Season of Creation starts on September 1 with a Global Ecumenical Online Prayer Service. Faith leaders from around the globe will lead this time of prayer and reflection as we celebrate the start of the Season of Creation, on this year’s theme, “Let Justice and Peace Flow”. Below is a flavour of the season
Register on Zoom or join directly on YouTube. Other opportunities at Taize on September 30th and on October 4 when the season ends.
On Wednesday, October 4, as we celebrate the feast of St. Francis of Assisi and remember the first anniversary of the release of the film The Letter, we will close the Season of Creation with an online ecumenical prayer service. Join us through our YouTube channel. See more
LATAM Symposium for the care of our common home. LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN ON THE ROAD TO “ACCELERATING THE JUST ENERGY TRANSITION” IN TERMS OF INTEGRAL ECOLOGY. See More and register to attend HERE September 7 from 9.00 – 12.00 Bogota time
Concluding lines from the message of Pope Francis is my wish and prayer “In this Season of Creation, as followers of Christ on our shared synodal journey, let us live, work and pray that our common home will teem with life once again. May the Holy Spirit once more hover over the waters and guide our efforts to “renew the face of the earth” (cf. Ps 104:30).”
The July edition of VOICE a monthly newsletter from UN DESA (Department of Economic and Social Affairs is filled with information about the upcoming High-Level Political Forum. The first article is about turbocharging the SDGs. This is followed by how action for climate change and the SDGs create synergies that reinforce each other.
In my last posting, I did not mention anything about the call of the Secretary-General for an SDG stimulus. There is a section in Voice entitled 5 things you need to know about the SDG Stimulus to deliver the 2030 Agenda. In February 2023 the Secretary-General called for the G20 to deliver US $ 500 billion annually to Sustainable Development. The crunch will be on September 18 and 19 when the SDG Summit is taking place – will the call be answered? Will the money be provided? If one does a tour of the UN one sees the amount spent on military expenditure – currently at 5 Billion a day. This is a steep increase from November of 2022 when 1 Billion a day was recorded.
The Sustainable Development Goals Report will launch on July 10 at 12.30 EST. You can watch live on UN WebTV
As I write this piece I am reminded of the working document or ‘instrumentum laboris,’ towards the Synod released at the end of June. The document outlines the current reality as characterized by too many wars, the threat represented by climate change, the cry to oppose an economic system that produces exploitation, inequality, and a throw-away culture, the desire to resist the homogenizing pressures of cultural colonialism that crushes minorities, persecution to the point of martyrdom, and emigration that progressively hollows out communities. This is the current reality that is at the heart of the High-Level Political Forum and the global framework outlined in the Sustainable Development Goals. This desire for implementation is often thwarted by counter-systems that are war-mongering, that demand to invest in militarism and fossil fuels.
These counter-systems uphold neo-liberal capitalism, maintain inequality – including gender inequality, profit from the exploitation of child labour, migrant labour, bonded labour and human trafficking, maintain a throw-away culture, crush minorities, harass women leaders, to the point of murdering women’s human rights defenders and others calling for change. The Global NGO presence and voice at the United Nations call for, propose and witness to an alternative reality – a reality informed by dignity and human rights, inclusion and respect for all people and our common home opposing and resisting the dominant narrative. Read More
Laudato Si’ Week 2022 will be celebrated May 22 – 29 this year. This is the 7th anniversary of Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si on care of creation. The theme for the week is “Listening and Journeying Together.” The eight-day global event will be guided by the following quote from Pope Francis’ Laudato Si’: “Bringing the human family together to protect our common home” (LS 13).
The Season of Creation begins on Tuesday. The theme for this year 2020 is ‘Jubilee for the Earth.’ Lots of resources are available for your information, reflection, and prayer. I love the symbolism behind this logo
The orb of the logo is planet Earth filled with the waves of God’s Spirit. The veins of the leaf suggest the web of creation. The leaf forms a tree of life that is also the cross of Christ. Leaves from the tree of life are for healing (Revelation 22:2).
The Dominican Center has prepared a liturgical guide for each of the Sundays in the season.
