SEASON OF CREATION 2020, is an annual ecumenical event held from 1 September to 4 October, and is meant to be a time of prayer and action in favour of our ‘common home’. This year’s focus is to consider the integral relationship between rest for the Earth and ecological,economic, social and political ways of living. The theme of Season of Creation 2020 is – Jubilee for the Earth.

Inaugurating the Season of Creation last year, Pope Francis said: “This is the season for letting our prayer be inspired anew by closeness to nature, which spontaneously leads us to give thanks to God the Creator. It is also a season to reflect on our lifestyles, and how our daily decisions about food, consumption, transportation, use of water, energy and many other material goods, can often be thoughtless and harmful. Too many of us act like tyrants with regard to creation. Let us make an effort to change and to adopt more simple and respectful lifestyles. This too is a season for undertaking prophetic actions. Many young people all over the world are making their voices heard and calling for courageous decisions. They feel let down by too many unfulfilled promises, by commitments made and then ignored for selfish interests or out of expediency. The young remind us that the earth is not a possession to be squandered, but an inheritance to be handed down. They remind us that hope for tomorrow is not a noble sentiment, but a task calling for concrete actions here and now. We owe them real answers, not empty words, actions not illusions.”

We offer you the following suggestions, which we as a global Salesian Family green network could implement during the Season of Creation 2020.

WEEK 1 

(1st – 5th September)

Enjoying Creation by spending time outdoors, organizing a nature hike, getting to know your local biodiversity, visiting sites of natural beauty, walking or biking in the countryside, etc.

  1. Nature walks: Nature can be extremely therapeutic. Going outside and connecting with the natural environment around you will do wonders for your mental health, especially now that we have to stay indoors. Take a safe, socially distant nature walk and marvel in the glory of creation.
  2. Camping / Hiking / Trekking: Similar to nature walks, camping, hiking and trekking are long-term activities that you can partake in to be within nature and enjoy the unadulterated outdoors. If you do decide to go camping, ensure that you leave the surrounding area in the same pristine condition you found it in.
  3. Backyard / Urban Biodiversity walks: If you are unable to go take part in any of the above activities, do not fret. There is so much biodiversity that is visible just in your backyard & down your street. Take a walk and observe the biodiversity in your very own backyard and try to understand the role they play in your life.
  4. Bird-walks: An important part of the biodiversity in your area, are the birds that are flying in the sky. Grab your binoculars and stroll around your neighborhood to spot the birds in your backyard. The idea behind the Bird Walk is to encourage people, especially young children, to learn to spot birds and record data.
  5. Cycling tours: Want to connect with nature? Why not cycle around and find some nice, hidden places? Cycling has great health benefits and allows you a way to connect with nature without contributing to pollution.

WEEK 2

6th – 12th September

Enhancing Creation by organizing tree plantation drives, restoring depleted gardens, or developing new gardens in your campuses/neighbourhoods.

  1. Reforest your backyard, lawn or a community garden: Ditch the aesthetics of a perfect lawn, and reforest your lawn with indigenous plants & vegetables . Regardless of whether you have a flower, vegetable, rock or natural garden, native species are an important element of biodiversity which create a natural habitat for local wildlife
  2. Make a bird feeder: Bird feeders are a useful equipment that can be installed in your garden / backyard. Having a bird feeder allows adult birds to spend less time foraging and more time with their nestlings. 
  3. Set up a kitchen garden: Every plant counts – you can make a difference by adding vegetation to your living space, balcony or roof. Be creative with the types of containers you use; for example, plastic wading pools can be transformed into a creative urban garden. Reuse miscellaneous household containers when possible.
  4. Restore a habitat: Unfortunately, there are habitats that have been destroyed by anthropogenic activities. In a bid to enhance creation, now would be the perfect time to round up some volunteers, and work towards restore your community garden or park to its former glory.
  5. Indoor Composting: When you compost your food scraps and other compostable waste, you not only reduce methane emissions and your carbon footprint, you also create a nutrient-filled substance that enriches soil, keeps your plants healthier, and reduces the need for chemical fertilizers. All-in-all, it’s the greener way to go. And composting is a lot simpler than it seems.

