World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation
World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation
Last year Pope Francis 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 annual Day of Prayer is inspired by his landmark encyclical Laudato Si', which calls on "every person living on this planet" to care for our shared earth.
Pope Francis 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."
To encourage you to organise a creation liturgy in your parish to celebrate the World Day of Prayer included four documents that may be helpful. One contains links to numerous resources that could be helpful in celebrating the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation and the other three are services, *a prayer vigil from CAFOD, *an ecumenical service from the Columbans and *a sample prayer service for parish use on World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation from the archdiocese of Chicago.
Pope Francis prayer A Christian prayer in union with creation could be used on the 1st September.
Father, we praise you with all your creatures.
They came forth from your all-powerful hand;
they are yours, filled with your presence and your tender love.
Praise be to you!
Son of God, Jesus,
through you all things were made.
You were formed in the womb of Mary our Mother,
you became part of this earth,
and you gazed upon this world with human eyes.
Today you are alive in every creature
in your risen glory.
Praise be to you!
Holy Spirit, by your light
you guide this world towards the Father's love
and accompany creation as it groans in travail.
You also dwell in our hearts
and you inspire us to do what is good.
Praise be to you!
Triune Lord, wondrous community of infinite love,
teach us to contemplate you
in the beauty of the universe,
for all things speak of you.
Awaken our praise and thankfulness
for every being that you have made.
Give us the grace to feel profoundly joined
to everything that is.
God of love, show us our place in this world
as channels of your love
for all the creatures of this earth,
for not one of them is forgotten in your sight.
Enlighten those who possess power and money
that they may avoid the sin of indifference,
that they may love the common good, advance the weak,
and care for this world in which we live.
The poor and the earth are crying out.
O Lord, seize us with your power and light,
help us to protect all life,
to prepare for a better future,
for the coming of your Kingdom
of justice, peace, love and beauty.
Praise be to you!
* Pope Francis published this prayer in his Laudato Si' encyclical, and is meant for us Christians to ask for inspiration to take up the commitment to creation set before us by the Gospel of Jesus.
Applications are now being made to start shale gas "fracking" at sites within the Lancaster Diocese. For Christians there are self-evident moral issues relating to the stewardship of this resource:
“The whole of creation…must not be bequeathed to future generations depleted of resources. Human beings legitimately exercise a responsible stewardship over nature, in order to protect it, to enjoy its fruits and to cultivate it in new ways”
(Pope Benedict Caritas in Veritate. para 50)
There are also widely-reported technical issues regarding both safety and environmental protection.
The Faith & Justice Commission Environment Group has looked at these complex issues and concluded that it can best serve people by identifying the main questions they could ask. Our approach believes in being guarded and cautious, whilst encouraging everyone to press for more reliable impact data, an effective regulatory regime, and clarity on the distribution of the resulting wealth if fracking goes ahead. Any extent to which the current proposals are consistent with gospel values will partly be determined by the balance between corporate and societal gains (both now and for future generations globally), and by the way that the process is managed technically.
To help with the discussion on fracking we have produced a poster Fracking – Home & Away: to help publicise the issue and a paper Fracking –some issues for Christians This suggests some of the questions Christians may wish to ask themselves, their local councillors and their MP when considering their position on fracking and fracking applications in their area. Clear answers to these questions would be needed to develop an informed opinion about whether fracking should go ahead.
Three meetings have been held in parishes in the diocese and the inputs are available in resources.
National Justice & Peace Network Fracking Discussion Paper highlights the main issues involved and seeks to address them within a Christian context as a basis of discussion and the Churches Together in Lancashire have produced a discussion document.
My Story -how Stephen Garsed became involved in the issue
The Department of Energy has produced a series of booklets which describe the process and cover issues such as disposal of wastes and are in our resources on fracking available in Environment Resources http://www.lancasterfaithandjustice.co.uk/download/environmental-issues-celebrating-creation/
Pray and Fast for the Climate -Please join in praying and fasting on the 1st of each month for a meaningful and glbal climate agreement at the UNclimate talks. Why? Chistians owe it to future generations and those already impacted by climate change to respond. We trust that God will use our prayers to influence politicians, build a powerful platform for change, strengthen our campaigning and inspire others.
