A year ago, Pope Francis declared that Catholics would join their Orthodox brothers and sisters and other Christians to formally mark September 1 as the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation.
This year celebrations of the day are bring prepared as church groups and faith-based environment advocates have instituted a series of prayer services and programs for Catholics in particular to observe the day.
The day begins what is being called the Season of Creation that will run through the feast of St. Francis of Assisi October 4. All are invited to pray and care for God’s creation over the five-week period.
“Sept. 1 is huge because it is the first time in our Catholic liturgical calendar we have an official day for creation care,” said Tomas Insua, coordinator of the Global Catholic Climate Movement. “It’s a massive opportunity to start getting ‘Laudato Si”deeply imbedded in our Catholic mindset and the life of the Catholic family.”
The World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation originated when Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople instituted a similar day of prayer for the Orthodox Church in 1989. It has gradually expanded to include much of the Christian world.