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The importance of Care of Creation

By Sister Jeanne Wingenter
Sister Jeanne Wingenter

Care of Creation is seen as such an important issue that Pope Francis wrote an encyclical entitled Laudato Si’ . In it the pope quotes his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, who stated that, “The natural environment has been gravely damaged by our irresponsible behavior…The misuse of creation begins when we no longer recognize any higher instance than ourselves, when we see nothing else but ourselves. Laudato Si’   also reminds us that, “All of us can cooperate as instruments of God for the Care of Creation, each according to his or her own culture, experience, involvements and talents.” There are many ways The School Sisters of Notre Dame (SSND) Central Pacific (CP) Province have implemented Care of Creation as a topic of importance within our congregation, including the Season of Creation every fall and our Land Ethic Statement.

Season of Creation was first proclaimed September 1 by Ecumenical Patriarch Dimitrios I of Constantinople as a day for prayer of creation for the Orthodox in 1989. The World Council of Churches was instrumental in making this special time a Season of Creation, extending the celebration from September 1, the day of Prayer for Creation, until October 4, the feast of St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of ecology. Each year the Christian family is invited to unite for a worldwide celebration or prayer and action to protect our common home.

Sister Therese Ann Zanmiller cares for the new buds on a tree in spring.Every year, Season of Creation is a time to spend re-reading and reflecting on the Season of Creation resources and renewing your commitment to find new ways to live in harmony with all of creation. This year, amid crises that have shaken our world, we are reminded of the urgent need to heal our relationships with creation and with each other, and to renew our efforts to find new ways of living in harmony with all of creation. We, human beings, are but one strand in the interconnected web of life.

The CP Province Land Ethic Statement, approved by the Provincial Assembly on June 29, 2014, proclaimed the SSND efforts to “Nurture reverence for the wholeness and holiness of Earth” and challenged us to “Live more simply, responsibly and sustainably with one another and with all of creation,” listing many suggested practices for doing so. Some of these practices include adopting practices like limiting meals with meat, recycling programs, community gardens and a natural burial option.

In March 2021, Care of Creation will be celebrated as the theme of the Women’s Leadership Luncheons, which are now being offered virtually. The SSND passion for Care of Creation will be exhibited by each location’s speakers, who are women leaders in their community driving the call to protect the Earth. Each speaker is an expert in her field and the events will feature topics including: water engineering, urban forestry, Indigenous herbalism, environmentalism in zoology and more. We hope you will join us virtually for one of these topics in Milwaukee, St. Louis, Dallas and St. Paul, Minnesota.

Learn more and register now for the 2021 Women’s Leadership Luncheon.


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