This text from Laudato Si #109 gives us the rational for being attentive during the season of creation “We are faced to by two separate crises, one environmental and the other social, but rather with one complex crisis which is both environmental and social. Strategies for a solution demand an integrated approach to combating poverty, restoring dignity to the excluded, and at the same time protecting nature.”
September 1: Creation Day/World Day of Prayer for Creation
Creation Day, also called the World Day of Prayer for Creation, opens the season each year. Pope Francis, Patriarch Bartholomew, the World Council of Churches, and many other leaders have called the faithful to celebrate this day. Globally, Christians are invited to join the online prayer service to come together in a joyful celebration of our common cause. More information will be updated at Season of Creation If you wish to participate you need to register The website and resources are in different Languages – French, Spanish, Portuguese and Italian and there are specific links for different dominations. They have published a Celebration Guide and have set aside one week September 19 – 26 to act globally for the SDG’s. The list of other events can be seen HERE including regional webinars. The World Day of Migrants will be a focus on September 27th. A season of creation calendar has been published. If you check it out you may find local events that are of interest to you or you may be interested in hosting your own event.
Below are some advocacy points are outlined from page 32 of the Celebration Guide.
A reflection on COVID 19 and creation can be accessed at the ARRCC outlining 6 learning from COVID that can help us better care for creation. Literature, writings, suggestion, abound. What is important is that you choose one action to commit to. Happy Season of Creation to all readers!
Know, Love and Serve with the SDG’s is a Lenten resource prepared by the Claretian Development Network. Focus Goals for the Planet reflect on SDG 6, 12, 13, 14 and 15. Conversion needs to be holistic – ecological, social, and spiritual. Text is currently available in English and Spanish. Coming soon in French. This year the focus at the United Nations is on “Accelerated action and transformative pathways: realizing the decade of action and delivery for sustainable development “.
As Lent begins our representative to Economic Commission in Africa (ECA) -Donatus Lili – has been attending the sixth session of the Africa Regional Forum on Sustainable Development (ARFSD-6), which was held from 25 to 27 February 2020, at the Elephant Hills Resort in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe. As a member of the Major Groups and other stakeholders the following statement has been shared with a focus on People, Prosperity, Planet, Peace and Partnership.
This Lenten Reflection Guide, offers reflections, questions, prayers, and actions based on each week’s scripture readings in light of the theme of ecological conversion. Use this guide individually or in small groups to reflect upon your life patterns, to pray more deeply, and to renew your spirit to face the realities of our world.
The Season of Creation has begun. What are you doing? See blog entry Climate Emergency. The Global Catholic Climate Movement has some good material in many languages Yesterday, Pope Francis urges the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics and all people of good will to take urgent action against the injustice of climate change and the ecological crisis, to protect the poor and future generations. There is the opportunity to take a pledge in line with the vision of Laudato Si as an individual, family, community or organization. In taking the pledge you commit to i) Pray for and with creation, ii) Live more simply, iii) Advocate to protect our common home. If you, your family, community or organizations are interested visit the website ‘Live Laudato Si.
Was the Canadian Artist Mr. Claude Lafortune prophetic when he portrayed Saint Mary Euphrasia leaning over a trampled flower to bring it back to life? ” A person and creation are inalienable, one is not of more value than the other.”
The Season of Creation is the time of year when the world’s 2.2 billion Christians are invited to pray and care for creation. It runs annually from September 1 through October 4. The theme for this year is ‘The Web of Life.’ It was first proclaimed by the Patriarch Dimitrios 1 for the Orthodox in 1989 and endorsed by people Francis in 2015. See letter of 23 May 2019 and letter of 5 June 2019 Visit their website and explore many resources it holds The website is in English, French,Spanish, and Portuguese
The UN Secretary General António Guterres has convened a Climate Summit for Monday 23rd September 2019. This will take place during the opening of the 74th Session of the General Assembly September 17th – 30, 2019. UN Secretary-General is calling on all leaders to come to New York on 23 September with concrete, realistic plans to enhance their nationally determined contributions by 2020, in line with reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 45 per cent over the next decade, and to net zero emissions by 2050. Climate Week in New York City is September 23 – 29 in collaboration with the United Nations and wants to urge accelerated action for climate change.
