• Wartakanlah Injil kepada segala makhluk.
    Mrk 16:15

  • 你们往普天下去, 向一切受造物宣传福音
    谷 16:15

  • Everything is possible by the power of the Holy Spirit’s Grace.
    St Arnold Janssen

  • Segala sesuatu menjadi mungkin dalam kekuatan karunia Roh Kudus.
    St. Arnold Janssen

  • 我当传教士不是为主牺牲,而是上主给我的最大恩赐
    圣福若瑟神父

  • Với sức mạnh Ân Huệ của Chúa Thánh Thần, Mọi việc đều có thể được.
    St Arnoldus Janssen

  • Preach the Gospel to the whole creation./Anh em hãy đi khắp tứ phương thiên hạ, loan báo Tin Mừng cho mọi loài thọ tạo
    Mk 16:15

  • There are many different gifts, but it is always the same Spirit.
    1 Cor 12:4

  • And the Word became flesh and lived among us.
    Jn 1:14

  • Let the word of Christ, in all its richness, find a home with you.
    Col 3:16

  • To proclaim the Good News is the first and greatest act of love of neighbour.
    St Arnold Janssen

  • 传扬天国福音是第一且最大的爱近人行动
    圣杨生•爱诺德神父

  • Có nhiều đặc sủng khác nhau, nhưng chỉ có một Thần Khí/
    1 Cor. 14:4

  • 圣言成了血肉,寄居在我们中间
    若 1:14

  • Ada rupa-rupa karunia, tetapi Roh satu
    1 Kor 12:4

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Wednesday, 26 August 2020 12:22

Season of Creation a time of prayer & action for our common home

 

Fr Asaeli Raass profile pic 150If there’s one thing the COVID-19 pandemic has shown us it is how deeply the globe is interconnected.

This interdependence is something I’ve been pondering on as Christians across the world prepare to join together over the next month to celebrate the Season of Creation.

The Season of Creation runs from September 1 to October 4, ending on the feast of St Francis of Assisi, patron saint of ecology.

It is an ecumenical endeavour, inviting Christians and all people to unite in prayer and action for our common home.

Ecumenical Patriarch Dimitrios I proclaimed September 1 as a day of prayer for creation for the Orthodox in 1989. The World Council of Churches was instrumental in making the special time a season, extending the celebration from September 1 until October 4, and Pope Francis made the Catholic Church’s warm welcoming of the season official in 2015.

This year, with our earth and our communities groaning under the terrible effects of the coronavirus pandemic, it seems to me that the Season of Creation takes on an even more urgent character.

The pandemic has made us realise more than ever that “no man is an island”. We don’t live in isolation. We are all connected by our humanity and by the planet we inhabit.

When one country gets a severe outbreak of a coronavirus, soon the whole world is suffering.

We have once again been confronted with the fragility of our existence.

But of course, the increasing fragility of our existence due to climate change and environmental degradation existed before the virus and will exist after the virus, so we mustn’t let the pressing needs of the pandemic side-track our efforts to care for creation.

As a Fijian, I am all too aware of the effect that climate change and changing sea levels is having on Pacific island nations. We see it here in Australia too, with more intense bushfire seasons and damage to the Great Barrier Reef, among other things.

On July 14, the feast day of St Kateri Tekakwitha, patron saint of the environment and ecology, I participated in the Oceania Launch of the Laudato Si’ 5th Year Special Anniversary and Action Plan featuring: His Eminence, Sir John Ribat, Catholic Cardinal of Papua New Guinea; Archbishop Peter Loy of Fiji, President of the Federation of Catholic Bishops Conferences Oceania; Jacqui Remond, Laudato Si' Consultant & Co-Founder Global Catholic Climate Movement;  Fr Joshtrum Kareethadam, Coordinator Ecology and Creation at the Vatican Dicastery Integral Human Development; Bishop Ken Howell, Brisbane; Cheryl Dugan Laudato Si' Animators across Oceania based in New York, together with Ernest, Pacific Climate Warrior; Paulo Bale from Caritas Fiji; Tyger Falvery-Henderson. One of the highlights was the participation of school students from Carmel College Brisbane. 

The purpose was to pray, listen, reflect and dialogue on how aspects of modernity, greed and national development policy affect interconnectedness of all living things. It is happening in most parts of Oceania where modern land grabs under the guise of development go against loss of heritage, food security for the majority of rural Pacific dwellers.

As Christians we are committed to caring for creation because we know that creation is a gift of God for humankind and for all living beings. It is up to us to care for it as good stewards.

In his encyclical Laudato Si’, Pope Francis called for “a new dialogue about how we are shaping the future of our planet”.

“We need a conversation which includes everyone, since the environmental challenge we are undergoing, and its human roots, concern and affect us all,” he said.

The Season of Creation is a great time to start that new dialogue, to pray for the world we live in and to sharpen our focus on concrete ways of working together at both the local and global level to safeguard creation.