Friends of St Francis

 

 

Excerpt from the Faith Leaders’ invitation to join the Season of Creation:

During the Season of Creation, we join together to rejoice in the good gift of creation and reflect on how we care for it. This season offers a precious opportunity to pause in the midst of our day-to-day lives and contemplate the fabric of life into which we are woven.

As the environmental crisis deepens, we Christians are urgently called to witness to our faith by taking bold action to preserve the gift we share. As the psalmist sings, “The earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein” (Psalm 24:1-2). During the Season of Creation, we ask ourselves: Do our actions honor the Lord as Creator? Are there ways to deepen our faith by protecting “the least of these,” who are most vulnerable to the consequences of environmental degradation?

We invite you to join us on a journey of faith that challenges and rewards us with fresh perspective and deeper bonds of love. United in our sincere wish to protect creation and all those who share it, we join hands across denominations as sisters and brothers in Christ. During this season, we walk together towards greater stewardship of our place in creation.

 

There is an African proverb that says “if you want to go fast, go alone: if you want to go far–go together.”

The Season of Creation has grown exponentially over the last few years as Christians from around the world have decided to walk together. We are fellow pilgrims on the road, and we share a common home which is under enormous threat. And so, during the Season of Creation, as Christians we dedicate the season from September1  to October 4 to pray and act for Creation, and to do so in partnership with others.

Pilgrimage Blessing
Dear pilgrim,

As you go into the wilderness of the land and of your heart—May you experience the ever-flowing grace of God’s presence!

May you be immersed so fully in God’s love that you learn to let go and swim!

May you engage deeply and radically with the natural world, as steward, co-creator, and friend!

May you drink anew from the divine source, the stream of living water!

And may you be transformed, may the stagnant waters of your spirit begin to flow, and may all which is dead in you rise again!

God is here. The river awaits. Let the adventure begin.

(Kairos Earth)

Once every year, from September 1 to October 4, we as members of the Christian family set aside time to deepen our relationship with the Creator, each other, and all of creation. The Season of Creation began in 1989 with the first recognition of the day of prayer for creation by the Ecumenical Patriarchate of the Orthodox Church. It is now embraced by the wider ecumenical family. During the Season of Creation, we join together to rejoice in the good gift of creation and reflect on how we care for it. This season offers a precious opportunity to pause in the midst of our day-to-day lives and contemplate the fabric of life into which we are woven.

As the environmental crisis deepens, we Christians are urgently called to witness to our faith by taking bold action to preserve the gift we share. As the psalmist sings, “The earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein” (Psalm 24:1-2). During the Season of Creation, we ask ourselves: Do our actions honor the Lord as Creator? Are there ways to deepen our faith by protecting “the least of these,” who are most vulnerable to the consequences of environmental degradation?

Excerpted from the Letter of Christian Faith leaders in support of  the Season of Creation

 

 

From September 1 through October 4, Christians around the world unite to pray and care for creation. It’s the Season of Creation for the world’s 2.2 billion Christians. Let us join our hearts in prayer…

“Why do you see climate change as a moral and ethical issue?”

It comes from the basic message that’s in all major traditions. It’s worded differently, but it is to love God and to love your neighbor as yourself. And who is our neighbor? Our neighbors are those next to me. They’re the future generations, the children. They’re brothers and sisters who are economically challenged. They are the refugees and immigrants who are being affected by climate change. And my neighbor is also, as St. Francis of Assisi would say, everyone and everything. All the elements, all of the creatures, the plants. What it really comes down to is: Am I following this basic command to put love into action?” 

- Sr. Joan Brown OSF (Catholic Climate Covenant)

 

The Season of Creation begins September 1, which is proclaimed as a day of prayer for Creation for the world’s 2.2 billion Christians. Let us join our hearts in prayer…

 

Oh God,
Awaken my soul to care for Your Creation
Stop me from decisions that
cause destruction and waste
Spur me to take actions that foster life
Grant me courage to urge leaders
to protect Creation
Help me to face the truth
that human actions are destroying life on Earth
and bringing harm to Creation
Give me energy to turn my beliefs into actions
Through Jesus Christ our Lord
Amen

 

 

The Season of Creation is the time of year when the world’s 2.2 billion Christians are invited to pray and care for creation. It unites the global Christian family around one shared purpose and runs annually from September 1 through October 4. September 1 is proclaimed as a day of prayer for creation and October 4 is the Feast of St. Francis, the patron saint of those who promote ecology.

 

Flooding can wipe away crops, homes and tools — but it can also contaminate clean water sources and spread disease, creating another layer of risk. Photo: Sean Sheridan for Mercy Corps.

