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(ANS – Vatican City) – On May 16, the first day of the “Laudato Sì Week” wanted by Pope Francis, the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development announced a Special Year dedicated to the Encyclical Laudato Sì, which will run from 24 May 2020 to 24 May 2021.

Explaining what the plans will be for this year, the Dicastery declared: “We invite everyone to join us. The urgency of the situation requires immediate, global and unitary responses, at all levels: local, regional, national, and international. Above all, we need a ‘movement of peoples‘ that starts from below, an alliance of all people of goodwill. As Pope Francis reminds us, we can all cooperate as God’s instruments for the care of Creation, each according to their own culture, experience, involvement and talents.”

Speaking to the media about the Year of Laudato Sì, Fr Joshtrom Kureethadam, SDB, Coordinator for the Ecology sector in the Vatican Dicastery, said: “In the anniversary year we will launch several projects. In Rome, the Laudato Sì chapel is almost ready, which will travel around the world. All of this, furthermore, also generates multiple multi-year projects. For example, we are thinking of starting a 7-year journey that involves families, dioceses, schools, universities, hospitals, the business world and religious orders. Everything will have to be centered on concrete and participatory action, given the situation on the planet.”

As part of the year dedicated to Laudato Sì, the “Don Bosco Green Alliance” was invited to lead the school sector. It will be a seven-year path of education for integral ecology aimed at young people. It is a matter of promoting a rethinking of educational programs and of conceiving a reform of educational institutions to create greater awareness of ecology and to think about concrete actions, promoting the ecological vocations of young people, teachers and education managers.

Seven objectives (Laudato Sì Goals) have been set for this special year which will help measure the achievement of the integral ecology proposed by Pope Francis. These objectives are: response to the cry of the Earth, response to the cry of the poor, ecological economics, adoption of simple lifestyles, ecological education, ecological spirituality, community involvement, and participatory action for the care of Creation.

The Dicastery says it is hopeful that this special Year of Laudato Sì shall be “a time of grace, a true experience of Kairos and a time of “Jubilee” for the Earth, for humanity and for all God’s creatures.”