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Season of Creation 2019
This year the Vatican has asked Catholic communities and pastors everywhere to join ecumenical communities around the world in celebrating the Season of Creation [SoC] from September 1stto October 4th. This year the theme of the Season of Creation, chosen by its international steering committee, is “The Web of Life: Biodiversity as God’s Blessing,”a theme that resonates with the important message of Pope Francis that everything is connected. We are all strands in the one great Web of Life.
The materials that will appear here through the 5 weeks of the SoC were prepared for the Global Catholic Climate Movement [GCCM] to help Catholic communities read and pray with the scriptures for the Sundays in Ordinary Time during this period through the lens of the SoC. They can also be found in the GCCM list of resources for the SoC or in PDF format here.
The materials have also been prepared with an eye to the Synod of Bishops taking place October 6-27, 2019 at the Vatican entitled: The Amazon: New Paths for the Church and for Integral Ecology. This synod will address the range of major threats to the Amazon, and develop plans for healing pastoral responses.
The Bigger Picture: Assumptions Behind These Materials
Drawing on Pope Francis’s important encyclical, Laudato Sí,the working documents in preparation for the Synod, and the rich background of Catholic Social Tradition, these resources assume that the human family is not facing various separate and distinct crises, but one complex and integrated socio-cultural ecological crisis requiring prayer, an integral ecological conversion, and action for the healing of the vast Web of Life. Everything is connected.
In short, the human family must reduce its global consumption and waste, return to patterns of living compatible with Earth’s resources and regenerative capacities, rethink what constitutes the good human life and how to reach it, and redistribute or redirect available wealth and resources to meet the basic needs of the whole human family, especially the poorest and most vulnerable, and the full Web of Life.
All communities will find in the liturgies of this Season of Creation prophetic challenges and an invitation from God to shape a different future for our Web of Life, our common home. Different communities, different cultures may hear different challenges, different invitations, their particular part of the great work of the Holy Spirit birthing the new creation in these times. Local liturgical/pastoral teams will need to be conscious of the characteristics and social location of their own specific communities as they work to discern God’s Word to them.
The materials for each of the liturgies of the Sundays of the 2019 Season of Creation that follow will include four elements:
- Short Introductory Comments
- Suggestions for the penitential rite.
- Points for reflection on the scriptures. These points are not offered as an outline or text for a homily but are meant to inspire or suggest issues for homilists to consider or for anyone’s personal reflection and prayer.
- A related petition[s] suitable or adaptable for the General Intercessions.
A fuller Introduction to Season of Creation 2019 and the materials that will be available on this page can be found here.
James E. Hug, S.J.