Palermo (Italy). On the occasion of the Time of Creation – the annual anniversary to renew our relationship with the Creator and all creation through celebration, conversion, and commitment to our Common Home – the inhabitants of via Carducci, in Campofelice di Roccella, province of Palermo, organized a day to re-make the village flowerbed, which had become an object of decay, into a place of beauty and harmony.
Participants in the ‘Let’s Naturalize Cities’ initiative gathered to uproot weeds and restore plants to where they were previously. Once the planting was completed and the surrounding environment was cleaned up, they gathered in prayer to praise the Creator for the gift of life, creation, and ecological sensitivity.
Sr. Maria Lucia Siragusa, Daughter of Mary Help of Christians and animator of Laudato Sì of Mother Maddalena Morano Province, Sicula (ISI) – coordinated the time of prayer and in commenting on the Word of God, highlighted how in the past women and men, especially those who cultivated the land, had eyes that were always turned to God because they knew that the harvest depended on Him. She recalled how they invoked God about the lack of rain or about its super-abundance. They felt they were called to be “Collaborators of the Creator and not substitutes for Him. Today, as Pope Francis affirms in Laudato Sì – ‘an ecological conversion’ is needed.”
At the end of the event – held online within the local area and in collaboration with the Mayor Michela Taravella – a bookmark was given with the concrete commitments for carbon reduction, as was the case for CuriAMO il Creato, accomplished at Cesarò (ME) and PiantiAMO Ossigeno, accomplished at Caltavuturo (PA).
These are apparently small gestures that when multiplied, can make cities livable and oxygenated, as Pope Francis exhorts in LS: “Today we find, for example, the immeasurable and disordered growth of many cities that have become unlivable from the point of view of health, not only due to the pollution caused by toxic emissions, but also due to urban chaos, transportation problems, and visual and acoustic pollution. […] It is not suitable for the inhabitants of this planet to live always submerged by concrete, asphalt, glass, metals, deprived of physical contact with nature.”
The Time of Creation, which saw the organization of events, webinars, and celebratory moments all over the world and in the Provinces of the FMA, ended on 4 October 2020, but the paths of integral ecology and awareness-raising initiatives towards our common home continue in the local realities.