The apostolic palace of Castel Gandolfo was, for centuries, the secondary residence of the popes. Turned into a museum by Pope Francis, it will now also house a training center inspired by Laudato Si’, Pope Francis’ famous encyclical on “care for our common home” published in 2015. The decision was announced in a statement issued by the Governorate of Vatican City State on February 2, 2023.
In the coming months, the Borgo Laudato Si’ will house projects and initiatives focused on education in integral ecology, generative economy, and environmental sustainability.
The gardens of the apostolic palace will become “a new space for training and raising awareness” on these environmental and ecological matters, directed by the Laudato Si’ High Training Center, “a scientific, educational and social organization, working for integral formation” with its own Statutes.
As read in the note published by Vatican News, the papal decree also explains that “the Centre will gradually take over some of the competencies of the Directorate of the Pontifical Villas of Castel Gandolfo, including the Papal Palace and the Pontifical Gardens.”
Also, the introduction to the decree reiterates that “Caring for our ‘Common Home’ is a way of taking responsibility for our neighbor, and at the same time recognizing the infinite beauty of God and contemplating the mystery of the universe.”
The members of the Laudato Si’ Centre for Higher Education include: Fr. Fabio Baggio (Director General), Sr. Alessandra Smerilli FMA, and Ms Francesca Romana Busnelli, (members of the Board of Directors) and Mr Antonio Errigo (Secretary).