September 8, 2023

Be Our Guest / Sr. Sheila Marie Fitzpatrick, O.S.B.

Season of Creation calls us to transform ourselves through prayer and action

Benedictine Sister Sheila Marie FitzpatrickThe prophet Amos cries out, “But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream!” (Am 5:24) From this cry, we are moved to act in our world today so peace may flow in the hearts and life of all of creation.

We have entered the Season of Creation for this year, which began on Sept. 1, the Day of Prayer for Creation, and continuing until Oct. 4, the feast of St. Francis of Assisi. This is a time to renew our relationship with our Creator and all of creation through prayer, education, a change in habits and advocacy. The theme for this year draws on Amos’ image of a mighty river.

How can we contribute to the mighty river of justice and peace? In his message for the Season of Creation, Pope Francis calls us to transform our hearts, our lifestyles and the public policies ruling our societies. Through our prayer and actions we can join the worldwide Church in these efforts.

Also, this year the closing of the Season of Creation coincides with the opening of the Synod on Synodality at the Vatican, whose theme is “For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation, Mission.”

The river gives us another image, one of a basin with its many tiny and larger tributaries. So too, “… the Church is a communion of countless local Churches, religious communities and associations that draw from the same shared waters. Each source adds its unique and irreplaceable contribution, until all flow together into the vast ocean of God’s loving mercy” (Pope Francis, Message for the Season of Creation, 2023).

There are many actions you can take to mark the Season of Creation. First, join us at 6 p.m. on Sept. 26 at St. Thomas Aquinas Church, 4625 N. Kenwood, Ave., in Indianapolis, for a Mass with Archbishop Charles C. Thompson. 

Furthermore, given this year’s theme of peace and justice, you may choose to become a liaison with the Indiana Catholic Conference (ICC). Visit its website,, to learn more.

In addition, the international organization Laudato Si Movement has created a powerful, full-length documentary titled The Letter, available on that discusses the connections between nature and our relationship with God. Additional actions, prayers and mediations are available at the Archdiocese of Indianapolis’ Creation Care Commission website:

As Salesian Sister Alessandra Smerilli, the Secretary of the Vatican Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, stated in this year’s Season of Creation message: “The Earth needs justice to flourish. Our task is to call for an integral vision of life, beginning with the conviction that everyone is connected and that we are interdependently connected with one another.”

Let us work together to care for our common home.

(Benedictine Sister Sheila Marie Fitzpatrick is director of facilities at the Benedict Inn Retreat & Conference Center in Beech Grove and is a member of the archdiocese’s Creation Care Commission.) †

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