Held from September 1 – the World Day of Prayer for Care of Creation – to October 4 – the feast of St Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of ecology – the event encourages people of all faiths to focus on God’s gift of creation and to recommit to caring for this precious gift.
As in past years, the Blackwood parish, on behalf of the Archdiocese, is hosting a gathering in the Mercy Grove in Belair National Park. Attendees at the October 1 event will be asked to focus on this year’s theme ‘Let Justice and Peace Flow’.
One of the organisers, Deacon Tee Ping Koh, who is also a member of the Council for Integral Ecology, said it was hoped people throughout the Archdiocese would “unite and dedicate” an afternoon to prayer and reflection of creation. Participants will be encouraged to stay on for a BYO picnic and enjoy the beautiful setting of the park.
Deacon Tee Ping added that the Mercy Grove had a special place in the heart of many Blackwood parishioners who had worked tirelessly to revegetate the area and had planted about 200 trees there to celebrate the Year of Mercy in 2016.
“It has been amazing to witness how much the trees have grown in the past seven years,” he said.
“The park rangers have told us that our trees are growing very well, with a much higher survival rate than average.
“No doubt this is due to the tender loving care from our dedicated parishioners. We have a roster in summer to water them which I am sure has made a big difference.
“The Mercy Grove offers a tranquil setting for us to pray and reflect on the part we all need to play in looking after our environment. With the birds singing in the background – and if we are lucky, with koalas amongst us – it will be a perfect place for families to enjoy a picnic afterwards.”
Deacon Tee Ping added that Blackwood parishioners hoped many members of the Aberfoyle Park parish would join them for the event as it would be “an opportunity to bond, to establish relationships and get to know each other” as the parishes move towards a merger.
In his message for this year’s World Day of Prayer for Care of Creation, Pope Francis invites people to ‘stand with the victims of environmental and climate injustice, and to put an end to the senseless war against creation’.
On the care for creation Pope Francis said the first step is the transformation of our hearts. He invited people to change their lifestyles, to lower waste production and consumption, to use resources with moderation and sobriety, to recycle and to make greater use of sustainable options.
The Season of Creation event will be held at Mercy Grove, Belair National Park (adjacent to Upper Sturt Tennis Club) at 1pm on Sunday October 1. BYO picnic. All welcome.