Action - 14 October 2017

en - Creation Time – 1st September to 4th October


In 1989 the Ecumenical Patriarch suggested that 1 September, the first day of the Orthodox Church’s year, should be observed as a day “of protection of the natural environment”. Ten years later the European Christian Environmental Network (ECEN) widened this proposal, urging churches to adopt a Time for Creation stretching from 1 September to the feast of St Francis on 4 October. Pope Francis instituted September 1 as feast of Creation and urged all of us to keep this special time of celebrating the earth and praying for the protection of the all of Creation.


In Ireland only a limited number of parishes have taking the message seriously. In our parish in Ballymun, Dublin, we – (a small group of parishners)—took Creation Time seriously and decorated the Church with symbols/posters reminding the Congregation of this special time and asked the priest to use the specific prayers prepared for Creation liturgies. One of our members developed a pamphlet on practical ways to reach ‘Zero Waste’ and a simple lifestyle in keeping with Pope Francis message: “People must change lifestyles and attitudes” We partner with Eco Congregation and are inspired and challenged by the work of other groups.


As VIVAT Ireland we decided to organize a series of small workshops as a way of educating participants as to the seriousness of the message of Laudato Si and increasing our community of learning and commitment to justice and peace. This we are doing through a program called:


‘BE THE CHANGE’


Awakening the Dreamer – a Transformative educational programs that explores the challenges facing humanity at this critical moment in time and the opportunities we as a Human family have to create a new future


We were very pleased with the response to our first workshop which was held on September 12th. Two of our members had trained in delivering the ‘Be the Change’ — a symposium developed Pachamama Alliance --- adapted to the Irish situation. The goal of the symposium is to help participants become active voices for change, as they begin to see more clearly the current environmental crisis, and how humanity has arrived at this critical moment for the future of life on earth.


The symposium is supported by the best available scientific data on climate change and the health of Earth’s other vital systems. The objective, however, is to draw participants into a sense of their profound connection to planet earth and all of life, and lead them to question the Western myth of disconnection (also highlighted by Pope Francis in Laudato Si’), which lies at the root of our current crisis. It’s an invitation to become, not merely informed citizens, but personally engaged and active on behalf of our planetary home.


At the end, each of the twenty two participants took home a card stating our commitment to action because we see “bringing forth an environmentally sustainable, spiritually fulfilling and socially just human presence on this planet as the guiding principle of our times.”


Luarena McCormick, RSM and Tom McCabe OMI (VIVAT Ireland) jointly presented the symposium. Liam Dunne (VIVAT Ireland, chairperson) welcomed everybody and thanked them afterwards for their lively participation.


Lena Deevy, Little Sister of the Assumption