In anticipation of our annual Fall Sister Parish Celebration, which will be during Masses September 26-27th, a few of our Sister Parish Committee members sat down to share their experiences. Hear from them below!
As we prepare to exercise our right to vote as Catholics and as citizens of this nation in the general election, it is important to appreciate the central role of our conscience. No one can tell us how to vote. We are not robots or puppets. According to Catholic teaching, as Catholic Christians, we are expected to follow the voice of our conscience in voting as in all our choices and behavior. The two dimensions of faith and citizenship intertwine as we exercise our right to vote as Catholics in the United States of America.
- The English word “conscience” comes from two Latin words that mean “to know with.” We are to know with Christ, the Holy Spirit, and the teachings of the Catholic Church. Our consciences are formed through studying the Bible and teachings of the Church, examination of the facts, and prayerful reflection. Here are some quotes from various documents of the Catholic Church that describe the value of conscience.“Deep within their consciences men and women discover a law that they have not laid upon themselves and which they must obey. Its voice, ever calling them to love and to do what is good and to avoid evil, tells them inwardly at the right moment: do this, shun that. For they have in their hearts a law inscribed by God. Their dignity rests in observing this law, and by it they will be judged. Their conscience is people’s most secret core, and their sanctuary. There they are alone with God whose voice echoes in their depths.” Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World, Vatican II, n. 16, quoted in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 1776.“
- The human person sees and recognizes the demands of the divine law through conscience. All are bound to follow their conscience faithfully in every sphere of activity so that they may come to God, who is their last end. Therefore, the individual must not be forced to act against conscience nor be prevented from acting according to conscience, especially in religious matters.” Declaration on Religious Freedom, Vatican II, n. 3.
- “In the formation of conscience the Word of God is the light for our path; we must assimilate it in faith and prayer and put it into practice. We must also examine our conscience before the Lord’s Cross. We are assisted by the gifts of the Holy Spirit, aided by the witness or advice of others and guided by the authoritative teaching of the Church.” Catechism of the Catholic Church [hereafter CCC], 1994, n. 1785.
- For the purpose of making moral choices, “human beings strive to interpret the data of experience and the signs of the times assisted by the virtue of prudence, by the advice of competent people, and by the help of the Holy Spirit and his gifts.” CCC, n. 1788.
- “A good and pure conscience is enlightened by true faith, for charity proceeds at the same time ‘from a pure heart and a good conscience and sincere faith.’” CCC, n. 1794.
Here are some reflection questions to help you reflect on the value of conscience:
- How is conscience different from simply doing what I want to do?
- What has helped to form your conscience?
- Think of a time when your informed conscience help you to make a good moral choice.
- How will you use the gift of your conscience as you prepare to vote?
Fr. Thomas W. Krenik, Pastor of the Church of the Risen Savior
For more resources on this topic, check out Faithful Citizenship page!
360 Communities works tirelessly to provide holistic programming for members of our local community seeking services and support. Right now, 360 needs our help in order to do this! Both the Burnsville and Rosemount locations are in need of volunteers to help at the food shelves. Volunteers may be asked to help pre-pack orders, stock shelves and organize, clean, and process donations.
To learn more and sign up for a shift at the Burnsville location, click here. This resource center/food shelf is located at 501 State Hwy 13 #112, Burnsville, MN 55337.
To learn more and sign up for a shift at the Rosemount location, click here. This resource center/food shelf is located at 14521 Cimarron Ave., Rosemount, MN 55068.
Are you or someone you know looking for ways to serve in practical ways during these critical times?
Many of our regular volunteers have had to step back from volunteering due to COVID-19, which has created a need for new volunteers to help us to fill our shifts to pack and distribute food shelf orders through the drive up model that we are currently using. We have seen wonderful engagement from the community over the past few months but recently have had a hard time filling our shift needs.
This is a wonderful way for individuals to serve their community during this time.
Risen Savior contact: Chris Sorensen, email@example.com, (952) 698-1722
About the Season of Creation: September 1st-October 4th
The Season of Creation is celebrated annually by tens of thousands of Christians around the world. During the Season of Creation, we pray and act to protect God’s creation. The Season of Creation is celebrated by Christians across the ecumenical spectrum, and the leaders of many faith traditions have encouraged us to participate.
The season begins on September 1, the Day of Prayer for Creation, and runs through
October 4, the Feast of St. Francis, who is the patron saint of ecology in many traditions.
This season is a special time for the Creator and each other. Some of us pray, some of
us do hands-on projects, some of us advocate. We all protect creation.
The momentum continues long after the season ends. By seeding ongoing prayer,
changes in lifestyle, and advocacy, the season grows hope in our communities each
year. It’s powerfully good work that’s urgently needed.
Each week of the Season of Creation, Risen Savior is featuring one way to celebrate. To learn more, visit SeasonOfCreation.org
September 1st: World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation Online Service
Pope Francis has designated Sept. 1st as the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation. Join him and Christians around the globe in praying and taking action for our common home. The Global Ecumenical Online Prayer Service, led by youth from around the world, will take place virtually from 9-10am on Sept. 1st. Register at https://gccm.controlshift.app/events/season-of-creation-global-ecumenical-online-prayer-service.
September 6th: an Earth Examen
An examen is a way of beholding an object or being in prayerful wonder. Through questions, you are invited to reflect on God’s presence and the goodness of that which you behold. During this Season of Creation, consider contemplating a part of your local ecology. This is an exercise that you can choose to do alone, or with a group.
