It has been a busy summer. Laudato Si’, Pope Francis’ encyclical on care for our common home celebrated its second anniversary this past June. To reiterate our Holy Father’s call to action, the Social Justice Office has been promoting the Laudato Si’ Pledge. The pledge asks that we do three things: Pray for and with creation; Live more simply; Advocate to protect our common home.
We were at One Rock this year promoting the campaign. Archbishop Pettipas stopped by and made the pledge. Bishop McGrattan, after his Mass on Saturday, not only endorsed the pledge, but encouraged everyone to do the same. After taking the pledge, many had their photos taken with Pope Francis in the selfie booth. It was tons of fun but more importantly, the signed pledges were added with others from around the world. It was a great act of solidarity!
The Laudato Si’ Pledge campaign continues throughout the upcoming Season of Creation which begins with the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation on September 1. This special prayer day was instituted by Pope Francis for our Church back in 2015 because he shares the concern of Ecumenical Patriarch, Bartholomew I, who initiated a similar day of prayer back in 1989. Pope Francis has called this day to be a time for individuals and communities to “reaffirm their personal vocation to be stewards of creation, to thank God for the wonderful handiwork which he has entrusted to our care, and to implore his help for the protection of creation as well as his pardon for the sins committed against the world in which we live” [Letter, August 2015]. Pope Francis wished this day of prayer to be celebrated “with the participation of the entire People of God: priests, men and women religious and the lay faithful and should become a significant occasion for prayer, reflection, conversion and the adoption of appropriate lifestyles.”
But we don’t have just this day to celebrate and pray for Creation. In the Pope’s 2016 letter, he endorsed celebrating the Time for Creation. During these five weeks, we can join Christians from every continent who are leading prayer services and symbolic actions to protect creation. There will be a Blessing of the Animals at St. Joseph’s Parish on September 23, at 10:30 a.m. Bring the whole family, along with your beloved pets and animals for a special blessing. St. Patrick’s Parish will have a Live Laudato Si’ workshop on September 25 and 29. There are many prayer service resources available. Please contact the Social Justice Office for more details. By participating in events or symbolic actions, big or small, we can all make a difference.