Bishop Denis Nulty of Kildare and Leighlin joined with parishioners in Tullow Parish for Mass followed by a tree planting ceremony to mark the launch of the Season of Creation on Sunday 1 September.

Creation Time or the Season of Creation ( 1 September – 4 October) celebrates the joy of creation as well as encouraging awareness-raising initiatives to protect the natural environment. The Season of Creation has a special significance for the Catholic Church, particularly since Pope Francis established 1 September as an annual World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation.in the diocese.

Speaking during the Mass, Bishop Nulty said, “We gather in Tullow this Sunday morning, conscious that this is a time of new beginnings for many. In recent days little ones began school for the first time. Many more return or have already returned to schools and colleges, an end to the Summer season and of course the beginning hopefully of a fine spell of weather!

“The Season of Creation is a very timely reminder that the clock is ticking. Recycling is no longer an optional habit; it is the very basic and nothing more. Illegal dumping needs to be exposed and uncovered. Incorrect recycling needs to be corrected, what goes where and into which bin. If we are consuming too much; we are also wasting too much. Luke’s gospel speaks of “a wedding feast”, too many plates return to hotel kitchens uneaten or at best half-eaten: “I’m too full”, “I’ve lost my appetite”, “I’m not hungry” – well there is someone not far from that banquet room would relish that dinner, that meal.

“We will at the end of Mass plant a Mountain Ash to represent the commencement of this great season. I will be assisted by Eileen, Jim & Joe from Cairdeas; Tim from the Parish Pastoral Council and Ben one of your JPII award candidates, who travelled recently with us to Lourdes. I also warmly welcome Jane Mellet representing Trócaire who keep climate change issues at the core of their development outreach and of course our own Julie Kavanagh from Faith Development Services in the diocese. The Mountain Ash, also known as the Rowan Tree is a native tree to this region. It is distinct for its red berries that come in the autumn. I pray this tree and its berries will be a constant reminder to all of us in these parts to do our bit to care together for our common home.”

Bishop Nulty concluded his homily by sharing a newly composed ‘Prayer for the Environment’, which is one of the entries into our Kildare & Leighlin Ploughing Championships competition. The prayer was written by Tom O’Hara from County Sligo, and is simply entitled: ‘Dear God” …

“Dear God
To the melting ice cap
Make us pay heed,
And to the great polar bear
Who is in dire need,
Make us study our actions
And what wrath they may bring,
As we begin our deliberations
With the onset of spring.
Make us look to the sky
Over-burdened with cloud,
And listen to the clamour
Growing ever so loud.
And take note of the flooding
That knocks people about,
While other folks sadly
Are dying of drought.
And for all the distractions
Which are causing dismay,
Make us ever-more conscious
With each passing day.
Amen”.

Creation Time resources, including a new podcast series and Pope Francis’ message for the World Day of Prayer, are available to download from catholicbishops.ie.

ENDS