This annual celebration is a good time to increase awareness of our relationship with creation. Sr Denise, a Canadian Daughter of Jesus, whose mission turns around this question, shares her parish’s initiative with us.
For the third year in a row, we at Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish in Riverview, New Brunswick celebrated the Season of Creation, using resources from the Green Churches network.
A home for all
Every year the Season of Creation features a new theme and a new logo for Christians to unite around. This year’s theme was a ‘Home for All? Renewing the oikos of God’. The logo illustrated the action of Abraham and Sarah in the book of Genesis 18 where they opened their home for three strangers, who turned out to be God’s angels. As the Laudato Si’ Movement explained to us, by thus creating a home for all, their act of radical hospitality became a source of great blessing.
For the first Sunday of the Season of Creation, we invited three children to bring the Earthball in the sanctuary and invited parishioners to extend their hands as Father Phil said a prayer of blessing for the Earth. The Earth remained in the sanctuary for the whole season of Creation.
Blessing of pets
At the end of Mass, Father Phil Mulligan invited those who have pets to come for the blessing of the animals that afternoon in front of the Church. Several people came with their dogs, one cat and one stuffed giraffe!
As Saint Francis of Assisi said, ‘’All creatures have the same source as we have. Like us, they derive the life of thought, love, and will from the Creator. Not to hurt our humble brethren is our first duty to them; but to stop there is a complete misapprehension of the intentions of Providence. We have a higher mission. God wishes that we should succour them whenever they require it.’’
Bless the Earth
God is infinite good, and God’s spirit of love and life permeates everyone and everything on this marvelous planet that we call home. Today, let us bless the planet Earth. We give thanks for the beauty that is everywhere on Earth and for the diversity of people, plants, and animals that make our home a wonder-filled place to live. Earth provides all we need for healthy, prosperous living.
We increase this abundance by affirming harmony, peace, and goodwill for all Earth’s inhabitants. Let us promote a healthy world! Conditions can’t help but improve as the loving spirit of God moves through each of us to bless Earth and all it contains.
Sr Denise Lirette fj,
New Brunswick, Canada