Fr. Charles Rue, on expanding our liturgical year to encompass creation

September 2, 2015

My name is Charles Rue. To my spiritual journey as a Catholic and to my missionary service as a priest I bring three books – the environmental encyclical Laudato Si’, the Church’s liturgical Sacramentary and the Bible.

Pope Francis has given us a vision of the earth as our home, common to all peoples and all that lives. Our human journey joins us with the earth and all its systems. We are to find God present there. The Pope invites us to see anew the ongoing cosmic action of God ultimately made present in the mystery of Jesus the Christ. He invites to be converted to a vision of integral ecological.

The Pope suggests a central way to structurally implement his vision will be to have pastors lead their communities in a revised way of prayer. Each Sunday believers are nourished and challenged to grow in their faith. Fifty years ago the liturgical reforms of Vatican II made the liturgy easier to understand and filled it with a richer diet of Scripture.

It is my hope that the liturgical year will be further reformed by celebrating a Season of Creation on the four Sundays during September, equivalent to Advent or Lent. The pastoral needs of ordinary Catholics led to the Vatican II liturgical reform, but a 21st century pastoral need is for Catholic communities to undergo ecological conversion helped by new liturgical reform.

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The Vatican II reform gives us an example of what an organised group of experts with the pastoral support of the bishops can achieve in a few years. If there is the will among Catholic leadership in our day, a collaborative effort can create an official new liturgical structure which includes a September Season of Creation. The new structure can help implement the Pope’s vision for our common home.