Season of Creation celebrated internationally

In the spirit of global environmental awareness, writer Ellen Teague brings us a glimpse into the inspiring efforts of Catholics and individuals worldwide as they unite in support of the Season of Creation, a month-long initiative dedicated to reflection, action, and reverence for our planet.

'Pilgrimage for the Planet' at the Thames Barrier
'Pilgrimage for the Planet' at the Thames Barrier

Columbans and other Catholics internationally have been supporting the Season of Creation, which runs until 4 October. In the Philippines this week, John Din, the Columban JPIC coordinator, was involved in a coastal clean-up and mangrove planting at Mobod Punta Blanca. John worked with parishioners from the Holy Family Parish, Oroquieta City and with youth activists.

Last week, the Don Bosco School of Theology in Manila, Philippines, organised a day on faith and environmental stewardship. At the event, Fidian Ples, a wild bird photographer, shared his love for wild birds and his journey of capturing them in photos. “Ecology is not just doing something about the environmental crisis, but more importantly, it’s about appreciating and conserving the beauty of nature that we still can preserve,” he told students. The Don Bosco School of Theology is hosting an exhibit of his photos for the duration of the Season of Creation.

Other Season of Creation celebrations around the world have included the Chairman of the Ecological Environment Committee of the bishops’ conference in Korea holding a Creation Mass in Korea, with a street march through Seoul afterwards. Also, an international webinar on 12 September ‘Integral Ecology in the Religious Life and Mission,’ was organised by JPIC Roma.

The Jesuit Centre for Ecology and Development of the Jesuit Province of Southern Africa marked 7 September as the International Day of Clean Air for Blue Skies, saying “Breathing is quietly becoming a perilous instead of a life-giving activity.” It is a day on which the UN stresses the importance and urgency of raising awareness at all levels about poor air quality and its toxicity. The day is meant to encourage everyone to act and engage in activities that lead to the improvement of the quality of the air we breathe.

In Britain, on 15 September, education worker James Trewby supported young people on the streets of Birmingham for ‘Fridays for the Future’, the international climate movement. Last weekend, Columban Sister Kate Midgley organised a ‘Pilgrimage for the Planet’, walking along the River Thames to the Thames Barrier, erected to prevent London flooding. It attracted pilgrims from various local parishes: a big contingent from the Chinese Catholic Community, nine religious Sisters from different Congregations (Columban Sisters, Little Company of Mary Sisters, Missionary Sister of Our Lady of Africa, Sister of the Holy Cross, Carmelite Sister), and Laudato Si animators and members of Christian Climate Action. They shared reflections and prayed for people of all continents, especially those most impacted by climate change in the global south.

The Season of Creation is a global initiative running until 4 October, during which Christians around the world are encouraged to reflect on environmental issues, engage in sustainable practices, and renew their commitment to protecting the Earth.