Sicily (Italy). The Circle Laudato Sì’ EtnaMain, of the Sicilian Province Mother Maddalena Morano (ISI), celebrated the Season of Creation – from 1 September to 4 October 2022 in various Sicilian Communities, listening to the dissonant voice of the Planet, to gather from the ashes of the Common Home the messages to activate projects of sustainability, energy saving, good use of water, and reduction of use of plastic.
“Listen to the voice of Creation” was the theme of the Time of Creation 2022. The ecumenical family in the world united to pray and protect the common home, the Oikos of God. In fact, unlike the burning bush (Ex 3: 1-12) taken as a biblical reference for the Time of Creation, which burned and was not consumed, the Planet Earth burns and consumes itself due to fires, global warming, the progressive lack of resources, and many other factors that make the climatic and environmental situation increasingly worrying.
The Laudato Si’ EtnaMain Circle, made up of about fifty participants, carried out numerous activities together with the FMA of the Province, involving all the Educating Communities of their own works, the Associations, the Salesian Family, Associations, Parishes, oratories, families, Municipal Administrations, young people, and children.
The celebrations began on 3 September 2022 in Catania, with the Provincial Assembly coordinated by the Provincial Sr. Angela Maria Maccioni, with the presence of about 200 members of the Educating Communities. The theme of the day, “We are here … things can change” was masterfully presented in the online mode, by the Coordinator of the Italian Laudato Sì’ Circles, Dr. Antonio Caschetto who, with his passion for creation and the spirituality of St. Francis of Assisi, deepened the topic of integral ecology. In the afternoon, the Animators of the FMA Communities went to the Hermitage of Saint Anna in Valverde, Catania, to listen to and contemplate creation.
On 11, 14, 28 September and 3 October 2022 the FMA Communities of St. Joseph of Palermo and Mary Help of Christians of Pietraperzia, the Don Bosco Oratory of the parish of Holy Mary of the Assumption Biancavilla, the Salesian Cooperators, and the Mornese Association of Caltavuturo, on separate days celebrated the event with the representation of the Burning Bush, which burns and is not consumed, and the Common Home, which burns and consumes itself.
As in the time of Moses, today’s society also suffers a lot and needs a ‘Moses’ to save it from global pollution, from the melting of glaciers, from water bombs, from the constant abuses, and consumerist excesses that tear the planet apart. From the ashes of the planet, the participants collected messages that they transformed into environmental sustainability projects.
At the end of each encounter, the various groups left each other by exchanging plants or seeds, still others by planting plants in the common places of the city as a sign of life, commitment, and hope.
On Sunday 18 September, the members of the Club met at the Etna Park in Catania, and in the Inserra area in Palermo, to free from waste areas that are particularly degraded and defaced by years of neglect. Entire families were present, including children, to bring a clear message: the new generations want to live on a clean and sustainable planet.
Finally, on 4 October, the feast of St. Francis of Assisi, patron saint of Italy, the Circle together with the Salesian Cooperators, the Mornese Association, and some members of the Our Lady of Prompt Succor of Palermo spent a day dedicated to prayer, recollection, contemplation, culture, art, and beauty.
They went to Monte Pellegrino, at the cave of Saint Rosalie, to celebrate the Eucharist together. Then on the same mountain, they ate a frugal lunch while contemplating the beauty of creation that extends from the top of the mountain to its feet, where it meets and merges with the blue of the sea. At the end of the day, they went first to Borgo Parrini – Partinico (PA), where art and nature are so in harmony that the border is blurred, and then to Palermo to visit the Cathedral, appreciate its majesty and magnificence, and pray at the tomb of Blessed Father Puglisi.
Suor Maria Lucia Siragusa, Segretaria ispettoriale e Animatrice Laudato Si’ riassume così l’
Sr. Maria Lucia Siragusa, Provincial Secretary and Animator of Laudato Si’ summarizes the experience of the ecumenical month as follows:
“The Time of Creation was an intense period, which allowed us to listen to the strong dissonance that exists in the voice of creation, as Pope Francis invites us to do. On the one hand the voice of the beauty of creation, of art, of harmony, of biodiversity, and on the other hand the voice of war, of the deafening cry of the weakest, of creation, of deforestation, of the melting of glaciers, of rising sea levels, and much more. However, as Pope Francis says, ‘We unite to take charge of this house that has been entrusted to us, knowing that what is good in it will be assumed in the feast of heaven. Together with all creatures, let us walk this earth looking for God. Let us walk singing! May our struggles and our concern for this planet not take away the joy of hope‘ (LS 244)”.