In last weekend's bulletin, I included the first part of a message that Pope Francis recently issued for the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation that will be celebrated this year on Friday, September 1st. As I wrote, the Holy Father's message is challenging and timely in light of the increasing drastic and dangerous climate events throughout the world. This year, much of the world has been impacted by various drastic weather events. In this weekend's bulletin you will find the concluding part of the Message of Pope Francis on Creation. I believe he pleads for all people of the world, no matter what our religious beliefs, to take immediate action to help preserve God's creation...our planet earth.
MESSAGE OF POPE FRANCIS ON CREATION September 1, 2023 (Part 2)
2) Second, let us add to the flow of this mighty river by transforming our lifestyles. Starting from grateful wonder at the Creator and his creation, let us repent of our “ecological sins”, as my brother, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, has urged. These sins harm the world of nature and our fellow men and women. With the help of God’s grace, let us adopt lifestyles marked by less waste and unnecessary consumption, especially where the processes of production are toxic and unsustainable. Let us be as mindful as we can about our habits and economic decisions so that all can thrive – our fellow men and women wherever they may be, and future generations as well. Let us cooperate in God’s ongoing creation through positive choices: using resources with moderation and a joyful sobriety, disposing and recycling waste, and making greater use of available products and services that are environmentally and socially responsible.
3) Lastly, for the mighty river to continue flowing, we must transform the public policies that govern our societies and shape the lives of young people today and tomorrow. Economic policies that promote scandalous wealth for a privileged few and degrading conditions for many others, spell the end of peace and justice. It is clear that the richer nations have contracted an “ecological debt” that must be paid (cf. Laudato Si’, 51).  The world leaders who will gather for the COP28 summit in Dubai from 30 November to 12 December next must listen to science and institute a rapid and equitable transition to end the era of fossil fuel. According to the commitments undertaken in the Paris Agreement to restrain global warming, it is absurd to permit the continued exploration and expansion of fossil fuel infrastructures. Let us raise our voices to halt this injustice towards the poor and towards our children, who will bear the worst effects of climate change. I appeal to all people of good will to act in conformity with these perspectives on society and nature.
Since 1894, the first Monday in September has been observed as a federal holiday to honor workers in the USA. Our Canadian neighbors also celebrate Labor Day on the first Monday in September. Originally established to honor the nation’s working people, this holiday has come to be seen as the end of the summer season.
The past few years have seen many people struggling to keep or find adequate paying jobs for their families. The devastating effects of the COVID pandemic the past couple of years, political turmoil in many countries, economic struggles of many people throughout the world continues to make life difficult for individuals, families and nations. As Jesus notes in Luke 10:7, as he sends the seventy-two disciples out to prepare the way for him, “… the laborer deserves his payment.”
The Catholic Church has a long history of speaking out for the rights of workers. Papal encyclicals such as Pope Leo XII’s Rerum Novarum helped establish rights and better treatment for workers everywhere. Recent Popes such as John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis have continued to call for the dignity of workers throughout the world. You can find various statements from the Popes, Bishops and other Catholic commentators on the Vatican website, www.vatican.va, US Catholic Bishops Conference www.usccb.org and various other Catholic websites.
Next weekend (September 2-4), as you enjoy the Labor Day holiday weekend, I encourage you to also take time to seriously study the various ideas and reflections of not only those who are politicians, but also what we as Catholics believe about the dignity of work. Enjoy this holiday but also remember why we celebrate Labor Day! As we celebrate the “end of the summer season” let also take time to say thanks and pray for all workers who struggle each day to care for their families. And may every student, as they begin a new school year, study hard so that they might be well prepared to be good and faithful citizens and just stewards of the blessings God has given to each of us.
I encourage you and your family to begin Labor Day by joining us for our special Labor Day Mass on Monday, September 4th at 9:00 am in church. Let us gather to give thanks to God for the blessings we have received. The church offices and gift shop will be closed Labor Day, September 4th and, there are no confessions scheduled on Labor Day. Our regular schedule resumes on Tuesday, September 5.
I received the note below from the Franciscan Missions office recently. I sent them the collection from our Independence Day collection to help the ministry of the Franciscan friars who are ministering in Ukraine.
Dear Fr. Michael and the people of St. Peter's Church,
Thank you for your generous gift of $935.00 to care for the people suffering from the scourge of war in Ukraine. The Franciscan Friars in Ukraine are housing refugees, who seek food and protection, in the basements of the friaries and the church halls. The friars have told us that they hear and feel the explosions when the bombs are falling. Fr. Konstanty reported that our friars closer to the fighting make dangerous trips to provide people with much needed food, water, and medical supplies.
The friars are working to keep the churches open to allow children and families to spend some quiet time with neighbors in a safe place and to provide a sanctuary for the celebration of the Mass. Bless you for helping the Franciscans keep the doors of the churches open.
Your prayers and financial support will keep the light of our faith alive in the hearts of the innocent who are experiencing the darkness and horror of this war. All Franciscan missionaries will remember you in their prayers during Mass.
Br. Andrew Brophy, OFM
PLEASE PRAY FOR
Please continue to keep the people of Hawaii, especially those on the island of Maui, in your prayers as they recover from the devastation of the recent wildfires.