In view of the concerns of so many throughout the world, the devastation caused by changes in patterns of life and natural disasters, it is time for our catholic communities to examine the teachings of our Church and develop plans of action for the enhancement of the earth and protection of all created beings.
On this web page, we hope to share the teachings of our Church as they are acted upon in the Archdiocese, our parishes, and diverse ecclesial movements. It is a true human tragedy when few individuals look upon our times and see everything through the prism of politics. They forget the Divine Mandate given to us by God from the beginning in which He proclaimed all that was created was good and each person is a steward of the gift of Creation.
2023 Season of Creation Events
The Season of Creation, an ecumenical initiative, begins on Sept. 1, the World Day of Care for Creation, and ends on Oct. 4, the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi.
The theme this year is “Let Justice and Peace flow like a mighty river.” Read Pope Francis’ message for this Season of Creation Message of His Holiness Pope Francis for the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation [1st September 2023] (13 May 2023) | Francis (vatican.va) in which he calls attention to heartbeats: “our own and those of our mothers and grandmothers, the heartbeat of creation and the heartbeat of God. Today they do not beat in harmony; they are not harmonized in justice and peace.” And he calls on us “to stand with the victims of environmental and climate injustice, …to put an end to the senseless war against creation” and to “join hands and take bold steps to ‘Let Justice and Peace Flow’ throughout our world.”
With each temperature record broken around the globe, with each destructive fire and torrential downpour and flooding, and each field of crops dried up, and another town burned to the ground, the voices for caring for creation have grown stronger. God’s Creation is crying out for our care.
So we come together for the Season of Creation to lift up that care, and show that our hope comes from caring for our common home together, as a community of faith.
We start the Season with an Ecumenical Prayer Service organized by the Season of Creation team on the World Day of Prayer for Care of Creation: Friday, September 1, 9AM EDT with the following individuals:
Ugandan Climate Justice Activist, UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador
leader in the Maró Indigenous Territory, Brazil, protagonist in The Letter
Rev. Dr. Marie
Samoan-born theologian, minister, and author, PhD in Theological Studies from the Pacific Theological College
If you’ve seen the film “The Letter”, you will recognize Cacique Dadá. Check the website Season of Creation for the link to the prayer service and resources to create your own event during this Season.
Season of Creation Mass
Metro NY Catholic Climate Movement, in collaboration with the Archdiocese of New York and the Church of St. Ignatius Loyola, will celebrate a special Season of Creation Mass for Care of Our Common Home on Saturday, September 9, at 5:30 PM at St. Ignatius Church, Park Ave.@ 84th Street. Fr. Brian E. McWeeney, Director of the Office of Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs at the Archdiocese of New York will preside. You are all invited!
A reception will follow. All are welcome to hold up and celebrate our caring for creation as people of faith. An RSVP is appreciated for the reception: [email protected] so we have some idea of how many are coming. See attached flyer. Pass it on to others who are concerned about care of creation.
Season of Creation Living Laudato Si’ Series
The Holy Name of Jesus – St. Gregory the Great Parish Justice, Peace, and Integrity of Creation Committee invites you to join us in celebration of the Season of Creation with a series focused on Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si’. Each session includes prayer, Scripture reading, a brief presentation of a chapter of Laudato Si’ followed by a group discussion and an Action opportunity.
There will be a light meal offered each session. Admission is free.
DATES: TUESDAY EVENINGS SEPTEMBER 12 THROUGH OCTOBER 10, 2023 TIME: 6:30PM – 8:00PM LOCATION: FRANCISCAN COMMUNITY CENTER (FCC) * 214 West 97th St. (between Broadway and Amsterdam Ave) RSVP TO PARISH OFFICE: 212-749-0376 EXT. 112
Please leave a message for Jackie with your Name and Phone number stating whether you will attend the “Season of Creation” program Series or only on a specific date(s). This enables us to plan for the light meal and session materials.
Keep an eye out for Luke Henkel, a Laudato Si’ Movement staff person who decided he didn’t want to fly to NYC for the Climate March and instead is Pedaling for the Planet – riding his bike from Chicago to NYC in a two-week trip.
Follow him on Instagram: You don’t have to have an account. Click on the photos to read the text.
Faith and Food
The Sisters of Charity of New York and the Sisters of Charity of Saint Elizabeth invite you to the first talk in a four-part series: Faith and Food with James Ennis of Catholic Rural Life on September 11, 2023, 6:00-7:30 PM EDT.
Ennis will explore how faith should inform the ways we see food and land. He will invite us to examine our role as consumers in working toward food justice and share concrete action steps that we can take.
