Written by Ellen Teague.
The Season of Creation (1 September – 4 October) is an annual international ecumenical celebration encouraging greater attention to ‘the cry of the Earth and the cry of the poor’. The bishops of England and Wales are encouraging Catholic parishes and schools to celebrate it. Columbans have been involved for many years, supporting events and highlighting resources.
To celebrate the Season, the Columbans have produced a series of six podcasts focusing on Biodiversity. One features Ellen Teague of the British Region, focusing on Biodiversity and Peace with Columban Pat Cunningham in Korea and Scott Wright in the Columban Office for Advocacy and Outreach in Washington. The third features Irish Columban Liam O’Callaghan, JPIC national coordinator in southern Hyderabad Diocese, who has served in Pakistan for two decades. “I tried to highlight biodiversity and interfaith dialogue, noting that 40 percent of marine species have disappeared from the polluted sea of Karachi because of waste dumping and the discharge of untreated industrial sewage,” he told UCA News. He has sent invitations to the 15 parishes of Hyderabad to sign up for the podcast and more than 1,500 have done so.
Pope Francis flagged up the opening of the month-long Season of Creation last Sunday after the Angelus in St Peter’s Square. “1 September is World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation,” he said, and, “from this date until 4 October we will celebrate with our Christian brothers and sisters from various Churches and traditions the “Jubilee of the Earth.” Catholics will mark the World Day of Migrants and Refugees during the Season on 27 September, highlighting the obligation, as Pope Francis says, to “listen to the cry of the Earth and the cry of the poor.” There is acknowledgement of the growing number of environmental refugees, displaced by the climate crisis.
National celebrations include tree-planting programmes in the Philippines and several US dioceses, fresh commitments globally to disinvest from fossil fuels, and on-line prayer events and webinars organised by the Global Catholic Climate Movement. In Britain, initiatives have ranged from Abingdon Catholic parish running a series of reflections on Creation and Christian Climate Action holding a vigil at the Westminster Parliament calling for urgent action on the Climate Crisis.
Pope Francis Video for the Season
Masses for the Sunday produced by Fr Charles Rue of the Columbans – https://www.columban.org.au/media-and-publications/educational-resources/a-catholic-season-of-creation-sundays-of-september-year-a
7 Days of Creation Reflection – Retreat, written by Fr Charles Rue – https://columbans.ie/7-days-of-creation-reflection-retreat/
Columban podcasts on Biodiversity – https://www.indcatholicnews.com/news/40346
Catholic Bishops Conference of England and Wales – https://www.cbcew.org.uk/home/our-work/environment/season-of-creation/
Season of Creation Website – https://seasonofcreation.org/
‘For our Common Home’, chant written by Marty Haugen for the NATIONAL JUSTICE AND PEACE NETWORK Mini Conference on 18 July 2020 – https://columbans.co.uk/columbans-attend-njpn-virtual-conference
Sheet music available copyright free.