by Director of Justice and Kinship Michael Downs
Each year from September 1 to October 4, faith communities worldwide unite for the Season of Creation: a celebration of prayer, advocacy, and action to protect our common home. This imperative of care for the earth is emphasized by Pope Francis in Laudato Si, his 2015 encyclical inspired by St. Francis. This year, the theme for the season is biodiversity, God’s web of life, and our community is participating in a number of ways.
Grounded in our charism commitment to “kinship with creation,” Bishop O’Dowd High School rejoices in this opportunity to renew our role as stewards of the earth. Two student leadership groups, Eco-Leaders and Solidarity-in-Action, have been collaborating to study climate science, raise awareness among their families and friends, and mobilize our school during the Season of Creation. Our Creation Care Team, along with teachers in the Religious Studies and Science departments, are informing and inspiring their students about caring for our common home. O’Dowd has already emphasized this important season at our Mass of the Holy Spirit last week and at our first Living Lab work day this past Saturday.
Here are some upcoming local, national, and international events our community is engaging with in various ways:
September 20: Bay Area Youth Led Climate Strike
September 21: Battle for the Bay: Creek-to-Bay Clean-up Day, featuring volunteer projects around the East Bay
September 23-29: United Nations Climate Action Summit
October 2: Outdoor Mass and/or blessing of the renovated Living Lab
October 4: Feast of St. Francis of Assisi
October 5: 2nd Living Lab Saturday Service Day
October 6-21: Pan-Amazon Synod of Bishops focused on Integral Ecology
O’Dowd’s community of educators and students are rising to Pope Francis’ inspiring challenge for the Season of Creation: “Every member of the human family can contribute to weaving, like a thin but unique and indispensable thread, the web of life that embraces everyone. Let us feel involved and responsible in taking care of creation with prayer and commitment. God, ‘lover of life’ (Wis 11:26), gives us the courage to do good without waiting for others to start, without waiting for it to be too late.”