Climate change is a global problem with grave implications: environmental, social, economic, political and for the distribution of goods. It represents one of the principal challenges facing humanity in our day. Its worst impact will probably be felt by developing countries in coming decades. Many of the poor live in areas particularly affected by phenomena related to warming, and their means of subsistence are largely dependent on natural reserves and ecosystemic services such as agriculture, fishing and forestry. They have no other financial activities or resources which can enable them to adapt to climate change or to face natural disasters, and their access to social services and protection is very limited.  Pope Francis, Laudato Si’ (24)

Did you know?

Climate change is an acute threat to global development and efforts to end poverty. Without urgent action, climate change impacts could push an additional 100 million people into poverty by 2030.

Learn more at: 
https://www.worldbank.org/en/topic/climatechange

What can I do?   Live the Laudato Si’ Pledge…

  • Pray for and with Creation
  • Live more simply
  • Advocate to protect our Common Home

 

 

800 years ago, St. Francis heard the San Damiano crucifix say to him, “Francis, go and repair my house, which as you see is falling into ruin!”. 

Today, Pope Francis is inviting all people of good will to gather together to repair the house of God… His creation, our Common Home!

“Jesus, show us the way to care for your Creation, our Common Home, by being:

Your eyes, that we may see the hurt to our fellow people and World, which by your example, we must make right;

Your hands, that we may hold and help all living things;

Your feet, that we may travel the breadth of this amazing Earth, to protect it and make changes for the good of all; 

Your heart, that we may accept and know Your infinite love for us and all of creation; to respect, love, and become disciples to heal, protect, revere our Common Home. “ 

 

 

Climate as a Common Good – Part 4

These photos show the startling effects of global warming and ocean acidification on a coral reef

Carbon dioxide pollution increases the acidification of the oceans and compromises the marine food chain. If present trends continue, this century may well witness extraordinary climate change and an unprecedented destruction of ecosystems, with serious consequences for all of us. A rise in the sea level, for example, can create extremely serious situations, if we consider that a quarter of the world’s population lives on the coast or nearby, and that the majority of our megacities are situated in coastal areas. 
Pope Francis, Laudato Si’ (24)

Did you know?
More than 90 percent of the warming that has happened over the past 50 years has occurred in the ocean, and almost half of the fossil carbon we’ve burned in modern times has gone into the ocean.

What can I do?  
Live the Laudato Si’ Pledge…

  • Pray for and with Creation
  • Live more simply
  • Advocate to protect our Common Home

 

Climate as a Common Good

Warming has effects on the carbon cycle. It creates a vicious circle which aggravates the situation even more, affecting the availability of essential resources like drinking water, energy and agricultural production in warmer regions, and leading to the extinction of part of the planet’s biodiversity. The melting in the polar ice caps and in high altitude plains can lead to the dangerous release of methane gas, while the decomposition of frozen organic material can further increase the emission of carbon dioxide. Things are made worse by the loss of tropical forests which would otherwise help to mitigate climate change.  Pope Francis, Laudato Si’ 24

Did you know?

While globally, water scarcity already effects 4 out of every 10 people, Illinois and the rest of the Midwest are becoming wetter.  Our communities need to be prepared for the kinds of weather and diseases that climate change will bring to Illinois, i.e., increases in flooding, mold, mosquitoes, tics, asthma, and heat stroke.  (World Health Organization) (Illinois Department of Public Health)

What can I do?   Live the Laudato Si’ Pledge…

  • Pray for and with Creation
  • Live more simply
  • Advocate to protect our Common Home

 

 

Climate as a Common Good

 

It is true that there are other factors (such as volcanic activity, variations in the earth’s orbit and axis, the solar cycle), yet a number of scientific studies indicate that most global warming in recent decades is due to the great concentration of greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide, methane, nitrogen oxides and others) released mainly as a result of human activity. As these gases build up in the atmosphere, they hamper the escape of heat produced by sunlight at the earth’s surface. The problem is aggravated by a model of development based on the intensive use of fossil fuels, which is at the heart of the worldwide energy system. Another determining factor has been an increase in changed uses of the soil, principally deforestation for agricultural purposes. (Pope Francis, Laudato Si’ 23.)

Did you know?

97% of climate scientists are convinced, based on the evidence, that human caused global warming is happening!!

