Human and Environmental Development Program Vision and Mission
To transform and inspire humanity to achieve a just, peaceful, and sustainable world.
Prayer to the Holy Spirit
Heavenly King, Advocate, Spirit of truth, Who are everywhere present and fill all things, Treasury of Blessings, Bestower of Life, come and dwell within us; cleanse us of all that defiles us; and, O Good One, save our souls.
“We are well aware that the whole the creation, until this time, has been groaning in labour pains. And not only that: we too, who have the first-fruits of the spirit, we are even groaning inside ourselves, waiting with eagerness for our bodies to be set free.” Roman 8:22-23
The mission of the HED program is to encourage and facilitate dialogue and activities between persons, cultures, and faiths:
Peace and Justice
- To identify and respond to discord, tension and conflict.
- To reduce and alleviate misunderstanding, prejudice, fears, and hatred by learning to appreciate the richness of diversity.
- To promote the spirit of understanding, respect, tolerance, and peaceful coexistence among all people and faiths.
- To foster harmony and encourage personal and community growth.
- To create and nurture hope for the future and inspire towards the common good.
Sustainability and the Environment
- To create an awareness of the impact of human activities in their environment.
- To minimize, reduce, and eliminate harmful practices that adversely impact earth and its ecosystems
- To support, develop and implement remedial programs to correct and repair environmental damage caused by unstainable human activities.
- To act on the realization that all creation and all life should be cherished, protected, healed and restored.
Please refer to the “Catechism of the Ukrainian Catholic Church – Christ our Pascha” – pages 305 to 308.
“Reconciling with Each Other, Healing Mother Earth”
Was held on Thursday, September 19, 2019 at 7:00 pm at Steve Patola Park/St. George’s Senior Centre in Saskatoon, hosted by the hosted by the Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Saskatoon, organized by the Human and Enviromental Development Program Coordinator, Dr. Lesya Sabada.
Click to Livestream: Live-stream Facebook Link of Akathist Service»»
[Live-streaming and photo credit to Teresa Hiebert-Bodnar]
Following the prayer service, there was an opportunity to listen to Bishop Mark Hagemoen from the Roman Catholic Church, Bishop Bryan Bayda, CSsR, representing the Ukrainian Catholic Church, Rabbi Claudio Jodorkovsky from the Congregation Agudas Israel, Sandra Harper from the Indigenous community, Minister Karen Fraser Gitlitz from the Unitarian faith and various youth on the Theme of Healing Mother Earth, Reconciling with Each Other.
News Article by Darlene Polachic published in Saskatoon Star Phoenix September 14- 2019
SEASON OF CREATION MERGES PRAYER, PROTECTING PLANET
All faiths have a role to play in traditionally Christian-led undertaking, organizer says
The Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Saskatoon is once again hosting Season of Creation, a celebration of prayer and a call to action to protect the Earth.
Though this is only the second year for the event in Saskatoon, organizer Lesya Sabada says Season of Creation has been celebrated elsewhere for decades.
Sabada, who teaches in the Department of Religion and Culture at the University of Saskatchewan, says the Season of Creation officially begins on Sept. 1, the World Day of Prayer for Creation, and continues until Oct. 4, the Feast Day of St. Francis of Assisi — the patron saint of ecology in many Western traditions.
Eastern Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch Dimitrios I declared Sept. 1 as the Day of Prayer for Creation in 1989. It was embraced by other European Christian churches in 2001, and by the Roman Catholic Church in 2015.
Though the Season of Creation is traditionally a Christian initiative, Sabada believes cooperation from the entire religious community is necessary to appropriately address the challenge of saving the planet. As a result, 16 local groups from various religious stripes and spiritual traditions will participate in this year’s event, and the invitation is open to the entire community.
The Season of Creation event on Sept. 19 is set to begin with a prayer service at Steve Patola Park at 1235 20th St. West. It will feature Akathist Prayers in Praise of and Care for God’s Creation led by The Rt. Rev. Janko Kolosnjaji from St. George’s Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral.
PHOTOS FROM 2019 SEASON OF CREATION AKATHIST SERVICE & PROGRAM PRESENTATION
[Photo Credit: Sister Georgia Shchavil, SSMI]
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The Ecumenical Patriach Dimitrios I inaugurated the World Day of Prayer for the Environment on September 1, 1989. As part of Pope Francis’ ecumenical outreach and as an expression of his concern for justice, peace, and the integrity of creation undertaken in the spirit of St. Francis, in 2015 Pope Francis’ established the practice in the Catholic Church. As a result, Catholics are now called to participate in the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation annually on September 1st. Here, Francis is also taking up a recommendation made in the Charta Oecumenica in 2001. That document, jointly issued by the Conference of European Churches and the Council of European Bishops Conferences recommends the establishment of an ecumenical day prayer for “the preservation of creation”.
Season of Creation Introduction Video with Dr. Lesya Sabada
News Article by Darlene Polachic published in Saskatoon StarPhoenix – September 15, 2018
‘Religion helps us understand the world’: Season of Creation celebrated in Saskatoon
Lesya Sabada believes that religion plays a critical role in constructing a global community of shared moral commitment and vision.
If God had given an 11th commandment, Dr. Lesya Sabada believes it would be: Love the trees.
Sabada teaches at St. Thomas More College and also works with the Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Saskatoon in Human and Environmental Development.
“My academic focus expanded from Eastern Christianity to a broader study of the Abrahamic faiths and a developing interpretation of nonviolence,” she says. “Then I began exploring religious nonviolence as a precursor to ecological spirituality and religion’s contribution to sustainability. I have come to believe that environmental concerns are integrally linked with nonviolence and peace building.”