The Archdiocese of Chicago and the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Chicago Observe the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation
The Archdiocese of Chicago and the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Chicago came together to observe the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation on Sunday, Sept. 1, 2019 at 4 p.m. at Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Glenview, Illinois.
Most Reverend Mark Bartosic, auxiliary bishop of Chicago, presided over the prayer service, which was followed by a lecture from Greek Orthodox scholar Rev. Dr. Deacon Perry Hamalis, titled “Love God, Love Thy Neighbor, Love the Trees: Orthodox Reflections on Ecology, Theology, and Human Dignity.”
In 1989, the late Ecumenical Patriarch Dimitrios I of Constantinople designated September 1 as a day of prayer for “the protection of the environment” for Orthodox Christians, a tradition that has been continued by his successor, His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople. Sharing their concern for creation in 2015, Pope Francis designated September 1 as the “World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation” for Catholics.
By joining together in prayer for the care for our common home, Catholic and Orthodox Christians in Chicago are heeding the calls of Pope Francis and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew to protect creation, especially through prayer, education and action. The teachings of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and of Pope Francis’s encyclical “Laudato si’,” call upon individuals and communities to care for our common earthly home, thus respecting the dignity of every human being, especially the poor, marginalized, and future generations. In the words of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, “the ecological problem of pollution is invariably connected to the social problem of poverty; and so all ecological activity is ultimately measured and properly judged by its impact and effect upon the poor.”