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Season of Creation 2022: Celebrating the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi

Note: We are preparing to celebrate the Season of Creation (Sept. 1, World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation through Oct. 4, the Feast of Saint Francis of Assisi). The Sisters of Providence Climate Change Task Force will share 10 blogs, this being the fourth. We hope you enjoy the series.

As we prepare to celebrate the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, patron saint of ecology, we remember his commitment to live sustainably as he chose to live his life among the poor. St. Francis, like Jesus, knew the value of being present to people – regardless of their economic status. Following Jesus, St. Francis gave priority to the poor, the sick, the marginalized, embracing care for creation, poverty and nonviolence.

Commitment to Laudato Si’ Action Platform

Following the wisdom of St. Francis, Pope Francis is leading the way to rebuild the Church. Laudato Si’ points the way in which the Church today is called to cooperate with the power of God as we consciously become immersed in the healing of Earth and intentionally enter into our vocation to be co-creators. During our 2022 Annual Meeting, the Sisters of Providence and our wider Providence Community publicly committed to join the worldwide Catholic community in responding to Pope Francis’ appeal to participate in a seven-year journey toward sustainability and integral ecology by developing a Laudato Si’ Action Platform Plan.

Through participation in the Laudato Si’ Action Platform, we follow in the footsteps of Pope Francis, St. Francis of Assisi, and Jesus the Christ as we act to respond to the cry of Earth, respond to the cry of the poor, build ecological economies, adopt simple lifestyles, promote ecological education, interiorize ecological spirituality, and engage in community action and advocacy.

The seven Goals of the Laudato Si’ Action Platform reveal the intersectionality of issues related to race, health, women, economy, jobs, class, ethnicity, youth, disabled, sexual orientation, human rights, housing, food, etc. The concept of intersectionality describes the ways in which systems of inequality intersect to disproportionately impact our disadvantaged sisters and brothers.

Resources

Here are some resources for preparing to celebrate the Feast of St. Francis and further our understanding of Climate Intersectionality:

“Eco-Spirituality: Behold God in Everything!”

Season of Creation Celebration Guide 2022

2022 Season of Creation Celebration Guide in multiple languages

Dominican Center: Spirituality for Mission

In addition, a special St. Francis liturgy will be celebrated by Cardinal Robert McElroy, will be livestreamed at 10 a.m., PDT, on Saturday, October 1, from St. Rita’s Parish in San Diego. Here is a recent article about Cardinal McElroy and Climate Change.

Here are some more resources in preparation for the celebration:

Gina McCarthy Talks About the Intersectionality of Climate Change

10 Must-Read Books on Environmental Racism, Sustainability and Climate Change

Climate Change Task Force moving forward!, by Sister Jeanne Hagelskamp, SP

Intersectionality – what is it?, by Sister Donna Butler, SP

What is Eco-Justice?, by Sister Joan Brown, OSF

Racism and Climate Change: Climate justice can’t happen without racial justice, by David Lammy

Yale Experts Explain Intersectionality and Climate Change

Pray, reflect, act:

Pray the Canticle of the Sun or use one of the resources listed and reflect on the wonders of creation. Talk with your local faith communities about your interest in celebrating the Feast of St. Francis. Share your ideas and offer to help with the celebration. If this isn’t possible, plan something simple with family and friends. Celebrate with Cardinal McElroy on Saturday, October 1, as noted above.

Discuss together what lifestyle changes we as a family or LGU/PA Circle can make to avoid getting caught up in “a whirlwind of needless buying and spending” (LS203) and/or consider other ways of living simply so others may simply live.

Canticle of the Sun (Video links)

Canticle of the Sun Song

Canticle of the Sun Words

Canticle of the Sun, by St. Francis of Assisi

Most High, all powerful, good Lord,

Yours are the praises, the glory, the honour, and all blessing.

To You alone, Most High, do they belong,

Most High, all powerful, good Lord,

Yours are the praises, the glory, the honour, and all blessing.

To You alone, Most High, do they belong,

and no man is worthy to mention Your name.

Be praised, my Lord, through all your creatures,

especially through my lord Brother Sun,

who brings the day; and you give light through him.

And he is beautiful and radiant in all his splendor!

Of you, Most High, he bears the likeness.

Praised be You, my Lord, through Sisters Moon and the stars,

in heaven you formed them clear and precious and beautiful.

Praised be You, my Lord, through Brother Wind,

and through the air, cloudy and serene,

and every kind of weather through which

You give sustenance to Your creatures.

Praised be You, my Lord, through Sister Water,

which is very useful and humble and precious and chaste.

Praised be You, my Lord, through Brother Fire,

through whom you light the night and he is beautiful

and playful and robust and strong.

Praised be You, my Lord, through Sister Mother Earth,

who sustains us and governs us and who produces

varied fruits with coloured flowers and herbs.

Praised be You, my Lord,

through those who give pardon for Your love,

and bear infirmity and tribulation.

Blessed are those who endure in peace

for by You, Most High, they shall be crowned.

Praised be You, my Lord,

through our Sister Bodily Death,

from whom no living man can escape.

Woe to those who die in mortal sin.

Blessed are those who will

find Your most holy will,

for the second death shall do them no harm.

Praise and bless my Lord,

and give Him thanks

and serve Him with great humility.

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Climate Change Task Force

The Climate Change Task Force consists of Sisters of Providence Barbara Battista, Cathy Campbell, Jeanne Hagelskamp, Marilyn Kofler, Barbara Sheehan and Mary Tomlinson in addition to Providence Associates Marilyn Antonik, Jessi Blessinger, Gene Majewski, Lynda Parker, Jan Showalter and Jeannie Smith.

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