Season of Creation spotlights threats to biodiversity

Original article by Brian Roewe and published by National Catholic Reporter

Dioceses, Catholic groups to host prayer services, tree plantings, webinars

Wildfires rage in the Amazon rainforest and other parts of the globe. Up to one million species face extinction, in large part due to human activities.

This has formed the backdrop for the annual Season of Creation, timely tuned this year to the theme of biodiversity.

The Season of Creation begins on Sept. 1 with the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, and runs until Oct. 4, the feast of St. Francis of Assisi. This year’s Season of Creation is focusing on “protecting the web of life in all its variety, because each species reveals the glory of the Creator.”

This will mark the fifth observation of the Season of Creation since Pope Francis invited Catholics in 2015 to join other Christian denominations in its celebration. Orthodox Christians began celebrating the Day of Prayer for Creation as early as 1989. Over time, more Christians have joined and the celebration has expanded from a day to more than a month.

And Catholic participation has grown each year since Francis’ initial invitation.

“Everywhere we turn, we see new initiatives, new resources emerging at every level of the Church,” said Christina Leaño, associate director of Global Catholic Climate Movement. She added, “And especially in the midst of our current climate crisis, the fires in Brazil and across Africa, it is incredibly inspiring to see the Holy Spirit igniting this prayer and action for creation.”

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