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The past 11 of September concluded the commemoration of the “Mother Earth, Sisters Stars”, the festival dedicated to cultural, scientific, and artistic themes essentially focused on integral ecology, scientific research, astronomy and the dialogue between science and faith.

The event, which took place from 8 to 11 September in Amelia, in the province of Terni, was sponsored by the Ministry of Culture. It was also sponsored and supported by the Pontifical Antonianum University of Rome and the Friary of the Santissima Annunziata, home of the Planetarium of Amelia and the Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation Office of the Friars Minor of Umbria. 

9 September was the day dedicated to an in-depth study of the themes of integral ecology, the urban environment, and the future of cities. In addition to Br Massimo Fusarelli, Minister General of the Friars Minor, it was attended by the Imam of the Grand Mosque of Rome, Nader Akkad, and the Bishop of Terni-Narni-Amelia, Bishop Francesco Antonio Soddu. 

“The speeches and the dialogue with the participants raise questions and challenges and testify to civil passion and an open view of the future. The debate is not only climate alarm but a new vision of the environment and the human person in it. What emerges is the difficulty of the present time for this issue in terms of good politics and social justice. Ecological education allows for a real ecological conversion, to learn to inhabit the world in a new way,” this is the comment of Friar Massimo Fusarelli. He continues, “for us as Christians and Franciscans, there is the link between integral ecology and the Gospel. There we receive inspiration, and the voices and expectations of today’s people resonate. This whole theme must then be articulated with those of legality, and also illegality, to understand reality and be able to influence it. The perspective of integral ecology has everything to do with the religious dimension, starting from the meaning of the word in Genesis: “You shall cultivate the garden” of creation. Hence the perspective is inclusive because it encompasses all reality. Pope Francis has intuited this: Fratelli tutti!”.

The “Mother Earth Sisters Stars” event was also an occasion for prayer with many voices, with readings from the Old Testament, Psalms, a passage from the Koran read by the imam and the prayer of St Francis of praise to the Lord for creation. “At the conclusion of this celebration, we commit ourselves once again to embrace the demands Pope Francis invites with Laudato Si’ of an ecological conversion, changes in lifestyle and society and decisive political action to act with the urgency required by the climate and social crisis. Furthermore, in communion with all the Churches and with different believers, we assume the commitment to pray with and for creation, live simply and soberly, and promote care for the common home as far as we can”. This was the conclusion of the inter-religious prayer meeting proclaimed together by Bishop Francesco Antonio Soddu, Br Massimo Fusarelli, the Minister Provincial of the Friars Minor Br Francesco Piloni, the Grand Imam of Rome Nader Akkad, Pastor Pawel Gajewski, the Orthodox priest Fr Vasile Andreica and led by the head of the diocese’s ecumenism and dialogue office Fr Enzo Greco.