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Laudato si' Centre for Higher Education: A Jubilee year of commitment

Laudato si'

Pope Francis on February 2 established the Laudato si' Centre for Higher Education (CeAF-LS), and its two-phase project to implement a true ecological conversion was announced as a Jubilee year commitment, according to Vatican News.

The CeAF-LS, in accordance with the principles of the Encyclical Laudato si', is responsible for providing the formation of the integral person, with a particular focus on young people and those living in vulnerable conditions (cf. Statute, Art. 1).

Laudato si' (“Praised Be”) is the most comprehensive encyclical letter on the environment issued on May 24, 2015, by the Holy Father,  It is about the care for our Common Home which also tackles ethics and Christian faith.

To realize the task, regarding the chirograph of February 2, 2023, in its first year of existence, the CeAF-LS assumed to develop the project "Borgo Laudato si'", which is for education in integral ecology at the Pope’s residence in Castel Gandolfo. 

The goal was to make the principles provided in the encyclical relevant, which were tackled more explicitly in the Holy Father’s Apostolic Exhortation Laudate Deumwhich was published in October last year.

"Laudate Deum" (Praise God) wanted to review what has happened since the issuance of Laudato si’ in 2015 to see what else needs to be done.

This time, with the CeAF-LS, top-level national and international experts outlined the three main guidelines of the "Borgo Laudato si'" project, which are education in integral ecology, the circular and generative economy, and environmental sustainability.

The project covers 55 hectares of the extraterritorial area at Castel Gandolfo, divided into 35 hectares of beautiful gardens and 20 hectares of agricultural and livestock land, greenhouses, and service buildings, according to Vatican News.

On January 15, 2024, CeAF-LS, through the staff previously employed on the 55 hectares, took over the borders. 

The Governorate of the State of Vatican City State and the Directorates concerned were involved in dialogue and coordination to carry out the work.

 We have planned the project's implementation in two major phases.  The first phase is about the garden area, where the project is built on the wonderful natural, historical, and artistic heritage of the Papal Villas, 35 hectares of beauty, said Vatican News.

The second phase concerns the agricultural and zootechnical area. 

The activities have commenced in recent days, with the primary concern being the conservation, maintenance, and care of the heritage entrusted to the CeAF-LS, which will utilize new techniques and technological innovations.

 We will launch the second phase in the second half of this year, covering 25 hectares of agricultural and zootechnical area.  Preparatory activities have also commenced in this area to re-organize and develop the production activities that used to take place.

For Jubilee 2025, an actual, physical Borgo Laudato si will be ready, offering a setting for complete immersion in the integral ecology that the Holy Father advocates. (MTV)


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