Sunday, 04 October 2020 08:42

Celebrating the Season of Creation in the New Normal

The Season of Creation (September 1 to October 4) which started in 1989 by the Word Council of Churches and adapted by the Catholic Church in 2015 has been gaining a voice among movements – parishes, NGOs, religious in the Philippines. Several activities such as the “Walk for Creation,” fora and seminars have been well participated in different dioceses. But as the pandemic lingers this year, these activities have been put on hold, however, the spirituality remains.

The National Shrine of Our Lady of the Abandoned in Santa Ana, Manila strives to do just this – keep the spirituality alive despite the limitations in mobility and social gathering.

This season, the parish circulates though its Messenger Group Chats a Filipino translation of the “Reflection on Aqua Fons Vitae, Orientations on Water: Symbol of the Cry of the Poor and the Cry of the Earth” developed by the Office of Human Development Climate Change Desk of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences (FABC). The aim of this daily posts is to make known the urgency that the Church, together with other organizations has put on the seriousness of the global water crisis and its effect especially on the poor and vulnerable, through social media platforms accessible to ministries and communities such as the Bukluran or Basic Ecclesial Communities in the parish.

Prior to this, the parish launched several activities in the past Seasons of Creation to emphasize in the Buhay Katiwala way of life (Spirituality of Stewardship) the responsibility in caring for our common home. Urban gardening which started as a contest for the Barangay Pastoral Councils is still being continued not only on the level of the barangay but by some families as well.

There is still so much to do in terms formation and action and the parish explores many ways to reach the communities in the context of the new normal such as maximizing social media. The stewardship of creation remains to be a continuing spirituality the parish advocates, especially under the inspiration of St. Francis of Assisi.

On October 3, the parish will celebrate the Transitus, St. Francis’ passing over from this life to the next. The commemoration of the Transitus, that always included the “Canticle of the Sun,” from which Laudato Si’, [mi Signori] or “Praise be to You my Lord” was taken, reflects the importance and natural character of death in the life of creation. St. Francis was not afraid of what would come at his death, choosing instead to recognize in that experience, not an end, but a transition from one way of living to another. Consumeristic and “throw-away” lifestyle, therefore is just a temporary experience in this life.

The Transitus will be livestreamed at 5:00 in the afternoon at the official Facebook Page “National Shrine of Our Lady of the Abandoned, Santa Ana, Manila.”

In addition, on October 3 Pope Francis will visit Assisi to celebrate Holy Mass at the tomb of St. Francis and to sign his third encyclical Fratelli Tutti taken from the Admonition of St. Francis #6,1: FF 155) which is about fraternity and social friendship. It is addressed to all sisters and brothers, who populate the earth. The central theme being, “blessed is our common home,” (Vatican News, September 16).

In his message released by the Vatican on September 1, Pope Francis said; “the pandemic has brought us to a crossroads.” The Pope continues, “We must use this decisive moment to end our superfluous and destructive goals and activities, and to cultivate values, connections and activities that are life-giving.” “We must examine our habits of energy usage, consumption, transportation, and diet.” (Mayee Abear-Marzan / SOCOM-NSOLA)


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