WEEK 3

13th – 19th September

Respecting Creation by organizing clean up events in the neighbourhood (if possible),culminating on World Clean Up Day on 19 September 2020.

  1. No Plastic Day: A large part of respecting creation is to avoid using things that actively harm it. Plastic is a huge environmental problem and one way to take care of the planet is to celebrate a no plastic day.

  2. Climate reads: Knowledge is power and it is important to be aware of the burgeoning climate problem, and the simplest way to do that is to engage with the literature surrounding the issue. There are a great number of books out there that talk about the current climate crisis. You can read about a list of books by visiting our blog post clicking here

  3. Learn to love all nature: Biodiversity is all-encompassing, from the smallest microscopic plants and animals to the giant ones that surround us. All these living creatures are in a delicate balance with one another, and we have to learn how to love every living creature that forms a part of this balance.

  4. Join a cleanup: September 19th is global World Cleanup Day. Organize your own cleanup, or join the local cleanup crew and spend the day cleaning up your local surroundings, parks, gardens, ponds, lakes or the beach.  You can find out more about World Cleanup Day by clicking here. Additionally you can also participate in the Keep It Clean campaign by clicking here

WEEK 4

20th – 26th September

Protecting Creation by organizing an online campaign/webinar to highlight local threatsto nature. We recall the words of Pope Benedict XVI – “If You Want to Cultivate Peace, Protect Creation” – as we celebrate International Day of Peace on 21 September.

  1. Give up on chemical fertilizers: The chemicals used on our lawns and gardens are harmful to us as well as the environment. They contaminate the soil and water in addition to poisoning insects, birds and fish. While all types of pesticides are known to travel, organic products are less harmful in composition, thus minimizing or even eliminating residual damage. Supporting the use of food-based organic repellents (e.g. putrescent eggs, capsaicin) will help eliminate potentially harmful chemical pesticides from the marketplace, and ultimately from the food we consume
  2. Advocate for climate change legislation: Climate change is a human rights issue. The impact of climate change has lead to a lot of human rights violations. This week, try to learn about the climate change legislation in your city, and write to your local elected representative demanding a just climate action plan.
  3. Rethink your investments: If you have the opportunity to do so, invest your money into green and sustainable businesses. There are different ways to invest in green stocks, such as buying individual companies, green-focused exchange-traded funds and mutual funds that hold green stocks.
  4. Celebrate a No Vehicle Day: Reducing our dependence on petrol cars is not only better for the planet and our individual well being, it will pave the way to a better future for our cities.Celebrate a car free day in your institute.

WEEK 5

27th – 04th October

Celebrating Creation by organizing local activities or online events, especially on 4 October, the feast of St Francis of Assisi, which culminate in making personal commitments to live eco-friendly lives, inspired by the Rethink, Reconnect, Renew campaign of Don Bosco Green Alliance.

  1. Organize a virtual discussion via a webinar or meeting: Since we are all social distancing, an online discussion is the best way to connect with people all over the world and celebrate creation with them & Exchange your experiences over the past few weeks.

  2. Laudato Si Global Prayer Service: Participate in the Laudato Si global Prayer service to be held on 2nd October 2020. 

BOOKLET ON STATIONS OF CREATION

Written by Fr. Gilbert Choondal, SDB, Way of Beauty or Stations of Creation is a way of walking with the entire Word of God. We have traditional way of the cross (Via Crucis) from His passion to Death and Way of the Light (Via Lucis) from Resurrection to Pentecost. These Stations take one from the beginning of Creation to Final Coming of Our Lord with a focus on our Common Home, our Garden Planet. These 14 Stations take us to experience the agonies and ecstasies of our common home.

It was released on the day of the Feast of Exaltation of the Holy Cross. Presently, Fr. Gilbert Choondal is the director of Nitika Don Bosco Catechetical Centre.

Besides the above suggested activities and resources, you can also visit the Season of Creation website by clicking here, to access more resources and ideas on celebrating this event.