The text and vigils below are adapted from:
Sunday, September 1 is World Day of Prayer for Creation. The day is inspired by Pope Francis' landmark encyclical Laudato Si’, which calls on "every person living on this planet" to care for our shared Earth.
He calls us all to celebrate this opportune moment to “reaffirm [our] personal vocation to be stewards of creation, to thank God for the wonderful handiwork which he has entrusted to our care, and to implore his help for the protection of creation, as well as his pardon for the sins committed against the world in which we live.”
This World Day of Prayer also falls at the beginning of Creation Season, which runs until 4 October, the feast of St Francis of Assisi. This is an ecumenical season dedicated to prayer for the protection of creation and the promotion of sustainable lifestyles.
Shortly after Creation Season this year, a Special Assembly of the Synod of Bishops will take place, focusing on the Amazon region and integral ecology. This will be an opportunity for the Church to listen to the people of the Amazon and respond with them to the devastation facing them and their environment.
There are many ways to respond to Pope Francis’ call to care for the gift of God’s creation – why not take some time out of your day on 1 September to walk in your local park or take a few moments to thank God for the flowers growing in your garden?
“Pope Francis is calling us to an ecological conversion,” says Susy Brouard, who works in the Theology team here at CAFOD. “His encyclical reminds us that we have a responsibility to our Earth, each other and to generations yet to come. The World Day of Prayer is another opportunity for us to connect with our creator God and allow the Lord to redefine our relationship with the environment: from one of consumption and control to one of care and protection."
Sisters of St. Agnes tend to creation in their little garden as the heat of summer envelopes tiny Fond du Lac. The lush greens perfume the little area with the aroma of leaves and it becomes a symphony of the different color of flowers. The vegetables they plant feeds the human body; it also feeds the soul with the picture it presents in that stretch of space. When Mother Nature wants to give her scorched land a drink, the Sisters save rain water in a barrel and use that water for watering plants and other activities not requiring potable water.
Visit Care for Creation in this site.
On Saturday, June 8, a lilac bush on the grounds of the motherhouse was blessed in honor of Sister Gonzaga Hron. Sister Gonzaga (Louise LaVern) Hron was called home to the Lord on March 20, 2019.
In 2007, Sister Gonzaga memorialized the passing of Sister Donna Innes’ mother, Lorraine, by planting a Sweet Lorraine plant near the butterfly garden at the motherhouse. Sister Donna Innes initiated the call for a lilac bush to help remember Sister Gonzaga in a similar way. A purple lilac bush was chosen as a symbol of spirituality and as a reminder of Sr. Gonzaga’s passion and care of the earth. Sister Gonzaga was passionate about land and living CSA’s Care of Earth Statement:
In light of the growing impact of climate change on the global community, we, the Congregation of Sisters of St. Agnes, honoring our interdependence with all of God's creation and in a spirit of nonviolence, personally and communally renew and recommit to care for Earth, home of all living creatures.
-Corporate Stance Developed by the Justice Peace and Integrity of Creation Committee
Adopted by the Congregation May 31, 2016
Approximately 20 sisters were able to attend the blessing on June 8 and each was given the opportunity to bless the bush. The lilac bush is located at the Northeast corner of Household C.
Click here to view additional photos from the blessing.
Come to the Walleye Weekend Conservation Station and find us straight down Main Street! Visit Sister Ruth Battaglia, CSA, at the "Invisible Paper" Demonstration on Saturday, June 8 from 1:00 - 3:00 pm. and other presenters on June 7 at 3:00 - 6:00 pm, June 8 at 9:00 - 4:00 pm, June 9 at 10:00 - 3:00 pm.
Learn about rain barrels, recycling, beekeeping, electric bikes, "Lasagna" garden, aquatic invasive species, storm water runoff, and The Lake Management Plan.
For additional readings, view Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation.
The public is invited to join a group of local community leaders, City officials, and other interested parties at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, June 5 at the Fond du Lac Public Library for what is intended as the first of many meetings to discuss the “greening up” of Fond du Lac. Today’s Fond du Lac Reporter article gives greater detail on the intentions of the organizers and also recognizes the leadership of the Sisters of Saint Agnes in caring for creation through the use of solar energy.
Read the article here.
On April 25, three sixth-grade classes from St. Mary’s Springs Academy visited the motherhouse for tours led by Sister Sue Seeby. The tour included information about why the panels were built, an explanation of how they work, and the value they provide to the sisters and the planet.
The sky was cloudy with the promise of coming rain but that did not hamper the spirit of those attending the Earth Day observance at St. Agnes Convent, Fond du Lac, WI. Sisters, associates and guests were offered the opportunity for contemplative prayer in the chapel, as they strolled the beautiful grounds, as they walked the labyrinth, or toured the solar panel array.
Fond du Lac, WI –The Sisters and Associates of St. Agnes invite the public to join them in prayer for the healing and protection of Earth on April 22 from 6:30-8 PM at the chapel of the Sisters of St. Agnes Motherhouse, 320 County Road K, Fond du Lac, WI.
“The gift that religious women have to offer the world is contemplative mindfulness. Its goal is not so much to change the world as it is to change our inner worlds and then, from that center, to make a difference in the outer world. Contemplation slows us down, puts us in touch with ourselves, and allows us to experience our oneness with the divine and with creation. It gentles us and softens our footsteps on Earth,” said Sister Ruth Battaglia, Coordinator for Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation for the Congregation of Sisters of St. Agnes.
The sacred time will begin with common prayer in the chapel followed by silent prayer and will conclude in chapel with Pope Francis’ Prayer for Our Earth. Guests are invited to walk the labyrinth, pray with nature, and visit the solar panels, or remain in chapel. Guides for navigating the grounds and for prayer will be available. Attendees may stay the entire time or come and go they are able. A reverent silence will be observed during the event.
The Earth Day Contemplative Prayer event is in addition to the monthly contemplative prayer event already scheduled for April 28 from 6-7 PM. The public is welcome to attend both prayer days.
For more information contact Sister Ruth Battaglia, CSA, 920 907 2315. Press Release