Anchorage Archbishop Roger Schwietz is asking fellow Alaskans to join Pope Francis on Sept. 1 in observing the “World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation.”
The inaugural event is intended to be an annual observance and is seen as a sign of solidarity with Orthodox Christians who each year set aside Sept. 1 as a day to celebrate creation and pray for the protection of the earth.
“The celebration of this day, on the same date as the Orthodox Church, will be a valuable opportunity to bear witness to our growing communion with our Orthodox brothers and sisters,” Pope Francis said in instituting the day.
Archbishop Schwietz noted that the pope has called for the event to be an “occasion for prayer, reflection, conversion and the adoption of appropriate lifestyles.”
“Catholic social teaching requires us to show our respect for the Creator by our stewardship of creation,” Archbishop Schwietz said.
He noted that the pope issued a letter for the occasion in which he urged “individual believers and communities” to “reaffirm their personal vocation to be stewards of creation, 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.”
Archbishop Schwietz encouraged Alaskans to recite one of the prayers which Pope Francis included in his recently released encyclical “Laudato Si” that deal with the care of creation.
“Please consider reciting one during your daily prayer time, as part of your dinner blessing or after Mass,” Archbishop Schwietz stated.
The Anchorage Archdiocese has compiled several prayers and more information about the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation here: http://www.archdioceseofanchorage.org/world-day-of-prayer-for-the-care-of-creation/