• The 2017 Christian Season of Creation (1st September to 4th October) in Malta and Gozo will be launched by Archbishop Charles J. Scicluna during a Solemn Mass at St. John’s Co‑Cathedral, Valletta, on Saturday 2nd September, at 6pm. The Mass will follow prayers for creation which will be said in all churches in Malta and Gozo on 1st September.

    A closing Mass will be celebrated by Bishop Mario Grech, at the Conventual Franciscan Church in Republic Street, Valletta, on Sunday 1st October at 10:30 a.m.

    The events marking the Season of Creation, organised jointly by the Church Environment Commission (KA) and Nature Trust Malta (NTM), include a visit to Xrobb l‑Għaġin Nature Park and Sustainable Development Centre on Sunday 24th September at 9:00 a.m. A talk on Pope Francis’ Encyclical Laudato Si’ will be delivered by Professor Paul Pace of the University of Malta. A photographic exhibition will also be held in Gozo during the month of September.

    On Wednesday 4th October, a public meeting entitled “Laudato Si’: Interfaith and Secular perspectives on the care for creation”, will be held at the Millennium Chapel, Paceville, from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. Speakers include representatives of Christian faith, Jews, Muslims, as well as representatives of environmental NGOs and Mediterranean regional organisations.
    Mgr Alessandro D’Errico, the Apostolic Nuncio to Malta, and Mr Karmenu Vella, European Commissioner for the Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, will also address the meeting. This meeting will precede the international conference ‘Our Ocean’, organised by the European Union on 5th and 6th October in St Julian’s.

    Mario Camenzuli, KA Chairperson said: “All Maltese are invited to reflect and focus on how they care for their environment, both in the home and outside, and on how they can possibly make up for the damage to our common home by an egocentric lifestyle. I encourage you all to attend the celebrations of Mass, to give thanks for the wonderful creation we live in and to commit ourselves to its care. But please also organise your own events, big or small, in your residence, street, parish, school or place of work. Let us know what you decide to do by writing to us on [email protected].”

    Vincent Attard: NTM President said: “Malta’s environmental challenges will intensify with the growing impacts of climate change – on summer and winter temperatures, rainfall, the erosion of our coasts and survival of our unique biodiversity. All these added to the problems we are facing right now. The Christian Season of Creation is an ideal moment for citizens to focus on what they can do and on what they believe needs to be done by the authorities and key sectors of the economy to deliver solutions”.

    The Season of Creation was initiated in 1989 by the Orthodox Patriarchy of Constantinople and is now observed by all Christian churches worldwide. On Friday morning, 1st September, Pope Francis will issue a message to mark the start of the Season. A network of international Christian NGOs is coordinating activities around the world and organising an online prayer service on 16th September ‑ www.seasonofcreation.org ‑ addressed by the Archbishop of Canterbury and other religious leaders.