The Season of Creation is a time when Christians all over the world gather to pray for and defend our common home as a way of listening to and responding to creation’s cry. The “celebration” period runs from September 1 to October 4, the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, the revered patron saint of ecology and a member of many Christian religions. “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament proclaims God’s handiwork; day after day, speech pours forth, and night after night, knowledge, proclaims… Their voices are not heard; yet their voices go out throughout all the earth, and their words to the end of the world,” the Psalmist writes (19:1-4). The theme for this year is “Listen to the voice of creation.”

During the Season of Creation, our collective prayer and action can assist us in hearing the voices of those who have been silenced. In prayer, we mourn the loss of individuals, communities, species, and ecosystems, as well as those whose livelihoods are jeopardized due to habitat loss and climate change. In prayer, we center the cry of the Earth and the cry of the poor.

“If we learn to listen,” Pope Francis says, “we can hear a kind of dissonance in the voice of creation: on the one hand, a sweet song in praise of our beloved Creator; on the other, an anguished plea, lamenting our mistreatment of this “common home.”

Responding to the call to hear creation’s voice, Queen of Carmel Community, Lucena together with Sr. Teresa of Sto. Niño Center Inc. took part in the activities initiated by Sr. Sharon Villafranca, CMT, coordinator of Justice, Peace, and the Integrity of Creation (JPIC), Delegation of San Lorenzo Ruiz-Asia.

Sr. Sharon gave a symposium about Laudato Si’ to the altar servers of Reina del Carmelo Chapel on September 11; the parents and staff of the center on September 30; and the Miranian scholars on October 2. She emphasized the importance of proper waste disposal, segregation, and the three R’s (reduce, reuse, recycle) of waste management in this symposium, which is a simple call to constantly care for our common home.

The sisters in the community also participated in the celebration of listening to the voice of creation by cleaning up the coast of Brgy. Guis-Guis, Sariaya, Quezon, in collaboration with the town’s Municipal Environment and Natural Resources Office (MENRO) and Inter-Global College Foundation Maritime students.