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.
“Listen to the voice of creation” is the theme and invitation of this year’s Season of Creation. In his message for the World Day of Prayer 2022, Pope Francis calls us to use the season to “cultivate our ecological conversion” and to pray together in “the great cathedral of Creation”. He warns that we are reaching “a breaking point” and must act decisively so that “we and future generations can continue to rejoice in creation’s sweet song of life and hope.”
At this time, we are challenged as a community to understand that God’s creation reflects something of the glory and grandeur of God and so it is our duty to protect what has been given in trust. We share this understanding with our Jewish and Muslim brothers and sisters, and indeed all who understand that life is intertwined and that faith calls us to walk gently on the earth.
During the past week, Ms Neal and I attended the EREA Corroboree – A Vision for Reconciliation and had the opportunity to visit Minjerribaha or North Stradbroke Island. We listened to the voices of the First Nations people and experienced their relationship with the land, even able to see middens that are thousands of years old. It was quite humbling. The thing that struck me most, however, was the final resting place of poet and author Oodgeroo Noonucal whose grave is marked by a single stone in the rainforest of Minjerribah on the grounds of what was once the mission. The truth of dispossession of the people, their relationship with the land and the deep understanding that we all return to the land put things in sharp focus for me. We are looking forward to sharing our learning with the community and in using this to help us all to move forward understanding the wholeness of relationship between people and creation for the common good.
Director of Identity