Rome, 3 June 2021
Ahead of two vital UN summits, Vatican leaders are encouraging Catholics and their institutions to begin planning now how they’ll celebrate the Season of Creation later this year.
Monsignor Bruno-Marie Duffé, Secretary for the Vatican Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, recently invited all Catholics to join their Christian sisters and brothers in participating in the annual ecumenical celebration of prayer and action for our common home.
In a letter, Duffé highlighted the potential good that the world’s 1.3 billion Catholics can bring about during the Season of Creation, which starts 1 September, the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, and ends 4 October, the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of ecology beloved by many Christian denominations.
The Season of Creation comes just before world leaders have opportunities to protect God’s creation for years to come.
In November, at the 26th UN Climate Change Conference (COP26), countries must announce their plans to meet the goals of the historic Paris climate agreement. At the UN Biodiversity Conference, scheduled for October in China, world leaders will have the opportunity to set meaningful and robust targets to protect our common home.
“This Season of Creation will also be a critical moment for Catholics to lift up the voices of the most vulnerable and advocate on their behalf ahead of two important summits,” Duffé wrote.
He invited Catholics to sign the “Healthy People, Healthy Planet” petition that was recently launched by the Global Catholic Climate Movement and calls on Catholics to urgently unite and demand bold action to protect God’s creation.
Duffé also shared Pope Francis’ words from a year ago, when His Holiness expressed delight in how Catholics were participating in the Season of Creation.
Watch “A home for all?” Exploring the 2021 Season of Creation theme
“We rejoice too that faith communities are coming together to create a more just, peaceful and sustainable world. We are particularly happy that the Season of Creation is becoming a truly ecumenical initiative. Let us continue to grow in the awareness that we all live in a common home as members of a single family,” His Holiness said.
Finally, Duffé warmly invited bishops to help all Catholics understand that caring for God’s creation is how they can live out their faith.
“We also encourage bishops and ecclesial bodies to make statements to raise awareness about the Season of Creation, helping the faithful to realize that “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’” (Laudato Si’ 217), Duffé wrote.
This year during the Season of Creation, the global Christian family is uniting around the theme, “A home for all? Renewing the Oikos of God.”
The Rev. Dr. Chad Rimmer, Chair of the Ecumenical Season of Creation Steering Committee and Program Executive for Lutheran Theology and Practice for the Lutheran World Federation, said: “The Season of Creation theme focuses on the fact that the Earth belongs to God, and each beloved creature belongs to this common home (Psalm 24:1). The Greek word for ‘home’ is oikos. By rooting our theme in the concept of home, we point to the integral web of relationships that sustain the well-being of the Earth.
“We have to ensure a just home for all creatures for life on our planet to thrive, and that requires ecological, economic and technological solutions that are rooted in a faithful vision of justice for the dignity of every creature. We hope that this Season of Creation strengthens the ecumenical unity to care for creation in a way that ensures all creatures have a home to flourish and participate in renewing the oikos of God.”
Analisa Ramsahai, Regional Program Coordinator for the Franciscan Institute for Personal and Family Development, a ministry of the Sisters of the Sorrowful Mother (SSM), and a Global Catholic Climate Movement board member, said: “Home means a safe household, a dwelling place where we can live in harmony in a symbiotic relationship in communion with others and our surrounding environment. This year’s theme reminds us that the Earth is our common home where all of God’s creatures live, under one roof. Every creature that dwells on Earth, including humans, plays an important role in the health of the ecosystem, its biodiversity, and the health of human society.”
More information can be found at SeasonofCreation.org.