Season of Creation 2016 Wrap Up
The Season of Creation (September 1- October 4) has been a powerful time for Christians around the globe to unite in prayer, reflection, and action on behalf of creation. Here is a brief wrap-up of everything that happened over the last 5 weeks.
AN ECUMENICAL EFFORT
Christian and faith based groups from the around the world came together to promote the Season of Creation:World Council of Churches, Anglican Communion Environmental Network, Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network (Apostleship of Prayer), the Global Catholic Climate Movement, ACT Alliance and GreenFaith.
A multilingual website was created with resources, showcasing videos of support from the faith leaders of the Christian communities.
SEPTEMBER 1 ONLINE PRAYER SERVICE
Representatives from the Season of Creation working group led an online Ecumenical Prayer Service on September 1 for the World Day of Prayer for Creation. It was a powerful gathering joined by hundreds around the globe.
Fr. Frédéric Fornos sj, International Director of the Pope’sWorldwide Prayer Network leads the closing prayer during the September 1 online prayer service.
WEEKLY LAUDATO SI PRAYER SESSIONS
Following the Pope’s appeal in Laudato Si calling for an ecological conversion, the Global Catholic Climate Movement organized a weekly series of online contemplative prayer sessions inspired by the spirituality of Laudato Si.
The series culminated with Fr. Laurence Freeman, OSB (above), Director of the World Community of Christian Meditation leading the final guided meditation.
EVENTS AROUND THE GLOBE
On the ground, close to 300 Season of Creation events in 55 countries were registered on the website. Here is a sampling of some of the events:
COPE Pakistan organized events with children of Catholic Sunday schools in Renala Khurd Parish Diocese of Faisalabad.
Blessing of the Animals on October 4 in Manila, Philippines to end the Season of Creation.
Rev. Lee Taylor led a service to celebrate the season of creation at Minster, England.
An interfaith service held at St Mary’s Cathedral, Cape Town, South Africa. Pictured above are the leaders and the keynote speaker Lindiwe Van Staaden with the Archbishop Steven Brislin.
World Day of Prayer for Creation mass at Mater Misericordiae Catholic Church in Rumuomasi Portharcourt, Nigeria concelebrated by Laudato Si Animator Fr. Christopher Amaubosi, CSSP.
Prayer gathering at Mercy Health Lourdes Hospital in front of the St. Francis Statue in their Serenity Garden, Kentucky, United States.
At the Eglise Saint Michel (Ile aux moines), Bretany, France some faithful gathered to paint an earth on a big chinese paper lantern “Vigiles pour la Terre” which stayed in the church during the whole Season of Creation.
Coordinated with the Feast of St. Francis, a group of 7 Catholic institutions from all over the world announced their intentions to divest from fossil fuelsover the next 5 years. The Catholic communities committing to switch the management of their finances away from fossil fuel extraction included: The Jesuits in English Canada; the Federation of Christian Organisations for the International Voluntary Service (FOCSIV) in Italy; the Presentation Society of Australia and Papua New Guinea; SSM Health in the United States; the Diocese of the Holy Spirit of Umuarama in the Brazilian state of Paraná; the Missionary Society of St. Columban, based in Hong Kong and with a global presence in 14 countries; and the Salesian Sisters of Don Bosco – Daughters of Mary Help of Christians in Milan and Naples (Italy). The news was picked up by major media wires including AFP and Catholic News Service.
In addition, the Anglican Church of Southern Africa (South Africa, Swaziland, Lesotho, Angola Mozambique and Namibia) passed a motion at their Provincial Synod to divest from fossil fuels. The Synod of Bishops mandated that the South African Anglican Theological Commission (SAATC) identify ethical fossil fuel free portfolio options as part of this exciting move.
FEAST OF ST. FRANCIS ONLINE PRAYER SERVICE
To close the Season of Creation, faith leaders joined together again online from the Anglican, Orthodox, Protestant, and Catholic churches to end our special time in prayer.
Thanks to everyone for making this a special time. May our prayer and action bear fruits of a sustainable home for generations to come.