From the Rome community, Italy
The Season of Creation runs annually from September 1 through October 4. It unites the global Christian family around one shared purpose, that of caring for the Planet. It invites us to celebrating prayer services and engaging in a variety of actions to care for creation.
This year’s theme is inspired by the Prophet Amos. He cries out: “But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream!” (Amos 5:24)
And so we are called to join the river of justice and peace, to take up climate and ecological justice, and to speak out with and for communities most impacted by climate injustice and the loss of biodiversity.
In this sense, many of us MSOLA in Rome, General Council, generalate community and juniors participated in two activities.
On 9th September we prayed with our brothers, the Missionaries of Africa, the brothers and sisters in the Transition Session and many other religious men and women of the neighbourhood. The garden venue made us feel more united with Creation as we asked forgiveness for not honoring God’s gracious plan for Creation, praised God for the beauty and interceded for an ecological conversion. We sang, accompanied by a small “orchestra” of Missionaries of Africa. After prayer we were invited to have a drink and some fruit or snacks and to connect with other participants of this prayer service.
In the evening of 8th September, eight Sisters had registered with the nonprofit organization “Plasticfree” that organizes public clean-ups in Rome and all over Italy. We made up about half the group and also had the joy to share with younger and older people who had come to collect rubbish along a busy road in our quarter Trastevere. Wearing all the same T-Shirt (made in Spain, not in Bangladesh) created a group spirit and made us recognizable to the people around us. Each one had a bag either for paper, for plastic, for glass or “undifferentiated”
rubbish. In the end many bags were filled!
Our intercultural group of eight could not go unnoticed and soon someone asked: “But who are you?” We explained about our congregation and the Season of Creation, in Italian, in English, in Spanish, just as it came. The common purpose helped us to understand one another…
The Season of Creation prayer service brought together numerous brothers and sisters from the Aurelia neighbourhood, near the Generalate of the Missionaries of Africa.
There will be other occasions to join a public cleaning event; without doubt we will continue our weekly prayer for ecological conversion beyond this Season of Creation.
Creator Spirit, Earth-maker, Pain-bearer, Life-giver,
Source of all that is and that shall be,
Father and Mother of us all, Loving God, in whom is heaven:
The hallowing of your name echoes through the universe!
May the way of your justice be followed
by the peoples of the world!
Your heavenly will be done by all created beings!
Your communion of peace and freedom sustain our hope
and come on Earth.
With the bread we need for today, feed us.
In the hurts we absorb from one another, forgive us.
In times of temptation and test, strengthen us. Amen.