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This whole year, one crisis after another has rocked the world.  Social, political, health, climate and natural disasters, and economic upheaval have left no one unshaken.  There is not a facet of life that isn't in turmoil.  Oil spills in Mauritius and Russia, racial tensions and sea levels rising inexorably, a pandemic which seems to be out of control here in the United States as nowhere else in the world, wildfires burning record square miles of California and hundreds of thousands fleeing hurricanes on the other side of the can be hard to find hope.

Hard, but not impossible.  This year's Season of Creation (celebrated 1 September to 4 October on the feast of St. Francis) is a Jubilee Year for the Earth, our time to reach out and ground ourselves in the celebratory nature of our Creator.  During this period, we unite ourselves with Christians and the rest of our human family in one shared purpose: to awaken to the urgent need to heal our relationship with each other - and God's creation.  This is a time to commit to end injustices enacted on both people and planet, and show the rest of the world what a restored and harmonious relationship with Creation can look like.  May this time be fruitful, beneficial, and healing to both you and your loved ones.

Visit for more information.  You can browse the calendar of events and find a way to celebrate this extraordinary time of repairing, restoring, and rejoicing.
Luke Henkel, assistant for social outreach and advocacy

Season of Creation events
Message of the Holy Father for the World Day of Prayer for the Care for Creation

"We are invited to remember above all that creation's ultimate destiny is to enter into God's eternal Sabbath. This journey, however, takes place in time, spanning the seven-day rhythm of the week, the cycle of seven years, and the great Jubilee Year that comes at the end of the seven Sabbath years. . . . "

Laudato Si' Retreat:An Introductory Immersion
Saturday, September 12, 6:00 am - 10:00 am PDT

This 4-hour retreat - inspired by Pope Francis' encyclical and hosted by the Global Catholic Climate Movement - includes three distinct "movements" that orient participants towards deep and lasting transformation of the way they care for our common home.

Register for the virtual experience here, and put it on your calendar!
Get Involved in the Cathedral Garden 

This has been a year of tremendous - dare we say miraculous! - growth at the Cathedral Garden.  Just this summer alone this .25-acre lot on the corner of Terry and Madison has produced over 80 pounds of carrots, 75 pounds of cucumber, 28 pounds of strawberries, and nearly 150 pounds of tomatoes - and the harvests are far from over.  Email Luke Henkel for more information, or simply stop by the garden Sundays, Tuesdays, or Thursday mornings.  There is also an upcoming field trip to the Mt. Vernon sensory garden and a scarecrow making day (socially distant of course) for family fun.

Mulching Help Needed
Saturday, September 12, 10am

Several yards of mulch need to be spread to flower beds on the east and north sides of the Cathedral to prepare for the winter. Email Luke Henkel for more information.
Confronting Climate Change, Ourselves and Our Future with Faith
Sunday, September 20, 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm  
In celebration of the five year anniversary of Laudato si, the Peace and Spirituality Ceneter of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace are focusing this year's International Day of Peace celebration on climate change. They are excited to have local meteorologist and fellow contemplative, Jeff Renner facilitating the program. They hope you join them as all of us celebrate peace with many others around the world.

Reinventing Power: America's Renewable Energy Boom

Last month, the St. James Care for Creation team and Temple De Hirsch Sinai hosted a discussion based on the documentary Reinventing Power. If you were not able to join the discussion, you can still view this compelling documentary on the future of renewable energy in the United States.

An Appeal for the Cathedral Kitchen

A huge thank you to all who have already made a gift to support the work of the Cathedral Kitchen and other outreach ministries. We've already raised over $115,000 - we're not far off our $150,000 goal! In case you missed it, you can watch Father Ryan's message above and click here to make a gift.
A Special Response to Supporting the Cathedral Kitchen
The Riggio family watched Jesus Christ Superstar around Easter, and they were excited about the music. They decided they wanted to reenact certain scenes and then it grew to "why not put on the whole show?"  (They had a lot of time on their hands with the stay-at-home orders - so everything was done in their living room!) And it was particularly cool because it provided a lot of conversations about the meaning of the Gospel Passion narratives. When they decided that maybe they would share the finished product with other people, they decided they wanted to give any donations to some organization helping people in need, especially during this time- and the Cathedral Kitchen was a natural choice because they were aware of the ministry. 

Their parents are so proud of their kids, who have zero theater background and zero film editing background- for putting this whole musical together! And of course, they have been greatly encouraged by people's generosity in their giving to the Cathedral Kitchen!!  (As of today, they've received even more donations- so perhaps more gifts are yet to come!) 

