SEASON OF CREATION: RESTORING OUR COMMON HOME.

The Season of Creation begins on Wednesday, 1st September. Pope Francis and the Vatican are again calling on all Catholics to join the ecumenical Season of Creation, which starts 1 September, the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, and ends 4 October, the Feast Day of St. Francis of Assisi. Health Planet, Healthy People Petition. As Catholic communities we can 'raise our voices in the public sphere' to protect our common home. Two UN conferences. One opportunity for Catholics to listen to Pope Francis and act out our faith. Please sign this petition www.thecatholicpetition.org. Prayer: Loving God, open our minds and touch our hearts so that we may attend to your gift of creation. Now more than ever may we feel that we are all connected and interdependent; enable us to listen and respond to the cry of the Earth and the cry of the poor. May the present sufferings be the birth pangs of a more fraternal and sustainable world. We make this prayer through Christ our Lord. Amen.


Pope Francis has invited the faithful to participate in this annual season “to renew their faith in the God of creation and join in prayer and work for the care of our common home.” As a Diocese we will mark the opening of the Season of Creation with a service On Wednesday 1st September in St Peter’s Cathedral at 7pm. The event is being coordinated by a newly established Laudato Si group in the Diocese and the homilist will be Fr Timothy Bartlett. Join us online www.churchservices.tv/stpeterscathedral

We are all encouraged in this season to read Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si’ On Care of our Common Home.In this week we pray for greater attention to the Cry of the Earth and the Cry of the Poor and that we may commit ourselves to living according to the vision and values of Laudato Si’.


“The Lord was able to invite others to be attentive to the beauty that there is in the world because he himself was in constant touch with nature, lending it an attention full of fondness and wonder.”(LS’, 97)As a diocese we are blessed with so many areas of natural beauty and we are encouraged this week to take time to contemplate, with wonder and awe, the world in which we are blessed to live.


The Season of Creation continues and we encourage everyone across the Diocese to take time in prayer and reflection. We are encouraged to reflect on all that the earth provides for us and to pray this grace before meals; Generous God, you embrace all of creation, and bless us with gifts of life. As we break this bread, we praise you for your goodness, we give thanks to those who grew our food, and we remember those who are hungry. May we be moved by the Holy Spirit to share these gifts as one family, and so catch a glimpse of your Kingdom, of justice, peace and love. Amen. Restoring Our Common Home through Tree Planting. We are planting native Irish trees as a symbolic action, declaring our commitment to care more deeply for God’s Creation. Fr Jim will plant four trees in the grounds of Our Lady of the Assumption Church after 11.30am Mass on Sunday, 19th September, please join him. We have space for another 8-10 trees in the church grounds. If you would like to sponsor one, please contact Brenda 07840028461 brenda@parishofmaghera.com to arrange. If you would like support this initiative and plant a tree on your own property, please send photographs to be uploaded to our website & Facebook page. Together as a parish community we can begin to restore our common home. ‘There is a nobility in the duty to care for creation through little daily actions, and it is wonderful how education can bring about real changes in lifestyle.

Education in environmental responsibility can encourage ways of acting which directly and significantly affect the world around us, such as avoiding the use of plastic and paper, reducing water consumption, separating refuse, cooking only what can reasonably be consumed, showing care for other living beings, using public transport or car-pooling, planting trees, turning off unnecessary lights, or any number of other practices. All of these reflect a generous and worthy creativity which brings out the best in human beings. Reusing something instead of immediately discarding it, when done for the right reasons, can be an act of love which expresses our own dignity’. (Laudato Si’ 211)


The Season of Creation is a critical moment for Catholics to lift up the voices of the most vulnerable and advocate on their behalf ahead of the important summits, the UN Summit on Biodiversity (COP 15) in October and the UN Climate Summit in November (COP 26).Bishop Treanor invites you to join advocacy initiatives such as the Healthy Planet, Healthy People Petition urging for bold action to protect creation in addition to other initiatives calling for new paths forward together. To sign the petition visit www.thecatholicpetition.org.


The season of creation closes on Monday, 4th October the Feast of St Francis of Assisi. St Francis ‘was a mystic and a pilgrim who lived in simplicity and in wonderful harmony with God, with others, with nature and with himself. He shows us just how inseparable the bond is between concern for nature, justice for the poor, commitment to society, and interior peace.’ (LS,10) We encourage everyone in the Diocese to consider the personal actions that they will prayerfully commit to in caring for our common home and to ask for the intercession of St Francis.

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