After an inspiring Laudato Si’ week in 2022, the Catholic Church is preparing to once again join our Christian sisters and brothers in celebrating the Global Season of Creation later this year. The worldwide ecumenical celebration of prayer and action for our common home is held each year from September 1, World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, to October 4, feast of Saint Francis of Assisi, Patron of Ecology .
Each year, the world’s 2.3 billion Christians unite to pray for our common home and take urgent action for God’s creation. It all started in 1989, when the Ecumenical Patriarch Dimitros I proclaimed September 1 as the Orthodox Day of Prayer for Creation. Subsequently, the World Council of Churches extended the celebration until October 4, the feast day of Saint Francis of Assisi. In turn, in 2015, Pope Francis formalized the Season of Creation for the Roman Catholic Church.
This year’s global celebration is especially vital as the climate emergency and ecological crisis continue to wreak havoc on God’s creation and the most vulnerable. The Christian community unites around the theme “Listen to the voice of creation”.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, many people around the world have become familiar with the concept of silence in conversations. When it comes to the climate crisis, too many voices are also being silenced, including the voices of scientists, biodiversity experts and those bearing the worst impacts of the climate crisis.
To listen to the voice of creation, we must first contemplate the beauty of God’s creation, says Fr. Joshtrom Isaac Kureethadam, Coordinator of the Ecology and Creation Sector at the Vatican Dicastery for Promoting Development integral human.
“Creation speaks eloquently to us of the glory of God, but we fail to contemplate, to listen. The root cause is probably that we don’t have the right attitude,” he said. “That’s the basic perspective that we need to reclaim. Reclaim creation as a temple…as a holy place.”
The symbol of the Season of Creation 2022 is the burning bush. Today, the prevalence of unnatural fires is another sign of the devastating climate crisis. Creation cries out as forests crackle, animals flee and people are forced to migrate by the fires of injustice.
On the contrary, the fire that called Moses as he guarded the flock on Mount Horeb did not consume or destroy the bush. This sacred fire affirmed that God hears the cries of all who suffer and promises to be with us as we follow in faith our deliverance from injustice. During the Season of Creation 2022, this symbol of the Spirit of God calls us to listen to the voice of creation.
You are invited to find out more at 3:00 p.m. CET (2:00 p.m. UK) on Thursday, June 23, when Catholics join the Christian community and launch the 2022 Season of Creation Celebration Guide. The free guide is packed with practical ways so that Catholics around the world can participate in the ecumenical season.
The Season of Creation 2022 Celebration Guide will launch at 3:00 p.m. CET – 2:00 p.m. London time on Thursday, June 23, on the Season of Creation YouTube channel: www.youtube.com/watch?v=qrpT4jcaK3Q
Bino Makhalanyane, Youth Coordinator at the Anglican Environmental Network of Southern Africa
Dr Paulo Ueti, Theological Advisor and Regional Facilitator for Latin America of the Anglican Alliance
Christina Leaño, associate director of the Laudato Si’ movement
Rachel Mander, Head of Strategic Development at A Rocha International
Patricia Mungcal, Co-Chair of the ACT Alliance Youth Engagement Community of Practice
Rev. Sikawu Makubalo, general secretary of the Church Unity Commission
Rev Dr Chad Rimmer, Identity, Communion and Formation Program Manager for the Lutheran World Federation
Reverend Rachel Mash, Provincial Canon for the Environment of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa
Suzi Moreira, coordinator of eco-conversion programs for the Laudato Si’ movement