We have concluded a new Season of Creation, the annual ecumenical period to pray and act for our common home. Throughout the world, local and global events were held, uniting Christians in one faith to ” let justice and peace flow like a mighty river,” as this year’s theme and symbol encouraged.
The Feast of Creation on September 1 began with a prayer service and Pope Francis’ blessing during the General Audience, during which the Pontiff announced that he would publish a second part of Laudato Si’.
What happened during the 2023 Season of Creation?
The five continents were united as more than 500 events were held around the world. Prayer services, masses for creation, messages from priests and bishops, tree plantings, walks, trash collections, awareness talks, moments in nature, screenings of the movie The Letter, and many more events were held.
In Africa, the participation of countries such as Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso and Benin stood out; in Asia, Christians from Myanmar, Pakistan and Korea participated; Oceania, Fiji and Australia celebrated events; in Europe there was a strong participation from Italy, Spain, France, Belgium, the United Kingdom and more. Meanwhile, in the Americas, North, Central and South, events were celebrated from North to South and East to West.
Spiritual reflections were shared weekly, in addition to the ecumenical celebration guide, the Catholic liturgical guide, suggestions for celebrating masses for creation, and resources for each religious confession, made available to facilitate planning.
Voices were raised denouncing the injustices of the climate crisis in many regions. Luke Henkel, Laudato Si’ Movement Program Director for North America, heroically pedaled from Chicago to New York to participate in the Climate March. The same march was replicated in cities such as London and Paris; while in Nairobi, Africa Climate Week was celebrated.
Many people joined this campaign on social media using the hashtag #PrayingForYou, in prayer for political leaders and their participation in the upcoming climate summit (COP 28). In addition, the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty (FFNPT) was signed by more than 55 Catholic and Christian institutions in Asia and Oceania, totaling 99 committed in that region.
Which global events were held?
- A symposium in Latin America “Latin American Symposium for an energy transition in terms of integral ecology”
- A symposium in Asia and Oceania for the care of the common home as a launch of the Fossil Fuels Non-Proliferation Treaty (FFNPT).
- An ecumenical prayer vigil at the Vatican, the “Together” gathering, during which the Via Creationis, a new prayer to celebrate and contemplate Creation, was prayed for the first time.
The Season of Creation concluded on October 4th, celebrating St. Francis of Assisi. Leaders and activists from different Christian denominations joined in prayer and reflection at the global closing event and joyfully welcomed the release of Laudate Deum, Pope Francis’ new apostolic exhortation.
For more news about the Season of Creation, visit the seasonofcreation.org website.