There is no need to register. Just click on the ZOOM link a few minutes before the event.
Meeting ID: 874 6289 9010
Join the March to End Fossil Fuels
On September 17th, the march will line up at 1 PM from Columbus Circle going south on Broadway to 52nd St, then head east on 52nd to 1st Ave, and close with a rally at 1st Ave and 49th Street around 4:30 PM. This is a permitted march. Let’s join with people of faith to give witness to our commitment to a sustainable environment for all and a thriving future for our children and the generations to come. Email Metro NY Catholic Climate Movement at [email protected] for updates.
National Migration Week Interfaith Prayer Service
In honor of National Migration Week (September 18 – 24), the Archdiocese of New York is hosting an online Interfaith Prayer Service on Sept. 21 at 7:00 p.m. Representatives of five different faiths will offer prayers and migrants will share their personal stories.
Opportunity to Volunteer
Join the Archdiocese of New York in preserving the Lord’s creation. Learn more about volunteering on our Green Team during a “Working Together” Zoom workshop on Tuesday, September 26 at 12:30 PM. Link below!
Practicing Sacred Reciprocity: Insights from Thomas Merton and Robin Wall Kimmerer
Imagine and embody a more just, sustainable, and fully flourishing future for our environment and our common home.
Saturday, September 30
2 – 4 PM
Corpus Christi Church
All are welcome, admission is free.
GREEN TEAM: Seeking Volunteers
The Archdiocese of New York’s Energy Department is currently seeking candidates for our newly established Green Team. This team of volunteers will help devise solutions for sustainable environmental goals for use at the parish or community or organizational levels. Green Team members will have access to a series of developmental training sessions that will build their knowledge.
Green Team members are encouraged to create sustainable initiatives of interest to themselves or their community -for example: Recycling, Composting, Community Gardens, Energy Efficiency, etc. Most of all we will join together our collective experiences and encourage and support one another as we Care for Our Common Home.
Please express your interest by filling out this form: GREEN TEAM Volunteer interest form
Make the most of this Season of Creation. Read Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato si’ on care for our common home, and learn more about Fratelli tutti here. Take action with the Laudato Si’ Movement, Catholic Climate Covenant, or the Ignatian Solidarity Network. Learn more about the Season of Creation here. Share the following graphics on your social platforms.
Care of God’s Creation Resources from Catholic Relief Services:
Learn about St. Francis Xavier Laudato Si’ 3-year Climate Action Plan unveiled in 2022.
CARE OF CREATION TIPS
There are many ways to make a difference in your life and your environment. Why not incorporate some of the suggestions below into your daily routine and see what changes you can make?
You are invited to download and share these graphics with your community, on your social media platforms. Thank you for your kind consideration!
National Migration Week Interfaith Prayer Service
On September 20, 2022, an interfaith prayer service was held to commemorate National Migration Week. People of faith came together to pray and share stories as an invitation to care for each other. A recording of the presentation is available to you below.
2022 Pope Francis’ World Day of the Poor
A U.N. Side Event. November 11, 2022, at the Church Center for the United Nations, New York City. Sponsored by Fordham University’s Graduate Program in International Political Economy and Development (Fordham IPED), Catholic Relief Services (CRS), and Caritas Internationalis. This event was also live-streamed on YouTube.
Screening of The Letter
The film, “The Letter” has been released to bring to life the words of Pope Francis in Laudatio Si. This extraordinary encyclical challenges everyone in the human community to respond to the cries of God’s creation. Though I have attended group studies, lectured on its content, and read the document and responses of many theologians, I realized that this presentation reminds all of us how we are a visual generation. The thoughts of the Pope are brought to the floor as we witness the embodiment of his words. While he is a man of hope we recognize that too many of us take on the attitude of “that’s the way it is”. Tragedy strikes but is soon forgotten. We remember the Australian Forest fires, but we have our own problems. When the tsunami strikes and destroys thousands of lives, we extend our charitable resources but then go back to our regular existence. This recent effort by creative caring people to bring home the depth of meaning of the Pope’s letter to all his brothers and sisters must challenge us to accompany him as he leads us.