#MigrationMonday, an ongoing education platform by the U.S. bishops' Center on Justice for Immigrants, is a chance to learn more about the plight of so many of our most vulnerable brothers and sisters - and what YOU can do in response.

To learn more, click here.
On the Importance of Work as We Celebrate Labor Day
On the Dignity of Work

"Work is fundamental to the dignity of a person. Work, to use an image, 'anoints' us with dignity, fills us with dignity, makes us similar to God, who has worked and still works, who always acts..."  
- Pope Francis
On the Sunday before Labor Day, we have an opportunity to reflect on what the Church teaches us about the dignity of work and the rights of workers. We mark Labor Day this year with Archbishop Paul Coakley's statement as our communities are facing the devastating impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and a renewed call to dismantle systems of racial injustice. In a special way, we are invited to reflect on Pope Francis' call for "more inclusive and equitable economic models" that place people, not capital, at the center. 

Begin by reflecting on your own experience of work, especially in the last five months-in an office or remote setting, in essential services, as a student, working in the home, or unexpectedly without employment. How have you experienced work as a form of participation in God's creative action? How are persistent low wages, rising unemployment, or unsafe conditions a barrier to full participation in that creative action? What role can you play in reshaping workplaces built upon justice and dignity?
Forming Consciences for 
Faithful Citizenship
Catholics Care. Catholics Vote.

We vote because we are citizens. But we vote conscientiously because we are people of faith. Our consciences are formed through studying Scripture and the teachings of the Church, examination of the facts, and prayerful reflection. This brief insert is intended as a starting point to help us respond to our choices in the current political landscape.
2020 U.S. Election Briefs: Faithful Voting and Global Concerns

The Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns offers a series of two-page briefs and webinars on global issues to help voters prepare for the 2020 U.S. elections. Find more election resources here
Inspired by the gospel and Maryknoll missioners' commitment to stand with vulnerable communities around the world, we urge U.S. citizens to consider the issues raised in these briefs and to vote to advance the cause of peace, social justice, and the integrity of creation. 
Equally Sacred Priorities for 2020 Voters

Founded by Catholic Sisters in the progressive spirit of Vatican II, NETWORK works to create a society that promotes justice and the dignity of all in the shared abundance of God's creation.

NETWORK's "Equally Sacred" scorecard compares President Trump's and Vice President Biden's positions on the issues that Pope Francis names as "equally sacred" to the defense of the unborn.

In his speaking and writing, Pope Francis tells us not to ignore injustice or act as though one issue is more important than others.

Election 2020: Left, Right or Politically Homeless
Tuesday, September 8, 7:00 pm EDT

Salt and Light Online Gathering in partnership with the Archdiocese of Washington DC Theology on Tap
In the middle of a challenging presidential campaign, the Initiative on Catholic Social Thought and Public Life of Georgetown University and the Archdiocese of Washington DC's Catholic Young Adult Ministry Theology on Tap program are partnering to help young U.S. Catholics think critically about applying Catholic teachings to the 2020 election. Does our faith shape our politics, or is it the other way around?
A diverse group of Catholic leaders will discuss:
- How should our current context - including a renewed national focus on racism and racial injustice, a global pandemic, an economic crisis, and a "throwaway culture" that fails to protect the most vulnerable among us - affect our actions as citizens?
- How should Catholics view the vocation of politics?
- What are our responsibilities as Catholics in the face of bitter polarization in our political life? How can we stay informed as Catholic voters?
September Book Recommendation
This volume, edited by former Duquesne University law professor Nicholas Cafardi, is a helpful contribution to discussions Catholics should be having about what it means to form our consciences and what it means to be a faithful citizen. Cafardi and the contributing authors provide the nation's bishops with some sound analysis they should bear in mind to complement the US bishops' Faithful Citizenship document and program, on the moral responsibilities of Catholic citizens.
Prayer for the fifth anniversary of
Laudato Si' 
(to be used during the Season of Creation)
Loving God,
Creator of Heaven, Earth, and all therein contained.
Open our minds and touch our hearts,
so that we can be part of Creation, your gift.

Be present to those in need in these difficult times, especially the poorest and most vulnerable.
Help us to show creative solidarity as we confront the consequences of the global pandemic.
Make us courageous in embracing the changes required to seek the common good.
Now more than ever, may we all feel interconnected and interdependent.

Enable us to succeed in listening and responding to the cry of the Earth and the cry of the poor.
May their current sufferings become the birth-pangs of a more fraternal and sustainable world.
We pray through Christ our Lord, under the loving gaze of Mary Help of Christians.