The Season of Creation has a special significance for the Catholic Church, particularly since Pope Francis established 1 September as an annual World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation.
The Season of Creation or Creation Time, is marked throughout the Christian world from 1 September to 4 October (Feast of Saint Francis of Assisi) and celebrates the joy of creation as well as encouraging awareness-raising initiatives to protect the natural environment.
The theme for the Season of Creation 2021 is ‘Restoring Our Common Home’. During this season we are asked to join together to celebrate creation and protect our common home through prayer, reflection and action.
The global Christian family is called to awaken to the urgent need to heal our relationships with creation and with each other and to encourage our parish communities to do the same, “for we know that things can change!” (Laudato Si’, 13).
This year we celebrate this season mindful of the fact that our world continues to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic as well as a devastating climate and biodiversity crisis. We look towards two UN Conferences in the Autumn, COP15 (on Biodiversity, due to take place in China) and COP24 (on climate change, Glasgow) in the hope that world leaders take the urgent action that is needed to Restore Our Common Home.
Catholics are urged to sign the “Healthy Planet Healthy People” petition as a key action for this year’s Season of Creation. This petition has been endorsed by the Vatican Dicastery for Integral Human Development in the hope that millions of Catholics will raise their voices in the public sphere to help Restore Our Common Home in the run up to these vital UN Conferences.
Pope Francis teaches us: “We need to strengthen the conviction that we are one single human family. The Earth, our home, is beginning to look more and more like an immense pile of filth. In many parts of the planet, the elderly lament that once beautiful landscapes are now covered with rubbish.
“Never have we so hurt and mistreated our common home as we have in the last 200 years. We are not God. The Earth was here before us and was given to us.
“The idea of infinite or unlimited growth, which proves so attractive to economists, financiers and experts in technology … is based on the lie that there is an infinite supply of the earth’s goods, and this leads to the planet being squeezed dry at every limit.
“Yet all is not lost. Human beings, while capable of the worst, are also capable of rising above themselves, choosing again what is good, and making a new start.”