The Synod of Bishops’ Special Assembly for Pan-Amazonia will be held in Rome from Sunday 6 October to Sunday 27 October 2019, to reflect on the theme: “Amazonia: New Paths for the Church and for An Integral Ecology.”
The Vatican has invited the bishops from all dioceses in the world to travel to Rome in order to discuss the Amazon and its people. This gathering, or synod, is officially titled “Amazonia: New Paths for the Church and for An Integral Ecology.”
This is the first synod in which integral ecology will be applied to a specific place in creation. This is a landmark for the Church. The synod runs 6-27 October, and the week of 13 October is dedicated to integral ecology.
The synod is guided by a preparatory document and an instrumentum laboris which includes a list of questions that were discussed with local communities in the Amazon, to ensure the synod responds to local expertise and concerns. The document takes wisdom from these conversations and from the teaching of the Church to guide the synod’s discussions.
New paths for evangelization must be designed for and with the People of God who live in this region: inhabitants of communities and rural areas, of cities and large metropolises, people who live on river banks, migrants and displaced persons, and especially for and with indigenous peoples.
In the Amazon rain-forest, which is of vital importance for the planet, a deep crisis has been triggered by prolonged human intervention, in which a “culture of waste” (LS 16) and an extractivist mentality prevail. The Amazon is a region with rich biodiversity; it is multi-ethnic, multi-cultural, and multi-religious; it is a mirror of all humanity which, in defense of life, requires structural and personal changes by all human beings, by nations, and by the Church.
We want to know the following: How do you imagine your “serene future” and the “good life” of future generations? How can we work together toward the construction of a world which breaks with structures that take life and with colonizing mentalities, in order to build networks of solidarity and inter-culturality? And, above all, what is the Church’s particular mission today in the face of this reality?
This Preparatory Document is divided into three parts corresponding to the method “see, judge (discern), and act”. At the end of the text there are questions that allow for dialogue and a progressive approach to the regional reality and the expectation of a “culture of encounter” (EG 220). The new paths for evangelization and for shaping a Church with an Amazonian face grow out of this “culture of encounter” in daily life, “in a multifaceted harmony” (EG 220) and “happy sobriety” (LS 224-225), as contributions for the building of the Kingdom.
UISG has given us help on how to act locally in our small communities by setting up a Tent of reminder during this important event and how to think globally.
Columban Fr Peter Hughes who works with REPAM, – the Pan-Amazonia Ecclesial Network – which has helped to prepare the Synod, said: “The Synod is an important moment for the voice of the Amazon and its peoples to be heard. Their cry, absent until now, arrives on the agenda of society at large and the Church. It provides a wonderful opportunity for genuine, open and respectful dialogue to answer the call of the title of the Synod – ‘The Amazon: New paths for the Church and for integral ecology’.
The expectation is for genuine dialogue, issues to be discussed and doors to be opened. The Church of the Amazon and the universal Church awaits new pathways, new presence, new ministries especially for laity and women that celebrates the message attentive and sensitive to changing cultural codes.
The words of Dom Erwin Kreitler, bishop of Xingú, Brazil are clear, ‘the people have the right to speak, to be listened to and the Church must act seriously’.”
UISG (INTERNATIONAL UNION OF SUPERIORS GENERAL) invites Congregations worldwide to build/make a symbolic tent/space in their community as a reminder to pray for the Synod and to create awareness. The tent is “a space to meet, to listen and pray for those who want to know the reality and spirituality of the Amazon Region.” In Rome, REPAM (The Network for the Pan-Amazon Region) will open the Tent for our Common Home in the Church of Traspontina (Via della Conciliazione, very close to St Peter’s Basilica) where the indigenous people and others attending the Synod, will meet to pray and to talk. Visit the Website: http://amazonia-casa-comun.org SHARE a photo of your Amazon space together with a short prayer or your hopes for the Synod through WhatsApp +39 349 935 87 44
UISG invites you to join an ONLINE PRAYER REFLECTION on Tues. Oct. 8 and 24 at 2pm (Rome time) Invite your community and gather together to participate in the first on-line UISG Prayer Network. Global Tent for our Common Home: Religious Sisters Connecting Worldwide for the Pan-Amazon Synod “This Synod revolves around life: the life of the Amazon territory and its peoples, the life of the Church, the life of the planet.” (IL n. 8 Calendar of the UISG events for the Synod (more details to follow) Monday 7: Meeting at UISG on Trafficking in Persons and the Amazon Tuesday 8: Prayer online for the Synod: Religious Sisters Connecting Worldwide Wednesday 16: Webinar “Sowing Hope for the Planet: Amazon” Thursday 24: Prayer online for the Synod: Religious Sisters Connecting Worldwide Monday 28: Meeting on line and at UISG “The Synod through the eyes and hearts of the Religious Sisters who attend the Synod” (5 languages). There will be 20 Religious Sisters present at the Synod – 10 of them nominated by UISG. Links for the Events online (October 8, 16, 24, 28) English: https://zoom.us/j/362299086 Español: https://zoom.us/j/946090485 Italiano: https://zoom.us/j/713019306 Français: https://zoom.us/j/743060256
Follow the Synod on the UISG blog and social media: news, events, photos, reflection and notes from the 10 Religious sisters attending the Synod as UISG Representatives – https://synod2019sistersvoice.blogspot.com