‘Pray and fast for the climate’ is an initiative to mobilise Christians to fast and pray on the first of every month for a meaningful and just climate agreement. We hope this will be agreed in December 2015 at the Paris climate summit.
It is also an invitation to join Yeb Sano to fast the 1st of every month until the talks. Yeb was the Filipino delegate to the UN climate talks in Warsaw when typhoon Haiyan devasted the Philippines.He fasted during the conference because no progress was being made and has continued to fast the 1st of every month.
A “One Climate One World” leaflet produced by members of the Faith and Justice Group at St Wilfrid’s Parish in Preston which they gave out at the weekend Masses – what a great idea to share!
A Vigil of Concern was held at Heysham Power Station near the third anniversary of the nuclear accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear plant on 11th March 2011, the result of a tsunami in Japan. The Vigil was to raise concerns about how climate change with associated sea level rises and storm surges will effect Heysham and other nuclear power stations where nuclear waste is stored on site. Nine of the nineteen civil nuclear sites have been assessed by the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) as already being vulnerable, while others are in danger from rising sea levels and storms in the future.
Mo Kelly, a local architect, demonstrated how high sea levels may be in 2100 & showed the height of a 5m storm surge, higher than the surrounding fence. (Recently on other parts of our coastline there have been 18m high waves overcoming sea defences, damaging property and destroying railway lines.)
The nuclear industry effects us and future generation and it is a duty that we ask questions that relate to public safety. Vigil organizers had met with Alan Oulton, Heysham 2 Station Director, when planning the event and heard that Heysham Power Station’s flood defences will not meet the required safety standard until “sometime next year” ie in 2015.
People attending the vigil wanted to know what the response had been at Heysham since the accident at Fukushima. To achieve this a letter was handed in at the Vigil for Alan Oulton requesting
- · details of the failures in the safety provision at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear
- · details of improved safety measures put in place by EDF at Heysham Power Station during the last three years that are a direct response to the safety failures at Fukushima
We were blessed with a beautiful calm sunny day for the vigil but it is not always so.
In his Pastoral letter on the third anniversary Archbishop Okada from Japan put emphasis on the importance of changing life style as a necessary step to abolish nuclear power. It is not just the matter of searching alternative energy sources without changing our life style which consumes a lot of energy http://bpisaosvd.blogspot.nl/
At the Commission AGM in November 2013 Rev Chris Halliwell, Blackburn Diocesan Rural & Environmental Project Officer gave an input on Fracking:is there a distinctive call to how Christians should respond to the hopes and fears raised by fracking. (His background paper) Suggested other reading: New Internationalist Fracking (November/December 2013), The blog from Mary Colwell –this can be got to from Reflections of a Curlew or marycolwell.blogspot.com; Books: The Energy of Nations and the Carbon Brief by Jeremy Leggett and Mike Berniers-Lee; Hope in the Age of Despair by Jonathon Mo and Robert White
The Commission Environment Group was involved in the planning of the National Justice & Peace Network Annual Conference in 2010 Our Daily Bread: Food Security, People and Planet Food is so essential a part of our lives that the “breaking of bread” with others celebrates love, mutuality and the gifts of the natural world. Yet the global food system upon which we depend is increasingly fragile. One in six people in the world goes hungry, low-income groups have trouble accessing nutritious food and justice is denied to many of the world’s food producers. The conference explored the food system and exciting new initiatives to help us reconnect to sustainable agriculture and food, and highlight insights into ‘our daily bread’ offered by our faith and worship. The scripts and audio files of the inspiring speakers, including Vanana Shiva & Alastair McIntosh are available here.
The Action Sheet from NJPN Conference on food issues, NJPN Conference Reading List & websites on food issues, audio and text of talks given available in the Environment Resorces
-From the Ribble to Eden Celebrating Creation in Lancaster Diocese a year of activities in the Diocese
-God, Nature and Climate Change a statement from the Christian Churches of Cumbria