What can I do? … Live the Laudato Si’ Pledge:

  • Pray for and with Creation
  • Live more simply
  • Advocate to protect our Common Home

 

Climate as a Common Good

“The climate is a common good, belonging to all and meant for all. At the global level, it is a complex system linked to many of the essential conditions for human life. A very solid scientific consensus indicates that we are presently witnessing a disturbing warming of the climatic system. In recent decades this warming has been accompanied by a constant rise in the sea level and, it would appear, by an increase of extreme weather events... Humanity is called to recognize the need for changes of lifestyle, production and consumption, in order to combat this warming or at least the human causes which produce or aggravate it.”   Pope Francis, Laudato Si’ 23

Did you know?
Pope Benedict made Vatican City the first carbon neutral country in the world in 2013.

How did it become carbon neutral? 
Pope Benedict approved a plan for enough solar panels to power the lighting, heating, and cooling of a portion of Vatican City and authorized the Vatican’s bank to purchase carbon credits by funding a Hungarian forest. As a result, Vatican City is the only country fully carbon neutral. 

 

Last Fall, 120 parishioners signed the Laudato Si pledge as requested by Pope Francis. 

This is a reminder of our pledge. Let us live up to our promise. All are invited to join us in these efforts

 

 

"What kind of world do we want to leave to those who come after us, to children who are now growing up?  The question not only concerns the environment in isolation; the issue cannot be approached piecemeal.”     Pope Francis

We celebrate the 3rd anniversary of Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si.  How can we join the Pope in his efforts to care for the earth and all of its creations?      

Pope Francis’ Encyclical Laudato Si is a worldwide wake up call to help humanity understand the destruction that man is rendering to the environment and his fellow man. While addressing the environment directly, the document’s scope is broader in many ways as it looks at not only man’s effect on the environment, but also the many philosophical, theological, and cultural causes that threaten the relationships of man to nature and man to each other in various circumstances.

 

The Friends of St. Francis joined the community to celebrate Earth Day by cleaning up the DuPage County Forest Preserve on Saturday, April 21.

THANK YOU FRIENDS OF ST. FRANCIS

 

 

  

 

Shepherding the Earth:

A Reflection for Earth Day 2018

This year, we celebrate Earth Day on Good Shepherd Sunday. The liturgy invites us to reflect on Jesus as the good shepherd of the believing community. Celebrating Earth Day on Good Shepherd Sunday provides us with an opportunity to move beyond our human-centered views of the world and to recognize the realities that underpin powerful gospel images such as the Good Shepherd/sheep metaphor. We might take time to expand our understanding and appreciation of all the inhabitants of our planet... To be good shepherds is to embrace the whole Earth Community with deep reverence and compassion. Such an embrace is more than mere sentiment. This Earth Day, we are called to address the damage that plastic pollution has caused to our planet and, in this as well as other ways, to work together as good shepherds to renew the face of God’s Earth.

Dr. Veronice Lawson RSM

 

Psalm 148     Hallelujah!

Praise the LORD from the heavens;
praise him in the heights.
Praise him, all you his angels;
give praise, all you his hosts.
Praise him, sun and moon;
praise him, all shining stars.
Praise him, highest heavens,
       you waters above the heavens.
Let them all praise the LORD’s name;
for he commanded and they were created,
Assigned them their station forever,
set an order that will never change.

Praise the LORD from the earth,
you sea monsters and all the deeps of the sea;
Lightning and hail, snow and thick clouds,
storm wind that fulfills his command;
      Mountains and all hills,
fruit trees and all cedars; 
      Animals wild and tame,
creatures that crawl and birds that fly;

Kings of the earth and all peoples,
princes and all who govern on earth;
Young men and women too,
old and young alike.
Let them all praise the LORD’s name,
for his name alone is exalted,
His majesty above earth and heaven.
He has lifted high the horn of his people;
to the praise of all his faithful,
the Israelites, the people near to him.
Hallelujah!

 

 

 

Caring for Creation is Pro-Life

Help us, Mary. Pray that your Son grants us the grace to build political, social, corporate, and scientific structures that respect the dignity of life. Help our leaders see beyond political convenience so that they may protect the wronged. Mother Mary, help the Church bring to international and local communities the desire to care for the indigenous, the emigrants, and the ecosystems that allow all life to flourish.

Help us, Mary. Pray that your Son grants us the grace to see the cost to all creation and all souls whenever we encounter those affected by a changed climate or by poisoned waters, land, and air. Mother Mary, help us to see the damage being done to ourselves and future generations whenever we watch from a distance the anguish of others.

Help us, Mary. Pray that your Son grants us the grace to suffer along with those that suffer. Help us to embrace outcasts. Help us to change our ways from selfish consumption to selfless sacrifice and self-restraint.

Change Our Hearts This Time