I must confess that I had not heard about the Annual Season of Creation until a young man, Ryan Hatfield currently in our RCIA program sent me some information. Perhaps it is unintentionally one of the church’s best kept secrets. Or more likely, something I assume that you and I have not noticed.
What is the Season of Creation?
The Season of Creation is a monthlong prayerful observance that calls the planet’s 2.2 billion Christians to pray and care for God’s creation. It’s a time to reflect on our relationship with the environment—not just “distant” nature, but crucially, the place where we live—and the ways in which our lifestyles and decisions as a society can endanger both the natural world and those inhabiting it, both humans and other creatures.
The ecumenical steering committee that plans and promotes the season each year put it this way:
The Season of Creation is a time to renew our relationship with our Creator and all creation through celebration, conversion, and commitment together. During the Season of Creation, we join our sisters and brothers in the ecumenical family in prayer and action for our common home.
It’s a time of prayer, contemplation and increasingly, calls to action.
The Season of Creation is supported by a number of leading Christian organizations, including the World Council of Churches, Christian Aid, the Lutheran World Federation, the Anglican Communion Environmental Network, the Global Catholic Climate Movement and the Vatican’s Dicastery for the Promotion of Integral Human Development. Each sits on the Season of Creation steering committee.
The Season of Creation spans 34 days.
It begins September 1, the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation. It concludes October 4th, the feast of St. Francis of Assis, the patron saint of ecology.
As it happens, the season aligns with the fall harvest season—a time when the state of the Earth might be front of mind for many people.
Just months after publishing his 2015 encyclical “Laudato Si’, on Care for Our Common Home,” Pope Francis formally added the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation to the Catholic calendar as an annual day of prayer. And last year, he officially invited Catholics to celebrate the full season.
“Now is the time to rediscover our vocation as children of God, brothers and sisters, and stewards of creation. Now is the time to repent, to be converted and to return to our roots,” he wrote in a letter. “We are beloved creatures of God, who in his goodness calls us to love life and live it in communion with the rest of creation. For this reason, I strongly encourage the faithful to pray in these days that, as the result of a timely ecumenical initiative, are being celebrated as a Season of Creation.”
The Catholic Conference of Bishops have a great one back/front page on The Season of Creations September 1-October 4, with practical suggestion on who families and communities can do.
[Copyright©2020 What is the Season of Creation? by Brian Roewe, August 28, 2020, Earth Beat, National Catholic Reporter. Excerpted and reprinted with permission of National Catholic Reporter. Read full article at
Permission granted September 1 by Joanne, Customer Service.]
A Beautiful Reflection on Creation
In the September/October 2020 edition of the Maryknoll magazine there is a beautiful reflection of creation. If a little tight on time please jump forward to the last stanza where the mystic and scientist meet on the mountain.
The First Sacrament
by Joseph R. Veneroso
Let all that is and was and will ever be
praise God who made everything
not just to reveal glory and power and majesty
but also to share love and life—eternally.
In him all things in heaven and on earth,
the visible and the invisible
were created through him and for him.
He is before all else that is
and in him we live and move and have our being:
the farthest galaxy and nebula no more nor less
than the peacock, the peony and the porcupine.
Creation, then, is the first sacrament
instituted by Christ, through Christ
and, finding its fulfillment only in Christ,
the power that compels the heavens
to declare and the seas and all they contain
to proclaim God’s grace to all.
And so it shall be on that day
the mystic and the scientist shall meet
on the very same mountaintop,
having climbed up from opposite sides
by very different paths over many years.
They shall stand regarding one another in silence
suspicion giving way to admiration
as they exchange gifts
till arm in arm they descend
looking at the world and one another
with new eyes.
O let there be light!
[Copyright©2020 The First Sacrament, Photo reflection on Creation by Joseph R. Veneroso, M.M., September/October 2020. Reprinted with permission from Maryknoll Magazine, Maryknoll, New York. https://www.maryknollmagazine.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/mk-mag-sept-oct-2020.pdf
Permission granted September 1, by Lynn F. Monahan, Editor in Chief.]