Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
We are familiar with our Church’s liturgical seasons: Advent, Christmas, Ordinary Time, Lent, the Triduum, Easter and Ordinary Time. The Season of Creation, which begins Sept. 1, is not among the Church’s liturgical seasons, but it is a special time within the universal Church. The first day marks the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation.
This special day began in 1989 when Ecumenical Patriarch Dimitros I proclaimed the Orthodox Day of Prayer for Creation.
Subsequently, the World Council of Churches (WCC) extended the celebration until Oct. 4, the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi. In 2015, Pope Francis officially entered the Roman Catholic Church into the Season of Creation.
Pope Francis hoped the World Day of Prayer for Creation would “…offer individual believers and communities a fitting opportunity to reaffirm their 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.”
In recent years, the Church has strongly encouraged the faithful to celebrate the season. We are invited to join the ecumenical family in doing so. Bishops are encouraged to make statements to raise awareness of this season of celebration. All of us are called to be protectors of God’s handiwork, which is “essential to a life of virtue; it is not an optional or secondary aspect of our Christian experience” (Laudato Si’ 217).
In the days and weeks to come, prayer and educational resources for celebrating the Season of Creation will be made available. The Season of Creation is becoming a regular part of our summer-into-fall calendar. May it inspire you and me to be to true to our calling to care for all of God’s creation!
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Most Rev. Thomas R. Zinkula
Bishop of Davenport