We are entering what many have deemed, 'the season of creation' (Septemeber 1 – October 4), as faith leaders around the world host events to show support for the climate talks in Paris. And, American faith leaders aren't wasting any time, as events are already in the works to welcome Pope Francis during his scheduled visit to America (September 21 – 27). Blessed Tomorrow will be hosting an event at Washington's National Cathedral, joining thousands of faith leaders from various communities in the Moral March for Climate Action.
Pope Francis and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew have called on all people of faith to join in a “World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation," scheduled tomorrow. While many of us will be participating in this event for the first time, it has been taking place in the Orthodox Church since 1989, marking the beginning of the ecclesiastical calendar. Pope Francis, attempting to foster greater cohesion between the Roman Catholic and Orthodox Church on the issue of climate change, has purposefully joined the day of prayer.
How does one pray for the climate? You may start by reading Pope Francis' original call to prayer on the Global Catholic Climate Movement website. From there, it's as simple as gathering with friends, family, or people from your community to pray for the climate in any way you see fit. For ideas on hosting an event, visit Blessed Tomorrow.
You may also look for events scheduled in your area such as this one hosted by the Anglican Church.
Pope Francis has decided to set up a “World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation” which will be celebrated on September 1st annually. The Pope’s suggestion launches an interfaith celebration, in concert with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and others.
A Season of Creation has been celebrated for years by the Columban Fathers, Catholic EarthCare Australia — set up by the bishops of Australia, and the Catholic Church in the Philippines. Resources they have developed will be available to support parish, community, and diocesan celebrations of a Season of Creation, designated as September 1 to October 4, St. Francis Day. The Season of Creation website provides background on celebration of this season plus suggested activities for parishes, individuals, and communities.
Below is Pope Francis’ letter announcing the “World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation”
To my Venerable Brothers, Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah TURKSON, President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace and Cardinal Kurt KOCH, President of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity
Sharing with my beloved brother the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew his concerns for the future of creation (cfr Encylical Letter. Laudato Si, 7-9) and taking up the suggestion by his representative, the Metropolitan Ioannis of Pergamum who took part in the presentation of the Encyclical Laudato Si on the care of our common home, I wish to inform you that I have decided to set up also in the Catholic Church, the “World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation” which, beginning this year, will be celebrated on the 1st of September, as the Orthodox Church has done for some time now.
As Christians we wish to offer our contribution towards overcoming the ecological crisis which humanity is living through. Therefore, first of all we must draw from our rich spiritual heritage the reasons which feed our passion for the care of creation, always remembering that for believers in Jesus Christ, the Word of God who became man for us, “the life of the spirit is not dissociated from the body or from nature or from worldly realities, but lived in and with them, in communion with all that surrounds us.” (ibid., 216). The ecological crisis therefore calls us to a profound spiritual conversion: Christians are called to “an ecological conversion whereby the effects of their encounter with Jesus Christ become evident in their relationship with the world around them.” (ibid., 217). Thus, “living our vocation to be protectors of God’s handiwork is essential to a life of virtue; it is not an optional or a secondary aspect of our Christian experience.”(ibid).