I would not attempt to summarize the gift that this work is, but I would hope to share with you some points which would encourage you to view The Letter with others and discuss it. We must just not allow it to be a merely external moment but must become an evangelical moment of conversion and commitment. Our Scriptures proclaim that when God created the Universe it was good. He made us its stewards. Sad to say, though the centuries have seen progress in our collaboration with the Divine, we have wasted too many opportunities and forgotten our common concerns for our neighbors, and remained in primitive stances of self-advancement with little sight for who and what comes after our mortal lives on this planet. The main protagonists of the film call us to be responsible personally and socially. The woman of science tells us frankly that we have the tools of science but that is not enough. We must also touch the transcendent in our lives if we are to be faithful to the Creator and the Creation. Caring for God’s creation is not a political strategy, it is a moral obligation that is given to us from the Patriarchs, Prophets, and Saints. The Canticle of the Sun and Moon given to us by Francis of Assisi is the fruit of his meditation on the words and works of the holy men and women of history. His namesake reminds us we can do no less and much more to give praise to the Divine.
The Letter focuses us on people. It attunes us to their struggles caused very often by others. They are listening to the cries of many in their lands. We must listen to those same cries. What can we do? Alone, we can do nothing. With God, and each other, all things are possible. See this visual recognition of the Pope’s mission to us. Work on your block, in your parish, with your neighbor. Be surprised by Grace.
Fr. Brian E. McWeeney is the Director of the Office of Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs at the Archdiocese of New York
A Conversation with People of Faith: Welcoming Persons Without Homes
A conversation and reflection on:
• The call to welcome persons without homes
• Experiences as persons of faith committed to unhoused persons
• Experiences of unhoused persons and how they are perceived
• The ways people of faith in NYC already welcome persons without homes
• The new possibilities that are open to all of us
Wednesday, January 25, 2023, at 1:30 pm.
This event was sponsored by Sisters of Charity of New York, LEFSA, Interfaith Assembly on Homelessness and Housing, and Community of Sant’ Egidio.
Songs for the Earth Concert
On June 5, 2023, The Church of St. Francis Xavier held SONGS FOR THE EARTH, a concert featuring the Xavier Choir, Bell Choir, musicians, and dancers. You can enjoy this performance for free on Youtube via the recorded livestream below!
Additional previous events are listed below.
Vigil for Peace: Remembering the Atomic Bombing of the City of Hiroshima and the City of Nagasaki
August 5th-8th, 2023
Chapel of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Mary
325 E 33rd St,
New York, NY 10016
The Community of Sant’Egidio hosted a Vigil for Peace: Remembering the Atomic Bombing of the City of Hiroshima and the City of Nagasaki at The Chapel of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Mary. Participant prayed for peace and the abolition of nuclear weapons on the anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The Chapel of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Mary was open to all, including friends, groups, communities and families with children, for individual prayer and shared services. Review the service here.
Building Science Principals Training
Join this class on building science principals, Tuesdays and Thursdays from July 11, 2023 through August 17, 2023, 6 PM – 8 PM. This training will cover:
- Energy Efficiency & Air Movement
- Mechanical Systems & Lighting
- Building Anatomy & Data Collection
- Insulation, Ventilation and Construction
The movie The Letter about the Laudato Si’, Pope Francis’ encyclical on climate change and ecology, offers a transformative new vision of environmental protection. The film, made in cooperation with the Vatican is available for free through a partnership with YouTube.
October 4th marked the close of the annual celebration of the Season of Creation at Iona University.
St. Francis Xavier Environment Ministry hosted a Clean Up Day at Glick Park next to the East River.
It might come as a surprise to some but religious leaders and theologians have been recognizing in our Catholic Social Teaching a clear direction with a common purpose. The United Nations took up issues of the environment declaring a worldwide celebration of a Day for the Environment in 1973. Two years previous, Saint Pope Paul VI noting the eightieth anniversary of the “Rerum Novarum” of Leo XIII wrote: “Man is suddenly becoming aware that by an ill-conceived considered exploitation of nature he risks destroying it…Not only is the material environment becoming a permanent menace—pollution and refuse, new illness and absolute destructive capacity—but the human framework is no longer under man’s control, thus creating an environment for tomorrow which may be intolerable.” (21)
This twentieth-century prophet was warning us about what we are now experiencing throughout many nations, including our own. Pandemics have plagued our societies, settled cities have suffered the ravages of “storms of the century”, wars are being fought over the lack of resources, and men, women, and children have had to flee violent uprisings and cease to exist where they have dwelt for millennia. The dignity of humanity is not seen as God’s gift but is defined on the basis of the amount of power possessed, the size of houses built, the value of material things possessed, and most recently the numbers of weapons had to defend those very signs of affluence.
What Pope Paul declared has been repeated time and again by his successors: Saint Pope John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI, and most recently, Pope Francis. Each has defined for us a path back to righteousness which Jesus proclaimed again and again from the Sermon on the Mount to His vision of the final judgment as written in Matthew’s Gospel.