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.