The Season of Creation begins this Thursday, 1 September, and runs until 4 October, the Feast of the Saint Francis of Assisi, patron of ecologists. The Season of Creation has a special significance in the Catholic Church, particularly since Pope Francis established 1 September as an annual World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation. The Season, which is marked throughout the Christian world, celebrates the joy of creation and encourage awareness-raising initiatives to protect the natural environment.
This year’s seasonal theme is “Listen to the Voice of Creation”. “I have heard their cry…I know their sufferings…Come, now! I will send you…I will be with you” (Ex 3: 1-12).
During the Season of Creation Pope Francis invites us to listen to the voice of creation, to the voices of those who suffer the impacts of climate change, to the voices of those who hold generational wisdom about how to live gratefully within the limits of the land. These are voices of the Earth. The global Christian family is called to awaken to the urgent need to heal our relationships with creation and with each other and to encourage our parish communities to do the same.
Speaking yesterday at a Mass in Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, Armagh, to mark the beginning of the Season of Creation, Archbishop Eamon Martin said, “From a faith point of view, God is calling us today, more than ever, to be caring stewards of creation, to protect and nourish our planet and its resources, and not to selfishly waste them or ruthlessly and excessively exploit and destroy them. The challenge to be humble before the wonder of God’s creation, to accept that we need a more balanced, and less wasteful lifestyle; we need “to live more simply, so that others might simply live.
“Global efforts will continue in the coming months to tackle the urgent issues of climate change. At COP27 in Egypt in November, and at COP15 in Canada in December, world leaders will build on previous discussions at international government level. But we cannot simply leave it to governments to solve these immense problems. Humility calls on each one of us to share both the burden and the search for solutions. In our personal lives at home, and in our schools, parishes and communities, the challenge rests with each and all of us,” Archbishop Martin said.
Season of Creation resources are available on www.catholicbishops.ie and these have been prepared by the Laudato Si’ Working Group for use by parish groups and schools:
- Sunday liturgy notes for Season of Creation
- A Weekday Prayer Service for the Season of Creation 2022
- Season of Creation Brochure in English and Irish
- Tree Planting Resource
- Creation Walk Stations
- Earth Day Prayer Service
- Practical Actions 2022
- Season of Creation Prayer 2022
Archbishop Eamon Martin is Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland. Archbishop Martin delivered the homily referred to during the celebration of sung Mass in Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, Armagh on Sunday 29 August, with the Charles Wood Festival Chorus to mark the beginning of the Season of Creation 2022. You can read his homily in full on catholicbishops.ie.