In order to ensure that the transformative actions in the real economy are as impactful as possible, the Secretary-General has prioritized the following action portfolios, which are recognized as having high potential to curb greenhouse gas emissions and increased global action on adaptation and resilience.
Finance: mobilizing public and private sources of finance to drive decarbonization of all priority sectors and advance resilience;
Energy Transition: accelerating the shift away from fossil fuels and towards renewable energy, as well as making significant gains in energy efficiency;
Industry Transition: transforming industries such as Oil and Gas, Steel, Cement, Chemicals and Information Technology;
Nature-Based Solutions: Reducing emissions, increasing sink capacity and enhancing resilience within and across forestry, agriculture, oceans and food systems, including through biodiversity conservation, leveraging supply chains and technology;
Cities and Local Action: Advancing mitigation and resilience at urban and local levels, with a focus on new commitments on low-emission buildings, mass transport and urban infrastructure; and resilience for the urban poor;
Resilience and Adaptation: advancing global efforts to address and manage the impacts and risks of climate change, particularly in those communities and nations most vulnerable.
In addition, there are three additional key areas:
Mitigation Strategy: to generate momentum for ambitious Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and long-term strategies to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement.
Youth Engagement and Public Mobilization: To mobilize people worldwide to take action on climate change and ensure that young people are integrated and represented across all aspects of the Summit, including the six transformational areas.
Social and Political Drivers: to advance commitments in areas that affect people’s well-being, such as reducing air pollution, generating decent jobs, and strengthening climate adaptation strategies and protect workers and vulnerable groups.
Check out each of the nine areas – see the countries that are working on a particular thematic area and who are supporting. While the graphics only illustrate 6 areas the one that we are most interested in is Social and Political Drivers ensuring that the economic, environmental and social aspects of the transformation of economies and societies towards greater sustainability are managed in ways that maximize opportunities of decent work for all, reduce inequalities, promote social justice, and enhance country’s efforts to improve the people’s health.
One heading on expected outcomes address gender equality and climate change focusing on national climate change plans with gender action plans.
Where does one start? It can all seem so vast and out of our reach. A very good place to begin is with the position paper – See especially Page 15 for the critical action points.
Are you aware that there are Regional Weeks on Climate? One in Latin America and one in Asia preceding the Summit in New York. The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The Climate Change Conference will take place in Santiago in December 2019 More information HERE Website in French and Spanish.
On September 1, Christians from around the world will be praying as part of Creation Day and the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation. If you are unable to join a service in your local community, you can join our prayer service online or through your phone. Representatives from Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox, and Episcopalian churches will guide us in a 30 minute service of prayer, silence, and reflection. There will also be a chance for participants to share their own prayer for creation and our brothers and sisters. Check here for the details
Have you been reflecting on ‘Laudatio Si’? HERE Are you following the ratifications of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change? HERE Signatures without ratifications leave the agreement unfulfilled. Sustainable Goal 13 is on Climate Action ‘Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.’ Read more on this here
Last evening a 40 minute film was premiered in New York and will be launched today across the globe. It is a new phase in the climate movement. It is the story of four communities preparing to participate in Break Free from Fossil Fuel actions in May 2016.
Terrible news from Honduras regarding human rights defender, Berta Caceres. We will keep her in our thoughts and prayers. She is a victim of what we call the Extractives Development Model–the nexus of unscrupulous business, corrupt government and the devastating extractives industry. (Rosa Lizarde)
We are shocked and saddened to learn of the assassination of Honduran environmental activist and indigenous leader of the Lenca people, Berta Cáceres.
Berta Cáceres’ faithful leadership of the Council of Indigenous Peoples of Honduras (COPINH) reflected not only her dedication to nonviolent resistance to illegal logging and mega-projects that devastate the environment but also her deeply felt belief in the rights of indigenous communities to their land and livelihoods. Maryknoll
Photo: Berta Caceres, courtesy of the Goldman Environmental Prize.
Berta Caceres (You Tube) Berta Cáceres, galadornada del Premio Goldman 2015, Honduras