Celebrating Earth Day, April 22, 2020

50th anniversary of the founding of Earth Day

Let's begin this post with a song, Canticle of Brother Son, giving thanks for all creation, based on the Canticle of the Sun, written by St. Francis of Assisi, 1225.

As we experience a different way of doing routine things in our daily lives, the Celebration for Earth Day 2020 is no different. With community events to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day being canceled due to the Coronavirus Pandemic, what do we do now?

First, we have to understand that our faith calls us to build a just society and to live lives of holiness amid the challenges of contemporary circumstances.

Included in the Church’s social teaching is “Care for God’s Creation”.  This social teaching commits us to show our respect for the Creator through our stewardship of creation. The commitment is not just for Earth Day, but is a requirement of living our faith. We must not ignore the call to protect people and the planet, living our faith in relationship with all of God’s creation.


It has links within to other resources ... 

Second, we have to understand the unjust impact of environmental conditions on the poor, vulnerable, and the unborn.

Next, we have to take action. Following are some things you can do.

  • Visit earthday.org for activities and ideas for your family to celebrate Earth Day 2020.
  • Try new plant-based recipes using canned and dried beans.
  • If you garden, try recycling vegetable trimmings and leftovers into compost that you can use to nourish plants in your garden. Here's one way to do it
  • If you are part of parish ministries that use the church kitchen, do the same at Holy Cross, to create compost to nurture the parish's vegetable and flower beds. (Details for parish procedures coming soon). 
  • Avoid harsh chemicals for cleaning and disinfecting. Try hydrogen peroxide, alcohol and white vinegar.
  • Share things that you have in excess with neighbors and family members who can use items they can’t find in stores.
  • Support the new parish ministry, Holy Cross Goes Green, that will be launched by our Outreach and Social Justice ministry when our church reopens.

We also all urged to pray for our home, the planet earth. Following are two prayers from Pope Francis' encyclical letter, Laudato Si', on Care for our Common Home

"At the conclusion of this lengthy reflection (his encyclical letter) which has been both joyful and troubling," Pope Francis writes, "I propose that we offer two prayers. The first we can share with all who believe in a God who is the all-powerful Creator, while in the other we Christians ask for inspiration to take up the commitment to creation set before us by the Gospel of Jesus.

A prayer for our earth

All-powerful God, you are present in the whole universe
and in the smallest of your creatures.
You embrace with your tenderness all that exists.
Pour out upon us the power of your love,
that we may protect life and beauty.
Fill us with peace, that we may live
as brothers and sisters, harming no one.

O God of the poor,
help us to rescue the abandoned and forgotten of this earth,
so precious in your eyes.
Bring healing to our lives,
that we may protect the world and not prey on it,
that we may sow beauty, not pollution and destruction.

Touch the hearts of those who look only for gain
at the expense of the poor and the earth.

Teach us to discover the worth of each thing,
to be filled with awe and contemplation,
to recognize that we are profoundly united
with every creature as we journey towards your infinite light.

We thank you for being with us each day. 
Encourage us, we pray, in our struggle for justice, love and peace.

A Christian prayer in union with creation

Father, we praise you with all your creatures.
They came forth from your all-powerful hand;
they are yours, filled with your presence and your tender love.
Praise be to you!

Son of God, Jesus,
through you all things were made.
You were formed in the womb of Mary our Mother,
you became part of this earth,
and you gazed upon this world with human eyes.
Today you are alive in every creature
in your risen glory.
Praise be to you!

Holy Spirit, by your light
you guide this world towards the Father’s love
and accompany creation as it groans in travail.
You also dwell in our hearts
and you inspire us to do what is good.
Praise be to you!

Triune Lord, wondrous community of infinite love,
teach us to contemplate you
in the beauty of the universe,
for all things speak of you.

Awaken our praise and thankfulness
for every being that you have made.
Give us the grace to feel profoundly joined
to everything that is.

God of love, show us our place in this world
as channels of your love
for all the creatures of this earth,
for not one of them is forgotten in your sight.

Enlighten those who possess power and money
that they may avoid the sin of indifference,
that they may love the common good, advance the weak,
and care for this world in which we live.
The poor and the earth are crying out.

O Lord, seize us with your power and light,
help us to protect all life,
to prepare for a better future,
for the coming of your Kingdom
of justice, peace, love and beauty.
Praise be to you!

Tags: Holy Cross Goes Green, Environment', Ecology, St. Francis, Pope Francis Laudauto si, Earth Day


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