September 1– October 4 2020
The fifth anniversary of Laudato Si was the beginning of the Special Laudato Si Anniversary Year (May 24 2020 – May 24 2021) with the hope that it be a time of grace, a true Kairos experience and “Jubilee” time for the Earth, for humanity and all God’s creatures.
The theme for Season of Creation 2020 is “Jubilee for the Earth” in which we are invited to consider the integral relationship between the rest for the Earth and ecological, economic, social and political ways of living. The need for just and sustainable systems revealed this year by the global COVID-19 pandemic, makes this a time to reflect and further act on the urgency of the situation of our world today and act for future generations with local to national responses.
Liturgically, we celebrate remembering God’s action in prayer.
Season of Creation and Ecological Justice: This year’s theme is “Jubilee for the Earth” and is an annual celebration of prayer and action to protect creation and is celebrated by Christians of all traditions. In Laudato Si’ Pope Francis asked us to care for creation and one another.
You are warmly invited to find an oasis of peace and calm for 45 minutes with a guided meditation ‘Finding God in Creation’. This Creation Examen will be held via Zoom on Wednesday, September 16 at 7.30pm.
Developed by St Ignatius of Loyola, the Examen is a simple technique of prayerful reflection on the events of the day which will help you to listen to the inner movements of your heart. This Ecological Examen asks you to reflect with gratitude on your personal relationship with God in creation, to notice where you can do more to protect creation and to promote ecological justice by standing in solidarity with those most impacted by environmental harm. Please respond by email and you will be sent a link to Zoom closer to September 16. firstname.lastname@example.org
A Christian Life Community and Catholic Earthcare Ballarat Diocese in collaboration.
Bishop Paul offers the following reflection:
In 1989, the Patriarch of Constantinople, Dimitrios I, declared the first day of September a day of prayer for all creation, for the protection of the environment. This is in tune with the Orthodox calendar in which September 1 begins the liturgical year with prayer to God the Creator. We find this petition, for example, in one of the hymns for this day. “O Lord, Creator of all things, who by your authority have established times and seasons, bless the beginning of our Church year with your goodness; preserve your people in peace.”
The practice of having September 1 as a Day of Prayer for Creation spread to other Christian communities around the world. In 2015, Pope Francis formally invited Catholics to join in keeping September 1 as a Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation.
With the encouragement of the World Council of Churches, the Day of Prayer for Creation grew into a Season of Creation, beginning on September 1 and continuing till October 4, the feast of St Francis of Assisi, patron saint of ecology. St Francis gave us a widely known hymn of praise for creation. Pope Francis quoted this hymn at the start of his encyclical Laudato si’, on care for our common home. The hymn calls on all creation to give praise to the Creator. “Laudato si’, mi Signore”, “Be praised, my Lord, through all your creatures”.
Various groups now celebrate the weeks from September 1 till October 4 as a Season of Creation. While this is not an official liturgical season like Lent or Eastertide in our Catholic liturgical calendar, Pope Francis has encouraged us to make this a special time of prayer and action in caring for our common home.
In his message on this day in 2019, Pope Francis wrote, “I strongly encourage the faithful to pray in these days that, as the result of a timely ecumenical initiative, are being celebrated as a Season of Creation. This season of increased prayer and effort on behalf of our common home begins today, September 1, the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, and ends on October 4, the feast of Saint Francis of Assisi. It is an opportunity to draw closer to our brothers and sisters of the various Christian confessions. I think in particular of the Orthodox faithful, who have celebrated this Day for thirty years. In this ecological crisis affecting everyone, we should also feel close to all other men and women of good will, called to promote stewardship of the network of life of which we are part.”
The Pope echoes the teaching of Saint Bonaventure, who wrote of creation as the first book that God opens before our eyes. As we marvel at creation’s order, variety and beauty, we can come to love and praise its Creator. Pope Francis also encourages us to make this a season for reflecting on our daily decisions about food, consumption, transportation, use of water and energy, so that we might adopt “more simple and respectful lifestyles”.
Speaking to a gathering of young people, Pope Francis referred to creation as a network of life, a place of encounter with God and one another, “God’s own social network”. He invites us to take our part in weaving this network. “Each Christian man and woman, every member of the human family, can act as a thin yet unique and indispensable thread in weaving a network of life that embraces everyone. May we feel challenged to assume, with prayer and commitment, our responsibility for the care of creation.”
Bishop Paul Bird CSsR