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Catholics across England and Wales are busy organising Creation Celebrations as part of the Our Common Home campaign. A Creation Celebration involves a creation-themed mass and possibly followed by a shared meal and a continued conversation on climate change. Parishioners are also encouraged to sign to the petition to the prime minister to ensure the government adhere to their promise of committing to ‘net zero’ emissions by 2045.From CAFOD in Salford we wanted to share with you what parishes are doing and hopefully encourage more of you to try this fantastic initiative.
St Bernard’s parish held their Celebration Mass on September 14. The creation Masses at Wardley & St. Catherine’s and Pope Francis inspired them to have a go. As it was the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross they had the readings of the day & Fr. Michael spoke very eloquently about the Garden of Eden, the Cross, The Tree of Life & the fruits of Creation, still denied to so many. They used the bidding prayers from the organizer’s booklet & at the offertory packets of seeds, stapled into a fan shape, were taken up with the bread & wine. They also played keyboard and chose familiar hymns as
Blest Are You Lord God at the Offertory (Bread & wine from wheat & vine)
This is My Body at Communion (You are the branches I am the Tree)
O Lord My God at the end of Mass (When through the woods & forest glades I wander).
It is amazing to see how communities come together and actually decide to make an impact. Dympna, one of the organisers of this wonderful celebration, explains what they did during that mass: ‘Our display was a simple earthenware pot with poppies & wheat, a colourful basket of fruit & vegetables & the CAFOD candle.
‘After Mass there was time to sign the petition & collect a copy of the Creation edition of The Beacon. Then we shared a simple, cold lunch & there were informal chats about why it was meat-free which linked to the fires in the Amazon & climate change. A homeless man came looking for the foodbank, we invited him in to share lunch so perhaps we entertained angels, unaware.’
We want to say to the people from St Bernard’s parish what an admirable work they have done and thank them for letting us share this story. Do you have a similar story? Share it with us! Or, are you interested in holding your Creation Celebration? Click the link for more information.
See Harvest Fast Day prayer card
This we know, the earth does not belong to us,
we belong to the earth.
This we know, all things are connected,
like the blood that unites one family.
This we know, we did not weave the web of life,
we are merely a strand in it.
This we know, whatever we do to the web,
we do to ourselves.
Let us give thanks for the gift of creation.
Let us give thanks that all things hold together in Christ.
Scripture Zechariah 8:20-23
20 Thus says the Lord of hosts: Peoples shall yet come, the inhabitants of many cities; 21 the inhabitants of one city shall go to another, saying, ‘Come, let us go to entreat the favour of the Lord, and to seek the Lord of hosts; I myself am going.’ 22 Many peoples and strong nations shall come to seek the Lord of hosts in Jerusalem, and to entreat the favour of the Lord. 23 Thus says the Lord of hosts: In those days ten men from nations of every language shall take hold of a Jew, grasping his sleeve and saying, ‘Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you.’
51 When the days drew near for him to be taken up, Jesus resolutely took the road for Jerusalem. 52 And he sent messengers ahead of him. On their way they entered a village of the Samaritans to make ready for him; 53 but they did not receive him, because his face was set towards Jerusalem. 54 When his disciples James and John saw it, they said, ‘Lord, do you want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them?’] 55 But he turned and rebuked them. 56 Then they went on to another village.
Apprehend God in all things,
for God is in all things.
Every single creature is full of God
and is a book about God.
Every creature is a word of God.
If I spent enough time with the tiniest creature,
even a caterpillar,
I would never have to prepare a sermon,
so full of God is every creature.
Lord our God, you renew the face of the earth
and bring newness to our world:
restore the waters,
refresh the air,
revive the land,
breathe new life into all your creation
and begin with us.
The Lord, the Creator of heaven and earth,
bless and guide us in all that we do,
confirm and strengthen us in all goodness,
and keep us in life that is eternal.
(David Adam: “The Rhythm of Life”)
Pope Francis has established 1 September as the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, encouraging the Catholic community around the world to pray for “our common home”.
The day is inspired by Pope Francis’ landmark encyclical Laudato Si’, which calls on “every person living on this planet” to care for our shared Earth.
He calls us all to celebrate this opportune moment to “reaffirm [our] personal vocation to be stewards of creation, to thank God for the wonderful handiwork which he has entrusted to our care, and to implore his help for the protection of creation, as well as his pardon for the sins committed against the world in which we live.”
Therefore, in response to this call, the CAFOD group of the newly formed Parish of the Good Samaritan in Burnley are organising a prayer vigil and everyone is most welcome to attend. The vigil will be held at St John the Baptist’s Church, Ivy Street, Burnley, BB10 1TB on Tuesday 17th September at 7pm.
During the vigil, led by the parish priest Fr David Featherstone, there will be a short time for Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. This is our opportunity, as stewards of the Earth, to pray for the promotion of living simply, sustainably and in solidarity with the poor. So please join us in prayer and reflection for “Our Common Home”. Tea and coffee will be served in the Parish Hall after the vigil.
This World Day of Prayer also falls at the beginning of Creation Time, which runs until 4th October, the feast of St Francis of Assisi. This is an ecumenical season dedicated to prayer for the protection of creation and the promotion of sustainable lifestyles.
Shortly after Creation Time this year, a Special Assembly of the Synod of Bishops will take place, focusing on the Amazon region and integral ecology. This will be an opportunity for the Church to listen to the people of the Amazon and respond with them to the devastation facing them and their environment.
Please feel free to download a copy of the poster to advertise the Care of Creation Prayer Vigil in your parish or school community: