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Promoting the care of creation

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Members of the new Catholic Council for Integral Ecology were commissioned by Archbishop O’Regan during a Mass to celebrate the Season of Creation at Our Lady of the Way Church, Glenalta, last month.

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Heavy rainfall thwarted plans for an outdoor event at Mercy Grove in Belair National Park but seedlings and native cuttings blessed by the Archbishop will be planted at another time.

Archbishop O’Regan welcomed both the rain and the formation of the council.

“Creation is at the heart of who we are as a people because we are called to be fellow stewards of creation,” he said.

“Intertwined with our whole story is the story of creation and we are invited into that story, we are not spectators of creation but part of bringing it about – co-creators.”

Archbishop O’Regan said a task of the Council would be to remind people that “this universe has been given to us as a gift to be shared by all”.

“You will promote wise stewardship of our planet and healing of those parts that have been damaged by our lack of care or human greed,” he told the members.

“You will be a voice calling people to tread gently on this earth and to nourish it so that future generations may enjoy its fruits in justice and peace and give praise and glory for God’s goodness to us.

From September 1 to October 4, Christians of all denominations celebrate the Season of Creation and reflect on issues concerning the environment and creation as a whole.

In his message for the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, Pope Francis said “we have broken the bonds of our relationship with the Creator, with our fellow human beings, and with the rest of creation”.

“We need to heal the damaged relationships that are essential to supporting us and the entire fabric of life,” he said.

Initial discussions for the establishment of an Archdiocesan ecology council began last year when the Archdiocese hosted a Season of Creation seminar to discuss ways of progressing the work of Pope Francis’s 2015 encyclical letter Laudato Si’.

Council member Peter Laffan said the group would work with parishes, schools, and all Catholic bodies to create the desire for change, and to enable people to bring their own gifts to this task.

“We also hope to give the Church a greater voice in the public square on the range of social justice, peace and ecology issues, and to join with all those in South Australia working towards the same goals,” he said.

“But above all, we hope that we can become a community of disciples responding to the promptings of the Holy Spirit to treasure the beauty and richness of this world, all its creatures and peoples.”

Other Council members are Sarah Moffatt, Peter Bierer, Alice Dunlop, Catherine Howell, Gunnar Keppel, Margaret Galdies, Monica Conway, Oreste Farrugia, Peter Henry, Deacon Tee Ping Koh and Holly Roberts.

Students from Sacred Heart College and McAuley Community School participated in the Season of Creation Mass which was held on the feast of Our Lady of Mercy.

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