Mario Diana 2020 award to Sr. Alessandra Smerilli

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Caserta (Italy). On 22 January 2020, at the Monumental Complex of the Belvedere of San Leucio (Caserta), during the TIME to DARE Forum, Sister Alessandra Smerilli, Daughter of Mary Help of Christians, Full Professor of Political Economy at the Pontifical Faculty of Educational Sciences ‘Auxilium of Rome and Councilor of State of Vatican City, received the Mario Diana 2020 Award.

TIME to DARE – time to dare, or joining Italian and English, time to give - is an event promoted by the Mario Diana Foundation, the Diocese, and Caritas of Caserta with the aim of presenting the project on the digital platform of the gift that the Foundation and the Caserta Church want launch in the coming months. A digital sharing platform, a gift bank on the web to put in contact those who can give and those who need help, momentarily or for a longer period. The novelty is not only in the Gift Bank, but also in the way it was conceived, starting from the young: a hackathon, that is, an intensive collaboration of young computer scientists and social science experts for the creation of a digital platform, which was held during the first day of the event, January 21.

The next day, 22 January, was the forum’s turn, with the extraordinary intervention of economists Luigino Bruni and Sister Alessandra Smerilli.

In the afternoon, Sister Alessandra received the Mario Diana Prize, in memory of the businessman from Caserta who on the morning of June 26, 1985, at the age of 49, was killed for defending his transport company from the Camorra. In 2018 the prize was awarded to two other women: the Roman gynecologist Antonia Testa and Floriana Malagoli, President of the Association who assists the homeless in the city of Caserta.

The award was presented in the presence of the Bishop of Caserta Msgr. Giovanni D’Alise, Ilaria and Maria Antonietta Diana, grandchildren of Mario Diana.

These are the reasons for the Award:

"To Alessandra Smerilli who, through scientific research and commitment in the social and ecclesial fields, has been able to embody the Salesian vocational choice by making use of her talents, using the powerful and disarming force of dialogue to build relationships and projects based on the logic of gift and of the culture of reciprocity; for accompanying hundreds of students in their complex and challenging formation experience carrying out her job as a educator with passion; for her narrative full of ethical tension, as the founding dimension of the civil economy and of communion, of attention to the least, to young people, to the peripheries; for her human and intellectual curiosity; for her tireless attraction towards an integral ecology of the human person, for the protection of the environment and the environments in which she found herself working, for the young and adult talents that she has been able to network, together with the most original and creative expressions of civil society in defense of the common good, for what – she, a woman - has given and is giving for the renewal of the structures of the institutional Church. For all this, today we award you the Mario Diana 2020 Award."

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