We have experienced a new Season of Creation edition, whose theme this year was “Listen to the voice of creation” and the symbol was the “Burning Bush”. From North to South and from East to West, thousands of communities of different Christian denominations gathered to celebrate, pray and take action for our common home.
Christians of various denominations worldwide joined the opening event, as well as the closing webinar, and celebrated more than 500 events of their own between September 1st and October 4th. And these were only the events registered, but there were countless other experiences, testimonies and stories of conversion.
Events by the ecumenical Season of Creation partners:
- The 11th meeting of the World Council of Churches was held, and various leaders were present to speak about this ecumenical celebration and how to listen to the voice of creation in order to respond to God’s call for ecological conversion.
- The Center for Biblical Studies of Brazil (CEBI) joined the celebrations for the Season of Creation once again, and since April has been preparing the community with training meetings on the theme and symbol. The local communities have also joined in with face-to-face meetings, such as this one in San Gonzalo.
- Organized by the Middle East Council of Churches to listen together to “the voice of creation”, youth from different regions in Lebanon went on a walk for our common home. They played games, shared experiences and joined in prayer, welcoming the Season of Creation. MECC also organized multiple events and published various reflections and podcasts on this ecumenical time, which can be found on their YouTube channel and on their website.
- A Rocha invited its community to celebrate Season of Creation, share a video about the Canticle of Creatures, a reflection on Saint Hildegard of Bingen and other invitations through their social media.
- The Green Anglicans of South Africa held various activities, including a walk on the mountain, prayer services and other online and in person meetings that they shared in their social media. The Lusitan Church of the Ecumenical Anglican Communion of Portugal also joined in celebration.
- The Evangelical ecumenical organization Renovar Nosso Mundo, of Brazil, organized and participated in four important events, highlighting the interfaith event about the Amazon, and various shared activities on their social media.
- Several young people from different countries participated in “Climate Yes!”, the Youth Ecumenical Summit. Among them, a group of young people from seven different African countries prepared a special video for the Season of Creation closing event.
- The Lutheran World Federation alluded to Thanksgiving and Climate Action in Germany, and to uncomfortable questions that Season of Creation brings to us. The group Together4Creation also gathered at the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Cape Town to mark the beginning of the season.
And here are the highlights from each region:
- The Jesuit Forum of Canada published a guide on how to live Laudato Si’, with clear practices of creation care. In addition, its executive director, Mark Hathawayun, led an online meeting on integral ecology, biodiversity and Laudato Si’, with action plans to care for our common home.
- St. Paul’s Cathedral in London prepared a series of weekly reflections led by Bishop Graham Usher to encourage the faithful to listen to the voice of creation in an era of climate change.
- St. Angela’s group from St. Vincent de Paul Parish in Nausori, Fiji, provided a seminar facilitated by the Caritas Commission. The significance of the Season of Creation, its relevance and contribution to leadership and administration was explained. The keynote speaker was Mr. Tevita Naikasowalu, coordinator of Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation of the Columban Mission for the Oceania region in Fiji.
- In Malta, some 60 people attended a seminar aimed at exploring the life and work of St. Hildegard of Bingen at the Benedictine monastery of St. Peter in the city of Medina.
- The “Save a Fish” group, led by young environmentalist Zoe Prinsloo, in Cape Town, South Africa, organized a cleanup at Milnerton Lagoon beach, in which many people, including children and families, participated.
- The Catholic University of Manizales, Colombia, joined the ecclesial celebration of the Season of Creation, as an opportunity to make visible the institutional commitment to integral ecology and as a possibility to reflect on the individual commitment to care for creation through the strengthening of spirituality.
- In Mendoza, Argentina, the Paul VI Formation Institute gave a talk on the Season of Creation and integral ecology, reflecting with young people and adolescents on the care of our common home.
- The Laudato Si’ Circle of Tacna, Peru, in coordination with the Environmental Pastoral of the diocese organized the opening mass of the SoC in the cathedral. At the offertory, saplings were offered, blessed and taken home by the parishioners.
