In the first Pastoral Letter on Ecology and Environment of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) in 1988, “What is Happening to Our Beautiful Land”, our church leaders echoed the clarion call “that our liturgies must deliberate the beauty and pain of our world, our connectedness to the natural world and the on-going struggle for justice.”
This call was affirmed in 2003 when the CBCP Permanent Council introduced the celebration of Creation Day and Creation Time also known as “Season of Creation” from September 1 to October 4.
In its recent Pastoral Letter in July 2019, “An Urgent Call for Ecological Conversion, Hope in the Face of Climate Emergency”, the call to celebrate the Season of Creation was re-affirmed as a way of integrating ecological advocacy and the prayer and liturgies of the church. In Laudato Si’, Pope Francis describes the sacraments as the privilege way in which nature is taken up by God to become a means of supernatural life. Through our worship of God, we are invited to embrace the world in a different plane. (LS 235) He particularly emphasized that “It is in the Eucharist that all that has been created finds its greatest exaltation.” (LS 236)
Thus, unless all of the natural world with its beauty and pains are embraced in our liturgy, it remains incomplete and lacking.
As we are shifting and transitioning from the big impact of COVID19 pandemic for the past 2 years to the period of recovery and great creativity and innovations, we would like to call everyone that this is a time to allow our common home to rest from our throw-away culture, our addiction to consumption, to unlimited economic growth and to the dirty and deadly fossil fuels. This is a time to create, develop and nurture a new mindset, a paradigm shift anchored in the interconnectedness and interrelatedness of everything.
The COVID19 pandemic strongly reminds us how inextricably connected we are with each other and with all of creation. Our failure to embrace that reality as manifested in the way we live, in our economic, political and social life, has driven to unprecedented decline in our planet’s capacity to sustain life and accelerates the rate of species extinction.
Our church leaders have already declared climate emergency. We call on all parishes, religious groups and institutions, civil society organizations to support these initiatives and work together in building our common home.
Today, more than ever, faithful to the call of our church leaders over the years, emboldened by Laudato Si’, challenged by the pandemic and the climate emergency, we are called to ecological conversion. This is a Kairos time, an opportune moment to listen and to respond to the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor and to integrate creation into our worship and into our whole way of life.
1. To increase awareness of Camillian programs and institutions religious, personnel and staff on the Laudato Si Action Platform
2. To institutionalize the celebration of the Season of Creation 2022, which will be an initial step in institutionalizing Ecology/Laudato Si desks in Camillian institutions (hospitals, community-based health program and others)
3. To develop a more robust and integrated ecological and DRRM programs in the Camillian Philippine Province with involvement of all Camillian communities, institutions and programs.
The program starts on September 1 -Thursday with the following activities:
Launching of Season of Creation 2022 in Parishes
Nuestra Senora dela Annunciata Parish, Antipolo City
Launching of Season of Creation 2022 in Hospitals
St. Camillus Medical Center, Pasig City
Thank you so much.
Rev. Fr. Dan Vicente Cancino, MI
CTF National Director