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


Mission Statement


“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.

From “Catechism of the Ukrainian Catholic Church – Christ our Pascha” –  pages 305 to 308»»

Human and Environmental Development Program Vision and Mission

Vision Statement

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.


Human and Environment Development Power Point Presentations
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Latest News 


Nicholas Pasieczka-Top 25 Under 25 Environmentalists-Video Submission

The video of Nicholas Pasieczka is an excellent example of what can happen with the youth.  Once they are informed about the ecological challenges the planet faces, the youth can move forward with such inspiration and conviction. Nicholas has seen and understood the science (which has shown us all as to the trajectory of humankind and of this planet and what we must do now) and made use of his personal power.  His capacity for innovation, his will, the determination to not just do his best, but to do what is necessary is refreshing. He sure has challenged each of us to not lead complacent and mediocre lives. God bless Nicholas and the many youth around the world because they have heard the signs of our times. May they all grow stronger every day as they work for change.  






The Season of Creation

The Season of Creation is an annual celebration of prayer and action to protect creation. It is celebrated by Christians of all traditions, and the leaders of various churches have encouraged the faithful to participate. The season begins on September 1st, the World Day of Prayer for Creation, and runs through October 4, the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of ecology in many Western traditions.

September 1st was proclaimed as a day for creation (World Day of Prayer for Creation, or Creation Day) by Ecumenical Patriarch Dimitrios I for the Orthodox in 1989, and was embraced by the other major Christian churches in 2001 and by Pope Francis for the Roman Catholic Church in 2015.


About Season of Creation

The Season of Creation is a time to renew our relationship with our Creator and all creation through celebration, conversion, and commitment together. During the Season of Creation, we join our sisters and brothers in the ecumenical family in prayer and action for our common home.

Ecumenical Patriarch Dimitrios I proclaimed 1 September as a day of prayer for creation for the Orthodox in 1989. In fact, the Orthodox church year starts on that day with a commemoration of how God created the world.

The World Council of Churches was instrumental in making the special time a season, extending the celebration from 1 September until 4 October.

Following the leadership of Ecumenical Patriarch Dimitrios I and the WCC, Christians worldwide have embraced the season as part of their annual calendar. Pope Francis made the Roman Catholic Church’s warm welcoming of the season official in 2015.

In recent years, statements from religious leaders around the world have also encouraged the faithful to take time to care for creation during the month-long celebration.

The season starts 1 September, the Day of Prayer for Creation, and ends 4 October, the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of ecology beloved by many Christian denominations.

Throughout the month-long celebration, the world’s 2.2 billion Christians come together to care for our common home.

If you have any questions about the Season of Creation, please feel free to email us by clicking here.

Visit our Season of Creation website»» for more information: 


Season of Creation – Akathist of Thanksgiving Prayer Service

Please note that this Akathist hymn video is not only for the Season of Creation but for the upcoming Thanksgiving celebration.It can also be viewed/ prayed  throughout the year. 

2020 Theme for Seasons of Creation: Jubilee for the Earth

This Year’s Theme: Jubilee for the Earth


Each year, the ecumenical steering committee suggests a theme to unify Christian communities in their celebration of the season.

This year, amid crises that have shaken our world, we’re awakened to the urgent need to heal our relationships with creation and each other.

During the season this year, we enter a time of restoration and hope, a jubilee for our Earth, that requires radically new ways of living with creation.

Christians around the world will use this period to renew their relationship with our Creator and all creation through celebration, conversion, and commitment.

This year’s Season of Creation is a time to consider the integral relationship between rest for the Earth and ecological, economic, social, and political ways of living.

This particular year, the need for just and sustainable systems has been revealed by the far-reaching effects of the global COVID-19 pandemic. We yearn for the moral imagination that accompanies the Jubilee.

As followers of Christ from around the globe, we share a common role as caretakers of God’s creation. We rejoice in this opportunity to care for our common home and the sisters and brothers who share it.

If you have any questions about the Season of Creation, please feel free to email us by clicking here.

Visit our Season of Creation website»» for more information: 


ZENIT: Joint Statement from CEC-CCEE Presidents for 2020 Season of Creation

Joint Statement from CEC-CCEE Presidents
for 2020 Season of Creation


‘The values of Season of Creation go back to the roots of the Christian faith’


From 1 September to 4 October, Christians all over the world celebrate the Season of Creation, as well as the Day of Creation on 1 September. Following the tradition from previous years, in CEC and CCEE, we have taken advantage of this occasion and have encouraged our Member Churches in Europe to acknowledge these days to celebrate the richness of our faith as an expression to protect our common home.

The values of Season of Creation go back to the roots of the Christian faith. Creation is a gift of God for mankind and for all living beings. It is therefore our responsibility to protect it as good and reliable stewards, and as faithful servants of God. “The earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it, the world, and those who live in it,” (Psalm 24:1).

Pope Francis in the encyclical Laudato Si’ underlined that “the urgent challenge to protect our common home includes a concern to bring the whole human family together to seek a sustainable and integral development.” At the same time, he strongly appealed “for a new dialogue about how we are shaping the future of our planet. We need a conversation which includes everyone, since the environmental challenge we are undergoing, and its human roots, concern and affect us all.”Similarly, one of the significant theologians of our era Jurgen Moltmann has made it clear that“today the theological adversary is the nihilism practiced in our dealings with nature” and called for “a discernment of the God, who is present in creation through his Holy Spirit,” a discernment that “can bring men and women to reconciliation and peace with nature.”

Celebrating the Day of Creation and the Season of Creation has a significant ecumenical dimension. While celebrating these days, we look back and give thanks for the proposal of the late Ecumenical Patriarch Dimitrios I in 1989. Since that time, the idea of the Season of Creation and its ecumenical spirit has been further confirmed by the European Ecumenical Assemblies organised jointly by CEC and CCEE in Basel 1989, Graz 1997 and Sibiu 2007.

This year, the COVID-19 pandemic revealed how deeply the globe is interconnected. We realised more than ever that we are not isolated from each other and that conditions related to human health and well-being are fragile. Impact of the pandemic forces us to take seriously the need for vigilance and the need for conditions of sustainable life throughout the earth. This is even more important when considering the environmental devastation and the threat of climate change.

We invite you to celebrate the Season of Creation this year under the heading of Jubilee for the Earth. The concept of Jubilee is rooted in the Bible and underlines that there must exist a just and sustainable balance between social, economic and ecological realities. The lesson from the biblical concept of jubilee points us towards the need to restore balance in the very systems of life, affirming the need for equality, justice and sustainability and confirming the need for a prophetic voice in defence of our common home.

We invite all of the shepherds and European Christians, the parishes, church communities and every person of good will to pay attention to the Season of Creation and to live it with an ecumenical spirit, united in prayer and action.

Rev. Christian Krieger                                                   H. Em. Card. Angelo Bagnasco
President of CEC                                                            President of CCEE


Joint Statement from CEC-CCEE Presidents for 2020 Season of Creation»»

Season of Creation Celebration 2019 - Review

“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.


[Photo Credit: Sister Georgia Shchavil, SSMI]

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News Article by Darlene Polachic published in Saskatoon Star Phoenix September 14- 2019 


 Link to News Article»»            PDF Copy of Article»»


Season of Creation Celebration 2018 - Review

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

View 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
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”.

 Read More»»

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.

“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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