Pick a natural or agricultural place to contemplate. A forest. A river. A city street with a natural area. An urban park. A farmer’s field. A hilltop. Find a comfortable place to rest in or near this place. Enter into prayer in whatever way is natural to you. Invite Holy Wisdom to open the eyes of your heart. When you are ready, reflect on the following questions:
- Become aware of God’s presence in a natural or agricultural place that you
How is God present in this place? How does all the life you see exist in God’s Spirit? How do you feel knowing that the Holy Spirit has filled this place for
geological ages, with every creature that has been here in the deep past, is here with you now, and will be here with creatures in this place in the future? How do you feel knowing that you, Earthling, belong to this place, are made of the same carbon, breathe the same air, are nurtured by the same cycles and life processes, and are enlivened by the same Spirit of the Creator?
- Reflect on the ecological cycles of this place with gratitude for all that it
What nutrient cycles are supported by this place? Is this a watershed that filters water? Is this a rainforest (tropical or deciduous) that fixes nutrients? Is this a meadow or field that fixes nitrogen? Is this a green space that absorbs CO2 and cleans the air? What plants, animals, microbes and minerals are sheltered here? How do they serve the whole Earth in their being? For all that this place provides, let a feeling of gratitude fill you.
- Pay attention to what you feel as you contemplate the fragility, health of
Is this ecosystem healthy? How is this ecosystem at risk of illness? What are
the keys to sustaining the equilibrium and balance of this place? What niches
and diversity must be protected to maintain the health of this habitat? What
are the sources of stress that threaten the balance of this particular ecosystem? How do you feel when you consider the fragility of life that depends on the health of this place? What is your effect on this balance?
- Choose one feature of the site and pray for it, its rest and its renewal.
When you consider the ways that this place is under stress, what does it need
for rest, restoration and renewal? What needs to be conserved for this site to
heal itself? What features need to be reclaimed? Pray for this site, and the
wisdom to care for it.
- Look toward your response. What can you do to ease demands or promote
the rest of this ecological site?
Based on your examination, how do you identify with this place? What have
you discerned is required to care for this place? What will be your act of
compassion to promote rest for this place?
From The 2020 Season of Creation Celebration Guide
September 13th: Season of Creation 2020 Prayer
Creator of Life,
At Your word, the Earth brought forth plants yielding seed and trees of every kind bearing fruit. The rivers, mountains, minerals, seas and forests sustained life.
The eyes of all looked to You to satisfy the needs of every living thing. And throughout time the Earth has sustained life. Through the planetary cycles of days and seasons, renewal and growth, you open your hand to give creatures our food in the proper time.
In your Wisdom, you granted a Sabbath; a blessed time to rest in gratitude for all that you have given; a time to liberate ourselves from vicious consumption; a time to allow the land and all creatures to rest from the burden of production.
But these days our living pushes the planet beyond its limits. Our demands for growth, and our never-ending cycle of production and consumption are exhausting our world. The forests are leached, the topsoil erodes, the fields fail, the deserts advance, the seas acidify, the storms intensify. We have not allowed the land to observe her Sabbath, and the Earth is struggling to be renewed.
During this Season of Creation, we ask you to grant us courage to observe a Sabbath for our planet. Strengthen us with the faith to trust in your providence. Inspire us with the creativity to share what we have been given. Teach us to be satisfied with enough. And as we proclaim a Jubilee for the Earth, send Your Holy Spirit to renew the face of creation.
In the name of the One who came to proclaim good news to all creation, Jesus Christ. Amen.
From the Season of Creation resources.
September 20th: Go on a Prayer Walk for Creation
This week, we invite you to go on a prayer walk for creation! As you are on your walk outside, whether in your neighborhood, a park, hiking trail, or somewhere else,
contemplate the gifts of creation around you and give thanks to God for them. Share photos of creation you encounter on your walk with us at Facebook or Instagram (@RisenSaviorMN) with the hashtag #SeasonOfCreation.
What is a prayer walk for creation? There isn’t one “right way” to encounter God in creation. As with all forms of prayer, attentiveness and openness to God is the foundation. You might consider adapting the steps of Lectio Divina (a way of praying with Scripture or sacred texts) into “Lectio Tierra” (praying with the sacredness of the earth). Below are suggestions for using the movements of Lectio Divina in a prayer walk for creation. You can do them as you walk or at a resting point along the way or at the end of your walk:
Reading: Heading out into God’s very good creation, I read the environment around me. How is God present? What might God be using to catch my eye and draw me closer? Stop, look, and listen to what is around you.
Meditating: You might pick one focal point to center your prayer–perhaps a branch of a tree, a certain flower, an insect or animal. With your focal point in mind, ask “What is its story? How am I connected to this?”
Praying: While this whole practice is prayer, in the prayer movement of Lectio Tierra, you intentionally converse with God about what you are meditating on and being attentive to. You might ask, “God, what are you revealing to me about myself, about you, about life and truth through this walk or focal point? What can I learn from this piece of your sacred creation? Are you calling me to growth or conversion or new action through this walk?”
Contemplating: During this movement, we rest with what we’ve experienced and shared with God and creation. On your walk, you might simply breathe in and out to the rhythm of your footsteps.
It’s okay if not all these movements happen in your prayer! On your walk, you can repeat this practice at multiple points along the way when something calls your attention.
The ideas for Lectio Tierra shared here come from Mennonite pastor Andy Wade’s blog post here.