The Church’s educational institutions must teach the importance of caring for the Earth and the need to rest. It should also engage Caribbean politicians to bring about the changes needed in society, said Grenadian diocesan priest Fr Hugh Logan.
Fr Logan was the feature presenter at an August 29 webinar ahead of the Church’s World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation (September 1) and the Season of Creation (SOC) which runs from September 1 to October 4. Fr Logan spoke on the 2020 theme for the SOC, Jubilee for the Earth.
In his PowerPoint presentation, Fr Logan said the importance of caring for the earth had real-world effects. Today “when you look around at the state of the world, the socio-political situation calls for jubilee again,” he said.
He gave a biblical and historical explanation of jubilee, noting that God’s vision for humanity was to flourish but humanity was tempted and continues to sin in various ways. The effect of sin is death and in response, jubilee “is a return to God, who redeems and releases humanity from sin and death,” he said.
Fr Logan said while society seems bent on “wealth at the expense of the poor and vulnerable”, having a jubilee ensures a return to God’s vision. He emphasised that “jubilee is not only for the oppressed but for the oppressors” and is built on the sabbatical year when the land was made to rest.
Turning his attention to Caribbean culture, he lamented that some forms of rest were detrimental to society. “Unless we’re able to stop, to rest, to contemplate, we cannot produce work of a high standard,” adding that rest is beneficial to wellbeing.
A four-member panel offered their own reflections before open floor discussion. Panellists were Sr Roxanne Neckles SSM in Grenada, and Trinidadians Andre Lewis, Siobhan Burroughs, and Angelo Kurbanali.
The webinar was hosted via Zoom by the Franciscan Institute for Personal and Family Development, a ministry of the Sisters of the Sorrowful Mother (SSM). Rome based Sr Julie Marie Peters SSM did the welcome; Trinidadian Adanna James served as moderator. Participants came from the Caribbean, Europe, Africa, North, Central and South America.
The SSM hosted an international online Prayer Service for the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation last Tuesday.