Time for reflection, celebration and collective action
The ecumenical Season of Creation (1 September to 4 October) was marked by the Archdiocese in this Year of the Holy Spirit through an inaugural ‘Integral Ecology’ pilgrimage. Vicar-General Fr Richard Thompson welcomed participants from across the Archdiocese to the online pilgrimage, as an early step in the Archdiocesan journey for the Year of the Holy Spirit.
The six online sessions were hosted on Zoom by the Uniting Church presbytery and convened in collaboration with the Australian Catholic University (ACU).
The ACU team was lecturer in the Faculty of Theology and Philosophy, Jacqui Rémond, co-founder of the global Laudato Si Movement, and Dr Megan Seneque who specialises in awareness-based systems change. Their work supports responses to Pope Francis’ invitation through the Vatican’s Laudato Si Action Platform. The pilgrimage designed for the Archdiocese with local animators.
The Archdiocesan Caring for Creation movement taskforce is part of this global movement that is helping renew the faith in ways suited to what Pope Francis sees is a new epoch of human development. Expressions of interest are welcome at LaudatoSiACT@gmail.com.
The ‘integral ecology’ pilgrims reflected on the call to Care for Creation in solidarity with First Australian spiritual connection and care for country. Katrina Cambridge Catholic Education’s Teaching and Learning Officer for Aboriginal Education took part in the session on ecological education. As well as local First Nations and Aboriginal Catholic Ministry, pilgrims heard from Anglican pastor and Wiradjuri man, Rev Glenn Loughrey on his spirituality of country.
In small dialogue groups, pilgrims were invited to envision and discern their own responses including dialogical pathways that integrate Church ecology teachings within their local settings. Outcomes can inform the Archdiocesan Laudato Si action plan and any plans in local schools and parishes.
A service to celebrate the ecumenical Season of Creation was held this year in North Canberra at St Margaret’s Uniting, in concert with Holy Cross Anglican and Blackfriars (Holy Rosary) Parish.
Meaningful action on climate crisis
The pilgrimage concluded at the end of the Season of Creation with Pope Francis’ exhortation Laudate Deum, released on 4-October, the Feast of St Francis of Assisi. Addressed to all people of goodwill, the exhortation follows on from his 2015 Laudato Si teachings On Care for Our Common Home. This exhortation focuses in particular on the climate crisis. It calls out for urgent and effective responses by all in the global community.