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Pope Urges Prayers for Creation on September 1

August 31, 2015 — Pope Francis has declared September 1 the annual World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation. The day should be a time for individuals to examine their lifestyles and the way they impact the environment, Pope Francis said.

“We want to make our contribution to overcoming the ecological crisis that humanity is experiencing,” the pope said on Aug. 26, explaining why he decided the Catholic Church should mark the annual day of prayer begun by the Orthodox Church in 1989.

In his recent encyclical "Laudato Si'," Pope Francis delivered a call to action for people to be part of the solution to climate change. World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation will be an opportunity for individual believers and communities to thank God for the wonderful handiwork entrusted to our care, to ask for God's help to protect creation, and to ask God's pardon for the harm committed against the world in which we live.

Around the world, the pope said, church groups are planning prayer and reflection initiatives in order to make the day of prayer a key moment for “assuming coherent lifestyles” that have less negative impact on nature.

Below are resources for individuals interested in getting involved.  


Additional Resources on Laudato Si'


Environmental Resources

  • Living with Limits, Living Well!: A workbook created by the Jesuit Forum for Social Faith and Justice of the English Canada Province of the Jesuits. For a summary of this resource, click here.
  • Climate Change: Our Call to Conversion: A four session booklet created by the Intercommunity Peace & Justice Center. Click here for a summary of this resource.
  • Promotio Iustitiae 106: Healing a Broken World: Developed through a task force at the appeal of Jesuit Father General Adolfo Nicolás, SJ, Healing a Broken World suggests many different commitments and initiatives that can be undertaken at different levels of the Society of Jesus: conferences, provinces, communities and works. It is a sincere invitation to make ecology a topic and reason for discernment. Communities are encouraged to review the Concrete Suggestions for action developed by the task force.
  • Promotio Iustitiae 111: A Spirituality that Reconciles us with Creation: Released in 2013, this series of reflections from Jesuits across the world examines feelings of gratitude to the Creator for the whole natural world and all the beings that dwell in it.
  • Earth Healing: Founded by Fr. Al Fritsch, SJ, Earth Healing is a virtual home for spiritual reflections on God's creation.
  • Ecojesuit: Connecting Jesuits, people, and ecology online to promote greater awareness and responsibility to engage in meaningful ecology issues of our time.
  • Global Ignatian Advocacy Network (GIAN): Ecology is among the many topics for which GIAN is mobilizing Jesuits and lay colleagues around the world.
  • Loyola University Chicago's International Jesuit Ecology Project: A three-year collaborative project between LUC faculty and scholars from worldwide Jesuit institutions to create an online living textbook that addresses environmental issues from a scientific, moral and spiritual perspective.


Advocacy Opportunities

  • Catholics Confront Global Poverty - A joint program of the USCCB and CRS, Catholics Confront Global Poverty have had regular action alerts on environmental justice issues since the release of Laudato Si', the most recent calling on Congress to fully fund the Green Climate Investment Fund.
  • Catholic Climate Covenant - CCC’s website has an excellent advocacy action alert center, as well as the opportunity to get support to help institutions move toward environmental sustainability.
  • Use the pope’s visit to the U.S. to call on Congress to care for creation - On Sept. 24, the pope will address a joint session of Congress for the first time in our nation’s history. Use this historic moment to amplify the pope’s call to address environmental injustice. Immediately following his address to Congress, organize a call-in campaign to your members of Congress. Organize a letter writing campaign during the month of October. Schedule a meeting at the district office of your legislators in November in solidarity with more than 1,000 Ignatian advocates visiting legislators on Capitol Hill as part of the Ignatian Family Teach-in for Justice.
[Sources: CNS, Northeast Province Jesuits]





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