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Pope Francis at graduation of 50 Latin American mayors at the Vatican’s “Scholas” school

(ZENIT News / Vatican City, 05.25.2023).- After a few intense days of work and enriching experiences,  the congress “Eco-Educational Cities” culminated today at the Vatican, with the  participation of 50 mayors from different cities around the world who received training so  that they can apply the knowledge in their territories, in continuity with the Laudato Sí  Youth experience, promoted by Scholas last year.

The Latin American mayors who participated are from Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Chile,  Colombia, Uruguay, Paraguay, Peru, Costa Rica, Trinidad and Tobago, Ecuador,  Panama and Venezuela. On the European side, there were mayors from Portugal.

During the closing ceremony, the Pope was surprised with a live connection with a  residence for the elderly in Granada, one of the places where the Scholas movement  carries out the worldwide program “Being Together”, which began during the pandemic,  responding to Francis’ call for intergenerational unity. Before ending the connection, there  was a very emotional moment in which members of Scholas gave him an artifact, called  “Reviviario”, in which Francis wrote on a piece of paper part of his story and put it inside,  so that it can continue to circulate with his story.

In addition, there was also an interaction with the community in Argentina, recalling the origin of Scholas together with the then Archbishop of Buenos Aires Jorge Bergoglio, as  an educational response to the political, social and economic crisis of 2001, an  opportunity to highlight the importance of citizen participation of young people and  adolescents as an antidote to the cracks and anti-politics. In the first connection, the Holy.

Father blessed and inaugurated the new headquarters of the University of Buenos Aires,  which is located in the Scholas building in Barrio 31.

At the closing of the event, the mayors presented their conclusions to Pope Francis, after  having been trained for 3 days on the term “integral ecology”, set forth in the Encyclical  Laudato Sí.