Following an inspiring Laudato Si' Week 2022, the Catholic Church is preparing to once again join our Christian sisters and brothers in celebrating the global Season of Creation later this year. The worldwide ecumenical celebration of prayer and action for our common home is held annually from September 1, the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, to October 4, the Feast Day of St Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of ecology.
Every year, the world's 2.3 billion Christians unite to pray for our common home and take urgent action for God's creation. It all began in 1989, when Ecumenical Patriarch Dimitros I proclaimed September 1 as the Orthodox Day of Prayer for Creation. Subsequently, the World Council of Churches extended the celebration until October 4, the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi. In turn, in 2015, Pope Francis made the Season of Creation official for the Roman Catholic Church.
This year's global celebration is especially vital as the climate emergency and ecological crisis continue to wreak havoc on God's creation and the most vulnerable. The Christian community is uniting around the theme, 'Listen to the Voice of Creation.'
During the Covid-19 pandemic, many around the world have become familiar with the concept of being muted in conversations. With respect to the climate crisis, too many voices are also silenced, including the voices of scientists, biodiversity experts, and those who suffer the worst impacts of the climate crisis.
In order to listen to the voice of creation, we must first contemplate the beauty of God's creation, said Father Joshtrom Isaac Kureethadam, coordinator of the Sector of Ecology and Creation at the Vatican Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development.
"Creation speaks to us eloquently of the glory of God but we fail to contemplate, to listen. The root cause is probably we don't have the right attitude," he said. "That is the basic perspective we need to recover. Recover creation as a temple… as a holy place."
The symbol for the 2022 Season of Creation is the burning bush. These days, the prevalence of unnatural fires is another sign of the devastating climate crisis. Creation cries out as forests crackle, animals flee, and people are forced to migrate due to the fires of injustice.
On the contrary, the fire that called to Moses as he tended the flock on Mt Horeb did not consume or destroy the bush. This holy fire affirmed that God heard the cries of all who suffered, and promised to be with us as we followed in faith to our deliverance from injustice. During the 2022 Season of Creation, this symbol of God's Spirit calls us to listen to the voice of creation.
You're invited to learn more at 15:00 CET (2pm in UK) on Thursday, June 23, when Catholics will join the Christian community and launch the 2022 Season of Creation Celebration Guide. The free guide is packed with practical ways Catholics everywhere can participate in the ecumenical season.
The 2022 Season of Creation Celebration Guide will be launched at 15:00 CET - 2pm London time on Thursday 23 June, on the Season of Creation YouTube channel: www.youtube.com/watch?v=qrpT4jcaK3Q
Bino Makhalanyane, Youth Coordinator at Anglican Environmental Network of Southern Africa
Dr Paulo Ueti, Theological Advisor and Regional Facilitator for Latin America of the Anglican Alliance
Christina Leaño, Associate Director of Laudato Si' Movement
Rachel Mander, Strategy Development Officer at A Rocha International
Patricia Mungcal, Co-Chair for ACT Alliance Community of Practice for Youth Participation
Rev Sikawu Makubalo, General Secretary for Church Unity Commission
Rev Dr Chad Rimmer, Program Executive for Identity, Communion and Formation for the Lutheran World Federation
Rev Rachel Mash, Provincial Canon for the Environment in the Anglican Church of Southern Africa
Suzi Moreira, Coordinator of Eco-Conversion Programs for Laudato Si' Movement