Christian Unity and JPIC Bond in the Season of Creation

By Fr. Harry Winter, OMI

One concern emerging for all the world’s 2.4 billion Christians is the plundering of our planet. This year’s Season of Creation, beginning September 1 and ending on the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, Oct. 4, finds Christians from every denomination joining together in prayer and action to slow and eventually reverse our environmental degradation. Our Oblate Ministry of Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation is working with our Ministry of Mission, Unity and Dialogue to promote the health of our planet, since the poor are the ones most affected by the abuse of our natural resources.

Begun for the Eastern Orthodox by the Patriarch of Constantinople, Demetrios I in 1989, the observance quickly caught on in the Orthodox world. Then an Australian Lutheran pastor, Norman Habel, inspired Protestants in 2005. Pope Francis asked Roman Catholics to observe it when he published his encyclical Laudato Si in 2015.

Our US Bishops have provided a bulletin insert for this year, click here. At St. Mary’s Church in Georgetown, MA and Rowley, MA, we will have the insert available at the church entrance, rather than include it in the bulletin. Sometimes people are overwhelmed by inserts.

Each year has a different theme; this year’s is Listen to the Voice of Creation. Many websites with the title Season of Creation provide aids for worship and action. Our musicians have a large choice of hymns concerning the beauty of the world around us.

The Holy Spirit is pushing Christians (joined by other faiths) to go from an attitude of plunder to an attitude of wonder regarding our environment.