Dear People of Saint Anne,
On September 1, 2021, the Church opened the “Season of Creation”. This Season is a time to renew our relationship with all creation through prayer and a commitment to action that responds to the cry of the earth and, at the same time, the cry of the poor. From now until the Feast of Saint Francis, October 4,2021, Catholics join people of all faiths in prayer and action for our planet and all who call it home.
Here at Saint Anne, we are marking this special season with the introduction of our own Creation Care Team. This team will be working to help us make real— individually and as a parish community—the vision of Pope Francis expressed in his encyclical letter, Laudato Si’. The Creation Care Team will engage with all areas of parish life and will be an integral part of the Archdiocese of Chicago’s mission, “Renew My Church—Building the New Reality”, which begins for Saint Anne after the first of the year. Our Creation Care Team is led by parishioners, Cindy Cramer and Adrienne Kalmes. Among the things the team has accomplished this summer—
- Leading a parishioner study group of the encyclical Laudato Si’
- Assembling a Steering Committee of which I will be a member
- Collaborating with our school, Faith Formation groups, and youth ministries
- Launching a Laudato Si’ Garden initiative, a garden club, and two “Giving Gardens” weekends
- Working with our STAGG (Saint Anne Guys Group) to repair railings and concrete to beautify our campus “quad” and serve as backdrop for a creation mural to be painted this coming spring
- Securing and scheduling an energy audit of all our parish buildings
The Creation Care Team is guided in these first efforts by an initiative that comes from the Vatican through the Laudato Si’ Action Platform (www.laudatosiactionplatform.org). This Action Platform gives a structure to enact the seven Laudato Si’ Goals across the Saint Anne Community and an inclusive way to Renew My Church –Building the New Reality. In addition, the Archdiocese of Chicago has been chosen as one of nine dioceses from around the world to lead the Laudato Si’ Action Platform Diocesan Encyclical Working Group. These nine will be the models for the Universal Church and will inspire all other dioceses to participate in the seven-year journey of the Action Platform. I am proud to announce the Saint Anne Creation Care Committee will be highlighted in October, through the Archdiocese of Chicago, as part of this new, exciting initiative.
Our Creation Care Team will be sharing details of our Parish journey in the weeks ahead. This is an ambitious mission and one that calls on a deepening of purpose and collaborative efforts. Let us pray that our work is fruitful, and that healthier relationships are restored with all of God’s creation.
Yours in Christ,
Fr. Bernie Pietrzak