Itapevi (Brazil) To celebrate the 5th  anniversary of the publication of the Encyclical Letter Laudato Si’, Pope Francis proposed the  Week of Laudato Sì , that took place on 16-24 May 2020, on the theme ‘Everything is connected’, to encourage reflection on the themes regarding the Care of our Common Home.

The Social Work Recanto da Cruz Grande, in the Santa Croce Community of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians of Itapevi (San Paolo), belonging to St. Catherine of Siena Province (BSP), accepted the invitation of Pope Francis with the project ‘The Joy of Hope (LS244)’, consisting in the realization of five conferences on specific themes dealt with in the Encyclical Letter, studied more deeply each time by a different presenter.

The aim of the project  was to offer studies to arouse activities of development and environmental support within the FMA works (social works, schools, universities), in the light of the Encyclical Laudato Sì from the perspective of the Salesian Preventive System.

The moderator of the Conferences was Sr. Celene Couto Rodrigues, FMA.  They were carried out according to this program:

19 May –  Proposals for a better world

Speaker: Germano Voigtel Oliveira, Biologist, Specialist in Social Projects and Public Policies, Project Coordinator at the Casa del Purissimo Cuore di Maria of Guaratinguetá (San Paolo), belonging to the  Salesian Network of Social Action.

20 May – Alternatives for a sustainable economy

Speaker: Julia De Paolis Amim, graduate in International Relations at the Faculty of Campinas (FACAMP), Councilor for Planning of the Province of Our Lady Help of  Christians of the Salesians of Don Bosco of San Paolo.

21 May – Sow hope

Speaker:  Vera Maria Loureiro Figueira, Teacher of Religious Education in the private teaching network of Rio de Janeiro.

22 May – Human Rights and Laudato Sì

Speaker: Agnaldo Soares Lima, Salesian of Don Bosco, Councilor for the  Salesian Brazil-Social Network

The speakers of the last Conference, held on 23 May on the Objectives of Sustainable Development (OSD) and Laudato Sì, were Sister Runita Borja, General Councilor for Youth Ministry of the FMA, and Sister Sarah Garcia, Head of the Office for Human Rights of the FMA Institute in Geneva (Switzerland), who connected online from Rome (Italy).

Before the beginning of the last Conference, a video was broadcast in which the aspirants and postulants of the Formation House of Mary Help of Christians Province of Recife (BRE) danced to the song entitled “Praised be God” composed and recorded by Sister Celene Couto, used as a musical theme during the Conferences.

The “Joy of Hope” Conferences were broadcast live on the Facebook Page Salesianas Ação Social-SP and by Rádio Dom Bosco.

With this cycle of Conferences, the Social Work Recanto da Cruz Grande has become part of the partner organizations of the Global Catholic Movement for the Climate, a world Movement that promotes the Encyclical Laudato Sì.  “A very important recognition to continue to carry out our socio-environmental projects at the service of the most vulnerable, so that everyone can have life in abundance”, affirmed Sister Celene Couto, FMA.


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