September marks the end of summer and back to school. September also marks the start of the Season of Creation. September 1st is also the World Day of Prayer for Creation as Pope Francis has proclaimed:
Each year, particularly since the publication of the Encyclical Laudato Si’, the first day of September is celebrated by the Christian family as the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation and the beginning of the Season of Creation, which concludes on the feast of Saint Francis of Assisi on the fourth of October. During this period, Christians worldwide renew their faith in the God of creation and join in prayer and work for the care of our common home.
I encourage you to start the Season of Creation and the World Day of Prayer for Creation this year with a prayer for creation: the earth and everything in it and on it, all bestowed upon us by God, our creator, as a gift to all. This year, there are a number of events going on throughout the world to celebrate and protect God’s creation.
In Western Washington, on Wednesday, September 1, the local Franciscans are leading a virtual Prayer Service from 7-8pm over Zoom. The service will include related scripture readings, music, prayers and participatory reflections and intercessions. I will be participating. Here is the zoom link: tinyurl.com/sept1-prayer-service. If you are prompted for a password, enter 211228.
In his letter to us on the Season of Creation, Monsignor Bruno-Marie Duffé, Secretary of the Vatican’s Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, tells us:
This Season of Creation will also be a critical moment for Catholics to lift up the voices of the most vulnerable and advocate on their behalf ahead of two important summits, the UN Summit on Biodiversity (COP 15) in October and the UN Climate Summit in November (COP 26). May I invite you to join advocacy initiatives such as the Healthy Planet, Healthy People petition urging for bold action to protect creation in addition to other initiatives calling for new paths forward together.
To answer the call of Monsignor Bruno-Marie Duffé, consider signing all these petitions for action; I did:
- thecatholicpetition.org – the Healthy Planet, Healthy People petition
- tinyurl.com/lsia-petition from Catholic Climate Covenant
- https://www.prayandact4climate.org/action/petition from Christian Aid’s global prayer and action chain for climate justice
Here at St John’s, the Saint Francis of Assisi ministry is busy planning for several events to celebrate the Season of Creation. We should have a calendar of events to share with you next week. In the meantime, let me encourage you to check out tinyurl.com/55-ways-to-care where you will find our 55 ideas on how to care for creation.
Working together, we can help take care of our common home.