Join the River of Justice and Peace
The Diocese of Kerry under the leadership of Bishop Ray Browne joins dioceses across Ireland and Christian churches globally, in calling us to, Join the River of Justice and Peace this ‘Season of Creation’.
Last March, the Catholic bishops of Ireland set a very clear, specific and local challenge, that parishes would return 30% of church grounds to nature by 2030. This is a response to the biodiversity crisis our world is facing, the call of Pope Francis in ‘Laudato Si’ and the agreements made at recent UN Conferences on Biodiversity. “Parishes are asked to expand their circles of solidarity, to protect and care for biodiversity and creation on 30% of their grounds, and to care for this as a haven for pollinators and biodiversity, that can be enjoyed by the whole community.”
Now as the Season of Creation 2023 gets underway, Bishop Ray Browne has reiterated this in his own statement:
We are called to join “the river of justice and peace”, to take up climate and ecological justice, and to speak out with and for communities most impacted by climate injustice and the loss of biodiversity.
Bishop Ray with the Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation Committee (JPIC) invites all parishes across the diocese to join the river of justice and peace to act for climate and ecological justice in a particular way during this year’s Season of Creation.
Our 53 parishes across the diocese are being encouraged to mark the Season through awareness and actions. Ideas and resources are provided on the diocesan website. These Ideas can be viewed here.
Parishes can download copies of The Join the River of Justice and Peace Leaflet 2023 which explains the theme and gives suggestions of practical actions that can be taken in their parish grounds. It includes pointers around: spending time in prayer and contemplation in nature; creating Care of Creation groups and making changes in order to dedicate space to the pollinators. Leaflet can be accessed here.
Parishes have also received the liturgical resources on the theme for weekend Masses during the 5-week Season.
The Radio Kerry programme ‘Horizons’, the daily ‘Just a Thought’, the diocesan website, Facebook and Instagram will all highlight the theme across the Season.
The Season is the time from September 1st to October 4th when Christian churches around the world focus on prayer and action to protect the natural world or creation, ‘our common home’. This can be described as the churches’ eco time. It closes on the 4th of October, the feast day of St Francis of Assisi, Patron Saint of Ecology. It is certainly opportune as all of us are called to awaken to the urgent need to heal our relationship both with creation and with one another. The term ‘Our Common Home’ is used by Pope Francis in his letter ‘Laudato Si’ on Care for Our Common Home’, the letter was and is addressed “to every person living on the planet”.
“The climate crisis requires our decisive action, here and now and the Church is fully committed to playing her part.” Pope Francis
Many parishes have already scheduled Events for this Season:
1st September: St John’s Tralee ‘Care of Creation Group Gathering’ at Millennium Park, (beside the old Lidl) Castlemaine Road at 11.00am
12th September: St Brendan’s Parish Tralee @ 7pm, Walk in Parish Grounds
27th September: Showing the film THE LETTER in Fossa Church at 7.30pm
30th September: Killorglin Parish Gathering in collaboration with the Diocesan JPIC Committee @11am, Parish Garden, (behind the church)
11th October: Showing the film THE LETTER in St. John’s Theatre, The Square, Listowel at 11.30am