Season of Creation: Caring for our “common home”

Cardinal John’s newsletter | 29th September 2022

Kia tau te rangimārie ki a koutou

We have known from an early age that we have four seasons of the year, spring summer autumn winter. We have known most of our lives that we have liturgical seasons, Lent, Easter, Advent Christmas.

We are currently in the liturgical Season of Creation which will run till the feast of Saint Francis of Assisi on 4 October. This is a new liturgical Season for us, from 1 September – 4 October; it was called for by Pope Francis in 2015 when he issued his encyclical Laudato Si.

I have heard of many initiatives that have been taken around the Archdiocese for this year’s Season of Creation, thank you to all who have been creative and imaginative and have taken the initiative to engage in “ecological spirituality” and to “discover God in all things”.

I very much appreciated the lines early in Laudato Si in which Pope Francis quoted Patriarch Bartholomew. The Patriarch was reminding us to look for solutions to environmental problems not only in technology but in a change of humanity; in other words, it’s a call to everyday conversion for everyone. Patriarch Bartholomew said, “we are asked to replace consumption with sacrifice, greed with generosity, wastefulness with a spirit of sharing, an asceticism which entails learning to give and not simply to give up. It is a way of living, of moving gradually away from what I want to what God’s world needs”.  (LS 9)

We all are asked to make efforts to protect and care for “Our Common Home,” to act with responsibility, to be creative in the way that we engage with others and dialogue on how we can acknowledge the challenges we face globally and about what we as individuals we can do to make a difference. This Season of Creation calls us to deep prayer and reflection; there are many recourses available, many prayers produced. Perhaps what is needed is for each one of us to pause, to step aside and listen carefully to the created world around us, to stand in admiration at a daffodil or a jonquil, to hear the song of a tui, to be still and to know God.

In the remaining days of the Season of Creation what are you going to do, not just as a one- off effort, but in a serious long-term effort to care for and protect “our common home”?

Nāku noa. Nā

+ John

“To stand wordlessly, quietly and at times darkly before God, day after day, changes the way we touch the world.”  Martin Hdelldorfer

Congratulations to Alfred Tong who was ordained to the priesthood for the Archdiocese of Wellington last Saturday. Congratulations and prayerful good wishes to Alfred as he takes up a new appointment in Te Awakairangi Parish until at least the end of January next year.

Father Joy Thottankara has left Te Awakairangi and the diocese at the request of his Bishop from India to go and work in a diocese in the United States, we give sincere thanks for Fr Joy’s five years of service to the Archdiocese and wish him every blessing.