A Catholic Monthly Magazine

September Events to Remember

Fr Kevin Head SM

The Season of Creation

1 September, the World Day of Prayer for Creation, until 4 October, the Feast of St Francis of Assisi, patron saint of ecology

The Season of Creation is the annual Christian celebration of prayer and action for our common home. The theme for this year is "A home for all? Renewing the household of God." Based on the idea of ‘household’ or ‘home,' it celebrates the network of relationships which nourish the earth’s well-being.

Social Justice Week 12 – 18 September

The New Zealand Catholic Bishops Conference instituted Social Justice Week in 1977. It gives Catholics an opportunity to examine a social justice issue in the light of Catholic Social Teaching, reflect on it, and take action. This year's theme is 'A Culture of Encounter: BE the Church.'

In his encyclical Fratelli Tutti, Pope Francis warns that "the sense of belonging to a single human family is fading." As the world struggles with Covid-19, we must not lose sight of the reality that we are all in the struggle together simply because we are human. The Pope encourages us to be acutely aware of our closeness to one another in our shared humanity. He calls us to "a love that transcends the barriers of geography and distance" (FT # 1).

Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand reminds us that there are many reasons why people can easily get caught within their bubble. As a result, they become disconnected from those around them. "The impact of the pandemic, our reliance on technology, a growing culture of individualism and instant gratification are just a few reasons. However, we are called to be God's hands and feet, and this requires encountering others and sharing God's transcending and transforming love.”

107th World Day of Migrants and Refugees 26 September

Pope Francis’ message for this day carries the title, ‘Towards an ever wider “Us”.’ The Pope remarks that the account of Pentecost in the Acts of the Apostles, when people in Jerusalem first hear the proclaiming of the Good News, invariably moves him: We ... Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabs – in our own languages we hear them speaking about God's deeds of power (2:9-11). He says that this is the ideal of the new Jerusalem (Isaiah 60; Revelations 21:3), where all people are united as one, living in harmony and peace. Achieving this ideal means putting energy into breaking down the walls that keep us apart and building bridges that enable "a culture of encounter."

Our commitment to making the world a better place should make "no distinction between natives and foreigners, between residents and guests, since it is a matter of a treasure we hold in common, from whose care and benefits no one should be excluded."

Practical things to do

• Sign the ‘Healthy Planet, Healthy People Petition’ at thecatholicpetition.org

• Join a beach clean-up project such as Project Jonah at projectjonah.org.nz

• Read the material about Social Justice week on the Caritas website at caritas.org.nz

• Consider donating to one of the projects that Caritas sponsors

• Introduce yourself to a neighbour you do not know.

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