Six episodes will be released over the course of the 2022 Season of Creation. Jubilee for the Earth is about the beauty of God’s biodiversity and the threats it faces. Nature loss is accelerating at an unprecedented rate, with grave impacts for human wellbeing, and a million species face extinction. Each episode will explore biodiversity loss and a related issue like climate change, indigenous peoples, and young people.
Columbans see close-up the devastating impacts of diminished biodiversity, the collapse of ecosystems, and climate change on communities who contribute least to these problems and whose natural resources are exploited and destroyed for the benefit of others. Columbans live in coastal communities suffering from sea-level rise, in deserts where communities live with water scarcity, and in communities suffering from massive logging and deforestation. The podcasts will inform viewers in the lead-up to COP15, the United Nations conference on Biodiversity, which will take place in 7-19 December 2022 at Montreal, Canada.
Columbans support CAFOD’s LiveSimply programme where parishes and schools undertake to live more simply, more sustainably and in solidarity with poor communities. To date, more than 100 Livesimply Awards have been earned across England and Wales by parishes and schools. While Catholic parishes were often very committed to social justice, care for the environment had not been a focus of the average parish. The Livesimply award can help change that and the programme is being pushed with churches and schools during the Season of Creation. New parish gardens and wild areas contribute towards enhancing local environments.
The next United Nations Conference on Climate Change will take place in Egypt 6-18 November. It aims to build on previous goals from the Paris and Glasgow climate talks and pave the way for future ambition to effectively tackle the global challenge of climate change. Walk2COP27 starts on 22 September. The 45-day virtual journey features 12 locally hosted town hall-hybrid meetings between Glasgow (COP26) and Egypt’s Sharm el-Sheikh (COP27), showcasing how climate change is impacting each location and the solutions that are being deployed. The 12 locations are: Scotland, England, France, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Hungary, Bulgaria, Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt. Campaigners can join these gatherings online, or in person. In the final week of the journey, the voices of all participants will be recorded and synthesised into a proclamation for the COP27 attendees.
A Season of Creation 2022 series of webinars throughout September from the Scottish Laity Network will address such issues as ‘Our Common Home – Privilege and Responsibility’ and ‘Fossil Fuel Divestment and Investment in Clean Energy.’ They are highly recommended.
And finally, “A Catholic Season of Creation” resource for the Sundays of Year C – September/October 2022 – has been produced by Columban Charles Rue in Australia. He says: “Inserting a ‘Season of Creation’ into the Catholic Liturgical Year during September is a structural way to help implement the Pope’s vision in Laudato Si’. As a pastoral initiative, it challenges and stimulates believers to face the 21st century ecological crisis. The Eucharist is a privileged place to remember Laudato Si’ in prayer, loving all things on Earth as kin.” We are helped to recognise that Earth is being abused and that poor people are the first to suffer. We pray to be responsible carers for the multiple gifts of Earth – our common home.