During September and October, we have a unique opportunity to help our planet by joining with other Catholics throughout the world in supporting three events aimed at promoting prayers and actions on behalf of the Earth.
To begin with, Sunday, Sept 1st, is the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation
Pope Francis has established September 1st as the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, encouraging the Catholic community around the world to pray for our common home. The day is inspired by Pope Francis’ landmark encyclical Laudato Si’, which calls on “every person living on this planet” to care for our “common home”, the Earth.
He calls us all to celebrate this important time – as he said: to “reaffirm [our] personal vocation to be stewards of creation, to thank God for the wonderful handiwork which God has entrusted to our care, and to implore God’s help for the protection of creation, as well as God’s pardon for the sins committed against the world in which we live.”
A Season of Creation
This World Day of Prayer also marks at the beginning of a program called A Season of Creation, which runs until 4 October, the feast of St Francis of Assisi. This is an ecumenical season dedicated to prayer for the protection of creation and to action that promotes sustainable lifestyles. Each week of this Season has a particular theme, along with prayers and reflections, to help us take positive steps in helping our planet.
The Synod on the Amazon
Two days after the end of A Season of Creation, a Special Assembly of the Synod of Bishops will take place in Rome, from Oct 6th through Oct 27th, with the theme of “Amazonia, new paths for the Church and for an integral ecology”. This will be an opportunity for the Church to listen to the people of the Amazon and respond with them to the devastation facing them and their environment.
How can we respond to these three events?
There are many ways to respond to Pope Francis’ calls to care for the gift of God’s creation, from simply taking some time out of your day to walk in your local park and appreciate the beauty of nature, or taking a few moments to thank God for the flowers growing in your garden or taking some action that will lessen the harmful effects of pollution on our planet.
One additional way is to become familiar with these events and to learn how to respond in prayer and action. The following series of articles and reflections on each of these events will help you join your prayers and actions with those of other Catholics and Christians around the world.
Pope Francis is calling us to an ecological conversion. His teachings remind us that we have a responsibility to our Earth, to each other and to generations yet to come.
The World Day of Prayer, the Season of Creation and the Synod on the Amazon are opportunities for us to connect with our creator God and allow the Lord to redefine our relationship with the environment: from one of consumption and control to one of care and protection.
For more information, visit seasonofcreation.org