September is a special time for social and environmental justice in the Catholic Church. Sebastian and James from the Mission Enhancement Team (MET) explain why.
Each year, the Season of Creation and the World Day of Migrants and Refugees fall in the month of September. It’s a time when Catholics around the world are particularly reminded to care more deeply for God’s creation and for people seeking refuge in their community.
Take action in the Season of Creation
Coinciding with our Australian Spring, the Season of Creation is a worldwide ecumenical initiative from 1 September to 4 October. Concluding on the Feast of St Francis of Assisi, considered the patron saint of our natural environment, it is a time when Pope Francis and the Australian Bishops encourage all Catholics to prayer and action in caring for God’s creation, our common home.
In April this year, Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv, Bishop of Parramatta launched our Diocesan Laudato Si’ Action Campaign, aimed at achieving the seven Laudato Si’ Goals set by Pope Francis. All Catholic schools, parishes, families, and organisations in the Diocese of Parramatta are invited to join us on the journey.
Where to start
Sometimes, knowing how to start can be confusing or overwhelming. To help you, Catholic Earthcare, the ecological advisory agency for the Catholic Church in Australia, has a special program for families, parishes and schools to take them through the steps, from understanding our connection to nature, to taking stock and taking action.
Parishes will learn how to audit where your parish is at regarding sustainability, and help you plan for the future, including how to build and motivate your community.
Already four parishes have signed up from the Diocese of Parramatta including The Good Shepherd at Plumpton, and St Madeleine Sophie Barat at Kenthurst.
Find out more about the Diocesan Laudato Si’ action campaign and the Laudato Si’ Goals at parracatholic.org/laudatosi
The Good Shepherd Parish responds to Cry of the Earth, Cry of the Poor
The Good Shepherd Parish in Plumpton has envisaged and actioned their response to the Diocesan Laudato Si’ Action Campaign. In January 2022, the parish’s social justice group initiated a discernment process, resulting in the decision to join Catholic Earthcare’s Parishes Program and to undertake an Earthcare audit.
They have taken stock of the ways in which the parish is responding to “the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor.” Actions include using solar energy, regular food drives for the refugee organisation the House of Welcome, and holding a concert to raise funds for refugee families.
The Laudato Si’ Goals
- Respond to the Cry of the Earth
- Response to the Cry of the Poor
- Ecological economics
- Adoption of sustainable lifestyles
- Ecological education
- Ecological spirituality
- Community resilience and empowerment
Details at laudatosiactionplatform.org
World Day of Migrants and Refugees 25 September
Celebrate and support refugees in the Diocese of Parramatta
The Catholic Church celebrates the World Day of Migrants and Refugees in 2022 on Sunday 25 September. It is a time to pray and raise awareness of the challenges of vulnerable people on the move. In the Diocese of Parramatta, our network of refugee organisations and parishes come together in the Diocesan Journey… Walking With Refugees to support and keep the conversation going.
The Diocese of Parramatta’s “Diocesan Journey… Walking with Refugees” Team invites you to a family-friendly event on the World Day of Migrants and Refugees, Sunday 25 September in Blacktown. Mass will be celebrated at 2pm by Bishop Vincent Long at St Patrick’s Church, Blacktown, followed by an afternoon of fun, food and fellowship at the All Saints of Africa Centre, 63 Allawah St, Blacktown. Please register at www.shorturl.at/ahxyZ or call 0476 873 519.
“As a former refugee myself, I understand the sufferings, destitution, and cry for prosperity of those who are seeking a place of safety where they can rebuild their lives. I want you to be hopeful and prayerful, for the Lord will provide. No condition is permanent, and change is possible.” – James Atanasious Lukere
Sebastian Salaske-Lentern and James Atanasious Lukere are members of the Diocese of Parramatta’s Mission Enhancement Team (MET) focusing on Peace, Justice and Ecology.
This article was originally published in the 2022 Season of Creation | Spring 2022 edition of the Catholic Outlook Magazine. You can pick up your copy of the magazine in parishes and offices across the Diocese of Parramatta now or you can read the digital version here.