equality, indigenous rights, land rights, corporate regulation and systemic change. All interviews last about 1.5 min each and are available on the CIDSE Youtube Channel.
2) Columban Missionaries Reflections: Amazonia Synod 10: Change cannot just be cosmetic.
3) Pax Christi International’s Statement in Support if the Synod on the Amazon.
4) Jesuits: Five Keys to Understanding the Synod on the Amazon According to a Vatican Insider.