The Season of Creation is approaching. From 1 September to 4 October, as part of this ecumenical celebration, Christians from around the world will unite to pray and explore more deeply how we might care for our common home. This year, the theme is ‘Let justice and peace flow,’ words inspired by the prophet Amos: ‘but let justice flow like water, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream’ (5:24).

In his message for the 2023 World Day of Prayer for Creation, which marks the beginning of the Season of Creation, Pope Francis said that the image offered by Amos ‘speaks to us of what God desires’.

‘God wants justice to reign; it is as essential to our life as God’s children made in his likeness as water is essential for our physical survival,’ he said. ‘This justice must flow forth wherever it is needed, neither remaining hidden deep beneath the ground nor vanishing like water that evaporates before it can bring sustenance.’

To celebrate the Season of Creation, Caritas Australia invites Catholic communities nationwide to attend an online launch on 4 September at 6pm AEST, offering participants an enriching and informative experience through its Catholic Earthcare program.

‘It is increasingly evident that our relationship with nature is not separate from our relationship with God and others,’ says Kirsty Robertson, CEO of Caritas Australia.

In a time when environmental challenges are pressing, we must come together and embrace our responsibility to care for the Earth and each other now and for all future generations.

Participants at the launch event will have the opportunity to learn about creating a Laudato si’ Action Plan and to join a community of mutual support. They will also gain access to the Australian Guide to Laudato Si’ Action Planning. Created by Caritas Australia, the guide will help users initiate practical, meaningful change within their own parish, school, household or organisation as they plan and take action to live Laudato si’.

Bishop Vincent Long, Chair of the Bishops Commission for Social Justice, Mission and Service, urges people to ‘continue our Laudato si’ journey of transformation … to take time forming your heart, gathering with others in your Earthcare Community to support and learn from each other and then [plan] your concrete actions. For, as Pope Francis says, “We know that things can change ...”’

Caritas Australia invites the Australian Catholic community to embrace this opportunity and join the online launch. Together, people can create a network of mutual support, fostering a sense of shared responsibility and hope for a sustainable future.

A Catholic liturgical guide to the Season of Creation has also been released, a collaborative work between the Vatican Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, Pax Christi International’s Catholic Nonviolence Initiative, Laudato Si’ Movement, LISTEN, and Columban Missionaries. It includes texts, prayers, commentary, music suggestions and guidance for various rites that parishes are encouraged to celebrate this Season of Creation.

You can access the Catholic liturgical guide below.

Find out more and register for Caritas’ free online launch event here.