The season of creation that was introduced by Pope Francis since 2016, came immediately a year after the publication of Laudato Si on the Care for our Common Home. The special season occurs within the ordinary time of the Church’ liturgical calendar to run from the 1st of September to the 4th of October which is the feast of Saint Francis of Assisi “Lover of creation”. Every year there is a suggested theme for the celebration of the season of creation and for the 2020 Season of Creation, the suggested theme has been “Jubilee for the Earth: New Rhythms, New Hope.”
Concluding this year’s season of creation for 2020, the Mill Hill Formation Centre (MHFC) in Nairobi Kenya was not left out. In view of this celebration it was marked with the planting of a fruit tree at the entrance to the formation centre. This celebration that began with the holy Mass on Thursday October 1st at 6pm East African Time saw the rector of the formation house Fr. Damien Fuh, MHM blessing and planting a fruit tree. At the beginning of this celebration he invited all present to look around the environment, to appreciate the beauty of the formation centre and how best to maintain it as Pope Francis says in his 2020 message for the season of creation “the season of creation is increased prayer and effort on behalf of the common home”.
Concluding his 2020 message on care for creation the Holy Father says “let us all rejoice that our loving Creator sustains our humble efforts to care for the Earth which is also God’s home where his word became flesh and lived amongst us as we read in John 1:14 and which is constantly being renewed by the outpouring of the Holy Spirit”. Just as in the book of the prophet Isaiah the Lord says: ‘Heaven is his throne and earth his footstool’ (Is 66:1). Thus the Lord is dwelling with us and the whole of creation. The symbolic act of planting a tree was followed by the song of creation.
The heavens are telling of the glory of God,
And all creation is shouting for joy,
Come, dance in the forest, come play in the field,
And sing; sing to the glory of the Lord.
Sing to the sun, the bringer of day,
He carries the light of the lord in his rays
The moon and the stars that light up the way unto your throne…
The formation centre chose the theme “renew the face of the Earth” for the formative year 2020/ 2021 so we are part and parcel of the call to care for Mother Earth which is constantly crying out for help. This theme is aimed at redirecting our focus and to act as a reminder to care for creation. It is equally a time to call for a change of our understanding of how we view nature and how best to treat it in order to maintain the beauty of creation. The change begins with little acts ranging from how we dispose of our waste to how we care for the environment.
The one question that will be running across the minds of many now could be: Did I know about the season of creation? Or better still what have I done to enhance the care of creation and to sustain it? What legacy am I leaving behind? The Holy Father concludes the season for creation 2020 by the signing of a new encyclical in Assisi Fratelli tutti, meaning, “All Brothers.”
Chibeh Marcellinus Chia
Nairobi Formation Centre, Kenya