Creation Sustainability Ministry: Office of Justice and Peace, Archdiocese of Los Angeles
St Francis of Assisi 2012 Resource Guide and Bulletin Announcement: Feasting on Simplicity
Each liturgical season, we plan to offer resources and a bulletin announcement for individuals and parishes to integrate the St Francis Pledge into their lives and see the relevance of caring for God’s creation as a precept of faith.
PRAY and reflect on the duty to care for God’s creation and protect the poor and vulnerable.
Individuals: Prayerfully, live simply one day in your food, transportation and consumer decisions. Reflecting on the day, select one lifestyle change that your will integrate into your life, on a permanent basis, to live more simply.
Parishes: Schedule a Mass or prayer service to celebrate St Francis during October (October 4th is the memorial day) Highlight his life attuned to creation and marginalized in society. Afterwards, host a reception serving locally grown food with sustainable utensils, plates and cups. Invite several local outreach organization that help raise awareness to preserve creation and empower the marginalized in your community, so your parish can network with them.
At Sunday Masses near October 4th, ask that music reflecting St Francis’ message be included in the liturgy, such as Sacred Creation or Canticle of the Sun.
Children: At Sunday Masses on October 7th, ask children to bring their favorite stuffed animal to carry in the entrance procession and place at the base of the altar in thanksgiving for God’s gifts of creation, in the spirit of St Francis. It also reflects the first reading from Genesis, “…God formed out of the ground various wild animals and various birds of the air, and he brought them to the man to see what he would call them…”
LEARN about and educate others on the causes and moral dimensions of climate change and our responsibility towards God’s creation.
Visit the Creation Sustainability Ministry blog: csmresources.wordpress.com
Lear about the impact of plastic on the ocean environment at: http://www.algalita.org
On October 7th, 2012 3pm to 5pm, Mary and Joseph Retreat Center 5300 Crest Road Rancho Palos Verdes, will host an afternoon Readers Theater Play by David Hoover on “St Francis: Face to Face” –come for a contemporary conversation with St Francis. Cost $20 till September 28th, or $25 Call 310-377-4867 ext 234 for reservations.
ASSESS how we as individuals and in our families, parishes and other affiliations contribute to climate change and environmental degradation by our own energy use, consumption and waste.
From visiting Algalita’s website, identify ways you, your family and parish can work to minimize the use of plastic.
Read Archbishop Gomez’s article in the July 27, 2012 edition of The Tidings http://www.the-tidings.com/index.php/viewpoints/cardinals-archbishop-gomez/2455-for-the-beauty-of-the-earth
Assess your relationship to creation and use of resources in the context of his comments.
ACT to change our choices and behaviors to reduce the way we contribute to degradation of the world.
At your home and parish show the DVD, Sun Comes Up, on climate change in the South Pacific and the lifestyle changes residents’ face in relocating. View a preview of the DVD on the Catholic Coalition on Climate Change website: catholicclimatecovenant.org
After viewing the DVD discuss what actions you can take to minimize your carbon foot print to decrease the impact of global warming.
ADVOCATE for Catholic principles in climate change and creation sustainability discussions, especially as they impact those who are poor and vulnerable.
Host a letter writing evening, asking restaurants, businesses and corporation to use eco-friendly packaging and decrease dependence on plastic. Research facts to include in the letters and share your thoughts on the need for consumers and businesses to work together for the common good in caring for creation. Some examples might be asking retailers to sell refill cartridges for pens, instead of disposing of the whole pen when only the ink cartridge needs replacement. Restaurants might be asked to use eco- friendly cartons to dispense food. Grocery stores could be encouraged to provide more food selections in bulk bins to reduce excess packaging.
If you live in a neighborhood where numerous advertisements are distributed on your porch, put a sign on your door asking that advertising materials are not left. When you get unwanted advertising in the mail, contact the company and ask that your name be removed from the mailing list. Let them know you are concerned about the inability of most advertising material to be recycled.
BULLETIN ANNOUNCEMENT: ST FRANCIS MEMORIAL OCTOBER 4, 2012
St Francis robed himself in excess, only to find that lifestyle lacked authenticity. Whether he fought for power or lived in the echelons of the elite, emptiness prevailed. In embracing simplicity, each petal of creation to the marginalized living outside the walls of society’s acceptance, was he able to unravel the door to his soul. Removing the clutter of excess possessions, elitist mentality and indifference to God, his soul absorbed the radiance of peace, hospitality and compassion. The embrace of simplicity — found in the ordinary — changed St Francis from dwelling on himself to the needs of others. How can we journey in the footsteps of St Francis and shed one selfish attitude or possession? Will we stop gazing in the mirror of self-absorption and lock our sight on defilement of creation, leading to action? In faith, will we venture to tame wolves of mistrust in challenging dialogue?
St Francis, thank you for being our mentor. Pray for us.
Collect Memorial for St Francis: “O God, by whose gift Saint Francis was conformed to Christ in poverty and humility, grant that, by walking in Francis’ footsteps, we may follow your Son, and through joyful charity, come to be united with you…”
Please share with us activities you take to care for creation at your parish and your individual actions.
Please let us know what resources you would like to see on our blog: csmresources.wordpress.com
What could we do to help you live the St Francis pledge? Please contact the Creation Sustainability Ministry, Faith Formation Subcommittee at firstname.lastname@example.org The St Francis Pledge, as adapted by the Creation Sustainability Ministry, is available on the website as a Word document for use in bulletins and parish resources. Our brochure is also available to download and share with your parish at creationsustainabilitycommittee.org