Ukrainian Catholic Church of the Transfiguration


Laudato, Si: Praise be to you, my Lord

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  It’s September: a month that so poetically reflects life’s “harmonious dissonance”! Summer draws to a close, and the earth is bursting with ripeness. Yet, the sweet fulness of growth is tinged with a hint of decay. Without the immediate labour of harvesting, fruits of the earth rot and feed the soil, rather than people and animals. We are part of nature and our actions impact the cycles of life. As nature ends another year of creating life, we begin another year of co-creating: processing harvests, beginning a new school year, beginning a new liturgical year.

  This September is particularly unique in that also we have a federal election and our Church, together with other Faiths, have designated September as the Season of Creation. Ultimately, we are in a season of decisions. And decisions carry potential for healing and hope. COVID persists, but our world is never static; we carry on, albeit with pandemic repercussions that people exhibit in opposing ways. We continue to see displays of human behaviour ranging from the most self-less to the most selfish. Let’s strengthen the former and overpower current surges of animosity with a concerted force of actions for goodness.

  As we enter the month of September, let’s join the “Laudato Si” movement that is gathering momentum throughout the world. The words Laudato Si begin a prayer of St Francis: “Praise be to you, my Lord, through our Sister, Mother Earth, who sustains and governs us, and who produces various fruit with coloured flowers and herbs” (Laudato Si 1.). This ecumenical movement calls for “common care for our common home”.

  In the words of Pope Francis:

“This sister now cries out to us because of the harm we have inflicted on her by our irresponsible use and abuse of the goods with which God has endowed her. We have come to see ourselves as her lords and masters, entitled to plunder her at will. The violence present in our hearts, wounded by sin, is also reflected in the symptoms of sickness evident in the soil, in the water, in the air and in all forms of life.

This is why the earth herself, burdened and laid waste, is among the most abandoned and maltreated of our poor; she “groans in travail” (Rom 8:22). We have forgotten that we ourselves are dust of the earth (cf. Gen 2:7); our very bodies are made up of her elements, we breathe her air and we receive life and refreshment from her waters (Laudato Si 2.)”.

In the following weeks we’ll talk about Laudato Si approaches and goals to use in our own life and the life of our parish that strive towards healing and hope for our societies and the environments we inhabit.

  Also, we’ll include pages of an educational book about Bishop Budka that was published in Manitoba for young students. The martyr Bishop Budka gave his life for healing and hope in our communities here and in Ukraine. His legacy can help us in this particular time of creation.

May we actively be co-creators with our God who is Love and the source of all goodness.

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