The Archdiocese of Chicago and the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Chicago will Join to Observe the Fifth Annual World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation on Sunday, Sept. 1, 2019 at 4 p.m.
Chicago, IL (August 26, 2019) – On behalf of the Archdiocese of Chicago and the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Chicago, Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church and SS. Peter and Paul Greek Orthodox Church, both in Glenview, will commemorate the fifth annual World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation on Sunday, Sept. 1, 2019 from 4 – 6 p.m. at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church, 1775 Grove St. The special prayer service is open to people of all faiths throughout Chicagoland who are concerned about the environment.
“For 30 years, there has been active cooperation and collaboration between both churches, including programs, prayer and events aimed at addressing social needs throughout Chicagoland,” said Very Rev. Thomas Baima, vicar for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs of the Archdiocese of Chicago. “Recently, we have come together annually to pray and learn how to protect our common home.”
Most Reverend Mark Bartosic, auxiliary bishop of Chicago, will preside over the prayer service, which will be followed by a lecture from Greek Orthodox scholar Rev. Dr. Deacon Perry Hamalis, titled “Love God, Love Thy Neighbor, Love the Trees: Orthodox Reflections on Ecology, Theology, and Human Dignity.”
In 1989, the late Ecumenical Patriarch Dimitrios I of Constantinople designated September 1 as a day of prayer for "the protection of the environment" for Orthodox Christians, a tradition that has been continued by his successor, His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople. Sharing their concern for creation in 2015, Pope Francis designated September 1 as the “World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation” for Catholics.
By joining together in prayer for the care for our common home, Catholic and Orthodox Christians in Chicago are heeding the calls of Pope Francis and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew to protect creation, especially through prayer, education and action. The teachings of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and of Pope Francis’s encyclical “Laudato si’,” call upon individuals and communities to care for our common earthly home, thus respecting the dignity of every human being, especially the poor, marginalized, and future generations. In the words of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, “the ecological problem of pollution is invariably connected to the social problem of poverty; and so all ecological activity is ultimately measured and properly judged by its impact and effect upon the poor.”