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Great ways for families to celebrate at home

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By Christina Bagaglio Slentz

What is Creation Care?
Rooted in Scripture and tradition, “Creation Care” is a key part of Catholic teaching and, as the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops argues, “is not just an Earth Day slogan, it is a requirement of our faith.”

Care for creation:

  • Begins with gratitude, recognizing creation as a gift from God
  • Charges us with the protection of our earthly brothers and sisters and our common home
  • Calls us to live in harmonious relationship with all of God’s creation

How can your family honor the season of creation?
You are invited to celebrate through prayer, learning and action. Here are some ideas!

PRAY

  • “Listen to the Voice of Creation” is this year’s theme, with the burning bush as the symbol. Read Exodus 3:1-12 as a family and discuss Moses’ call from God, beseeching him to take action to save his brothers and sisters.  Contemplate, what does the voice of creation say to you?
  • Add this creation-minded prayer to mealtime blessings:

Loving God, we ask you to bless this food which comes to us through the work of many people, from the sowing of seeds in the earth, to our table here today. Help us to always care for Your beautiful creation. Amen.

LEARN

  • Adults can access Pope Francis’ World Day of Prayer for Creation Care message.
  • The whole family can watch a 3-minute video about Laudato Si’, Pope Francis’ encyclical about the “Cry of the earth and the cry of the poor.”  Watch together to learn how harm to the earth harms our brothers and sisters.
  • Sign up for a workshop on Laudato Si’ on Sept. 10. All are invited to attend “Laudato Si: On Care for Our Common Home,” from 9:30 to 11 a.m., Saturday, Sept. 10, in the hall at St. Martin of Tours Parish in La Mesa. St. Martin of Tours Academy achieved the “Green Ribbon” award from the State of California and recognition from the National Department of Education for its commitment to environmental stewardship. The workshop is free, but participants are asked to register at https://forms.gle/Asp6HdRUj8Awmkdr5.

ACT

  • Reduce use of air-conditioning, carpool, increase your composting efforts, and reduce use of plastic at home and in your parish.
  • Try “Meatless Mondays” and “Fish Fridays” to reduce your family’s red meat intake and related carbon footprint.
  • Go on a family hike and gather trash as you go — and say a prayer with each item you pick up.
  • Lead a beach clean-up and/or begin to offer your voice in defense of the environment.

Christina Bagaglio Slentz is Associate Director for Creation Care Ministry in the diocesan Office for Life, Peace and Justice.

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