- The Episcopal Delegation for the Care of Creation of Spain encouraged to live the Camino de Guadalupe, a pilgrimage through the Montes de Toledo, in contact with nature and in special harmony to listen to the voice of creation.
- An online meeting was held in Punta Arenas, Chile, organized by the Secular Franciscan Order JPIC Secretariat for the Chilean Franciscan family, to raise awareness of the themes of the Season of Creation and to pray for our common home.
- The French delegation of the Laudato Si’ Movement participated in the European Heritage Days, speaking on sustainable heritage, at the Louvre in Paris. They shared the vision, mission and activities of the LSM, as well as the Laudato Si’ message.
- In Lubumbashi, Democratic Republic of Congo, they held a prayer guided by the local parish priest, with an explanation of the Laudato Si’ message and the Season of Creation 2022 theme. They then continued with a plant cleaning and maintenance activity.
- From Yaoundé, Cameroon, a pilgrimage to Mount Mbankolo was shared in an atmosphere of prayer and contemplation, to encourage ecological conversion, which “concerns all human beings that God has created without discrimination,” and also “must transform us into true protectors of creation.”
- In Jeremie, Haiti, in order to train children to reduce their ecological footprint, they conducted training on energy management, mobility and transportation, waste reduction, consumption, recycling and social behavior.
- From Beaurepaire, France, the local Church celebrated the beginning of the Season of Creation, reflecting on the theme and symbol, and in particular with the Exodus reading. They also carried out activities to become aware of space and relationships with the world and with others. They concluded by tending to the gardens.
- The Italian Bishops’ Conference (CEI) held an event in the Calabria region. The Laudato SI’ Animators and the local Circle animated a stage of the Laudato Si’ Walk, together with representatives of the CEI. It was a journey along the city’s promenade that allowed for reflection and listening to the voice of creation.
- The Italian Catholic Adult Scout Movement (MASCI) organized the Adult Scouting Day on the theme of the “Burning Bush”. About 200 Italian communities participated in the Laudato Si’ Mass and meeting on the first weekend in October.
- Throughout the Season of Creation, the Etnamain Circle involved the various communities and oratories of Sicily, involving the congregation of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, from the children of the oratory to the older sisters, in a large number of events held in various cities of the island.
- The circles of the dioceses of Porto Santa Rufina and Civitavecchia, together with the Laudato Si’ Circle “Nelle Selve” of Rome, organized an event entitled “Get up and pedal“, a pilgrimage on bicycles in which the bishop, several priests and lay people participated. In four days they visited all the parishes of the diocese, where in each parish they held moments of sharing and offering Laudato Si’ with a concrete invitation to act.
- The diocese of Assisi had a busy calendar of events during the Season of Creation, beginning with the Assisi-Gubbio march. The highlights were the diocesan ecumenical act of prayer, together with the Diocese of Foligno, at the site of the Pale Falls; the feast of the Canticle at the Sanctuary of San Damiano; the presentation of the book “Vivi Laudato Si“; and active participation in the Economy of Francesco event. Everything concluded with the feast of St. Francis during which the film “The Letter” was presented.
- The Pilgrimage of the Martyrs and the Waters took place on the outskirts of the city of Curitiba, passing through the towns of Jardim União, Audi, Reno, Evaristo Franco, concluding at the Iguaçu River. The pilgrims remembered and celebrated the men and women who fell fighting for life and integral ecology and committed themselves to recover the rivers and springs of Curitiba and the Metropolitan Region, which are polluted.
- A parish in Luanda, Angola, led by the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, gathered a group of interested young people and created an Ecological Pastoral, which did not yet exist in the region, incorporating initiatives of Laudato Si’. They carried out various activities in nature and a future ecological catechesis space is being contemplated.
- In the Brazilian diocese of Apucarana, the Environmental Pastoral of Our Lady of Fatima parish carried out a clean-up inside the Jurema stream. They went along the stream bed, where several bags of garbage were removed.