On 16 May, the first day of the Laudato Si’ Week called for by Pope Francis, the Vatican Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development announced a Special Laudato Si’ Anniversary Year from 24 May 2020 to 24 May 2021. Releasing the plans for the year ahead, the Dicastery said: “We invite everyone to join us. The urgency of the situation calls for immediate, holistic and unified responses at all levels – local, regional, national and international. We need, above all, “a peoples’ movement” from below, an alliance of all people of good will. As Pope Francis reminds us, “All of us can cooperate as instruments of God for the care of creation, each according to his or her own culture, experience, involvements and talents.”
Speaking to the media about the Laudato Si’ Year, Fr Joshtrom Kureethadam SDB, Coordinator for the sector of Ecology in the Vatican Dicastery, said: “In the anniversary year we will launch several projects, there is the Laudato Si’ chapel which is almost ready here in Rome and will then travel around the world. But all this also generates multiple multi-year projects. For example, we are thinking of starting a 7-year journey with families, with dioceses, with schools, with universities, with hospitals, with the business world, with religious orders. Everything is focused on concrete and participatory action given the situation on the planet.”
Don Bosco Green Alliance has been invited to lead the sector on Laudato Si’ Schools, which will be a seven-year journey of educating young people towards integral ecology. This will involve promoting a re-think and re-design of educational curricula and educational institution reform in the spirit of integral ecology to create ecological awareness and action, promoting the ecological vocation of young people, teachers and leaders of education.
This special year has defined a set of seven Laudato Si’ Goals (LSGs) that will help measure the achievement of the integral ecology being proposed by Pope Francis. These goals 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 to care for creation.
The Dicastery said that it hopes this special Laudato Si’ Year will be “a time of grace, a true Kairos experience and ‘Jubilee’ time for the Earth, and for humanity, and for all God’s creatures”.