Article: The Season of Creation

Newry Cathedral News

The Season of Creation runs from 1st September until the Feast of St Francis of Assisi on the 4th ofOctober.  

St Francis is the Patron Saint of Ecology and with this simple but profound prayer, ‘Praise be to you my Lord, with all your creatures’, he encourages believers of many generations to recognise creation as the fruit of God’s eternal Love. 

The Season of Creation is the annual celebration of prayer and call for action for our common home. Individuals and communities are invited to participate through prayer, sustainability projects and advocacy. The theme this year is, ‘Listen to the voice of Creation’ and it takes the story of Moses and the burning bush as its inspiration.  In Exodus 3:1-12,  we are urged to listen to the voice of creation. Today all around us we are aware of the devastating effect of climate change and the vulnerability of our planet.  Creation cries out as our forests burn, animals flee, and people are forced to migrate due to circumstances that could be avoided.  

In this season, we are called on to listen to the voice of creation, to the voices of those who suffer the impacts of climate change, to the voices that give us advice on how to live within the limits of our land and understand the interdependence we have with nature. Be it bees, hedgerows or trees, we cannot exist by ignoring nature. 

The present state of decay of our common home on earth merits the same attention as other global challenges such as grave health crises and wars. The planet already is 1.2°C hotter, yet new fossil fuel projects every day accelerate our race towards destroying the planet. All new exploration and production of coal, oil and gas must immediately end, and existing production of fossil fuels must be urgently phased out. 

Living our vocation to be protectors of God’s handiwork is essential in being a Christian; it is not an optional aspect of our Christian experience. Pope Francis wrote in his message, released by the Vatican July 21. Reflecting on the theme for the Season of Creation, the pope said, ‘every creature has its own value and significance’. 

As Christians, there are some things we should be doing or start doing during this time,  

Prayer: Host a prayer gathering that unites Christians for the care of our common home. Include praying for our world in your daily prayers. 

Sustainability: Lead a clean-up project that helps all of creation thrive or be mindful of the use of plastics and the recycling of what we use. Consider how you could have a more climate friendly home. 

Advocacy: Raise your voice for climate justice by participating in or leading an ongoing campaign. Remind our elected representatives on the need for sustainable environmental policies. 

May this Season of Creation be the beginning of the journey to our conversion of caring more for our world, in our families, in our communities, in our country and in our world.