Eparchial Human & Environmental Development Program Coordinator:
Dr. Lesya Sabada
E-mail: l.sabada@usask.ca

Dr. Lesya Sabada – Coordinator for the Eparchial Human and Environmental Development Program

 Dr. Lesya Sabada – Coordinator
Eparchial Human and Environmental Development Program

A new Human and Environmental Development Program has been created, and will be delivered throughout our  Eparchy by Dr. Lesya Sabada. Her objective will be to help us to see the connection between our personal habits of consumption and the impact this has on the lives of people and the environment throughout the world. “In his papal encyclical Laudato Si’ – On the Care of Our Common Home, Pope Francis places urgent ecological and environmental issues in the context of concern for humanity, particularly the poor of our world,” says Dr. Sabada.

“I will be visiting deaneries and doing workshops and lectures to help people better understand this encyclical and hopefully we will explore the implications of what living out this commitment to the environment will mean on an everyday basis in our lives. It is a major issue facing society, and the role that religion plays is very important.”  – Dr. Lesya Sabada


Article & Photos on Season of Creation Akathist Service & Celebration, September 19, 2018, Saskatoon

Bringing the Season of Creation Alive in A Special Way in Central Saskatchewan - submitted by Christopher Hrynkow

Bringing the Season of Creation Alive in A Special Way in Central Saskatchewan
– submitted by Christopher Hrynkow
Chair, Communities Inspired for Environmental Action Central Saskatchewan

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”.

In his 2015 letter mandating Catholic participation in the event, the Pope explicitly notes that day is meant to be an ecumenical event. Indeed, in that letter, Francis publicly instructs Cardinal Koch, President of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity to work with the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the World Council of Churches, and “other ecumenical organizations so that this World Day can serve as a sign of a common journey in which all believers in Christ take part.”

Further in 2015 and drawing on diverse ecumenical examples ranging from the Catholic Bishops of the Philippines proclamation of “creation time” to European Ecumenical Assembly’s advocacy for a “time of creation”, which itself was adopted by the World Council of Churches, Pope Francis went one step further and in his message for the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation proclaimed the period from September 1st until the feast of St. Francis on October 4th, the “Season of Creation”. That message, also returned to extolling the need for ecological conversion. To cite another cogent example, in this year’s World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation message, Pope Francis invites us to ponder the effects of social and ecological abuse on the Earth community as they relate to water, helping to ensure that this essential element for life is shared equality for the benefit of all.

While there have been events engaging these themes celebrating and reflecting on the Season of Creation in Saskatoon previously, the season was brought alive in a special way for Central Saskatchewan this fall by Dr. Lesya Sabada which are rooted in her identity as a Ukrainian Catholic with unique insights into Western and Eastern Christian traditions. To craft the evening proceedings, Dr. Sabada drew on her own understandings of the interfaith dimensions of caring for creation honed through time studying and teaching at the University of Saskatchewan, St. Thomas More College, St. Peter College in Munster, and her work for the World Council for Churches. She also drew on her impressive social network, to bring together a diverse group of religious leaders to pray and share insights about the value of creation and their work to care for the ecological world.

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Season of Creation Introduction Video with Dr. Lesya Sabada

News Article by Darlene Polachic published in Saskatoon StarPhoenix – September 15, 2018

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.

“Dr. Lesya Sabada pictured in Madagascar with boabab trees. The boabab, known as Africa’s Tree of Life, is losing life thanks to deteriorating environmental conditions. (For Saskatoon StarPhoenix Weekender Religion column by Darlene Polachic. For Sept 15, 2018)SASKATOON

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.”

 Link to News Article by Darlene Polachic in Saskatoon StarPhoenix -September 15, 2018»»

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