Paul Samasumo – Vatican City.
In a keynote address over the weekend, Bishop Mulandu called for celebration, conversion, and commitment when it comes to the Season of Creation. He said the Season of Creation is an annual ecumenical season where Christians, in particular, pray and act together for our common home.
“The Season of Creation has a special significance for the Catholic Church, particularly since Pope Francis proclaimed 1 September as an annual World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation. As we know, the Season of Creation is marked throughout the Christian world from 1 September to 4 October (Feast of Saint Francis of Assisi). It celebrates the joy of creation as well as encouraging awareness-raising initiatives to protect the environment. This year the theme for the Season of Creation is: A Home for All? Renewing the Oikos of God,” Bishop Mulandu said.
The ancient Greek word Oikos described the basic unit of society. In the Season of Creation theme, oikos references our common home, God’s household (oikos).
The Month of September
Bishop Mulandu explained that for the Church, the month of September is filled with activities and symbols.
“The Church has traditionally dedicated September to the Seven Sorrows of Mary. The memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows falls on 15 September. The aim is to appreciate the role our Mother Mary played in the history of salvation, especially its accomplishment through pain,” the prelate of Mpika explained and added, “Furthermore, September is the month of the Bible. This is the month in which we celebrate the memorial of a great Biblical scholar, St. Jerome, on 30 September. St. Jerome translated the Bible from Hebrew and Greek into Latin, in the 4th century AD," he said.
Nevertheless, September is also devoted to living out the Christian faith in the care for God’s creation, Bishop Mulandu explained.
“The Season of Creation runs yearly from 1 September to 4 October when the Church celebrates the Feast Day of St. Francis of Assisi. As such, this period is that time of the year when we renew our commitment to praying and caring for creation. It should be characterised by prayers for creation throughout the month while engaging in different activities to care for creation throughout the Season and beyond,” Bishop Mulandu said.
Proposed Activities of the Season of Creation (2021)
By living one’s faith in a practical manner, the Christian concretely embraces their Season of grace and faith, Bishop Mulandu said. He urged the Christian faithful to combine prayer with practical actions that demonstrate care for creation. The Bishop then proposed various activities that the faithful could engage in during the Season of creation.
These include participating in the celebration of Holy Mass or a para-liturgical service to launch and close the Season of Creation; communal Bible study on the biblical basis of creation and its care; pastoral reflections; application of the theme to daily Christian life; planting a tree or starting a garden; pilgrimage to an ecological site of beauty, while praying the Rosary; advocacy; campaign for ecological restoration through radio, TV and social media; works of charity with the poor and the vulnerable; organising a clean-up exercise in places where solid waste is not well managed.
The faithful can also hold, St. Francis Day on 4 October or simply meditate on ecology.