Missionaries of Africa Join “Roma Cura Roma” Initiative
On 6 May 2023, Rome municipal authority organized a clean-up of the city of Rome. Among the 323 associations registered were the Missionaries of Africa, residing in the Generalate, Rome (cf. Roma Cura Roma – Missionari d’Africa – Padri Bianchi).
At 9:30 am., we gathered in front of our Generalate. Once the tools needed were ready, we moved to start the work. 13 members of the Generalate volunteered for the clean-up activity.
Some pedestrians were surprised to see us cutting the grass, collecting trash, scrubbing, sweeping the street, unblocking gutters, etc. Others were also amazed. They asked us if we had been hired by the municipal authorities. It was time to explain to them that we were doing the work on voluntary basis. “So, you are priests?”, some asked. They were grateful and encouraged us to continue.
For more than two hours we cleaned the street leading to Valle Aurelia metro station. At the end, we collected bags filled with plastics, glass bottles, plants, dry leaves, etc. Everything that was compostable, we brought it to the compost in our garden.
As we were getting ready to come back to the house, we spoke on phone with one of the organizers from the municipality. He thanked us for our generosity and the work well done. We were very happy to have been able to contribute to the beauty of the city of Rome. We offered our small contribution to the care of our common home, as Pope Francis in his Encyclical Letter, Laudato Si’ calls us to do. It is worth noting that last year, around the same time, the Via Aurelia Pilgrims carried out the same initiative.
Roma Cura Roma (“Rome takes care of Rome”) is a day dedicated to the collective care of streets, squares, parks, and green areas in all the municipalities. According to Rome Today, an online newspaper, “There were 432 collective care interventions in the city. Over 15,000 citizens involved for a total of 323 associations.”