29 Aug 2019
Salesian Amazon: The Synod Challenges Us
Publication Brings Together Contributions of the Salesian Family from Pan-Amazon Region
(ANS – Manaus, Brazil – August 28) – “The Amazon continues to be one of the priorities of the Salesian Congregation. We are determined to continue our pastoral and missionary action, mobilizing all the educational and pastoral resources typical of our charism,” said Fr. Angel Fernandez Artime. “The Salesians, with our long missionary experience working with indigenous peoples, feel responsible for contributing to the Synod with our own experiences too, with the difficulties we have as Salesians in the field of inculturation of the Salesian charism and with what the Church, through this Synod, has made to create a Church with an indigenous face.”
The Salesians are indeed one of the congregations with the greatest presence in the Pan-Amazonian Region. They have been present for 125 years, having first arrived at the vicariate apostolic of Mendez, Ecuador, to work with the Shuar people.
Taking into account the convocation of the Synod for the Amazon, the Salesian Family has held several events at the international level, and a book was recently published entitled Salesian Amazon: The Synod Challenges Us.
Fr. Martin Lasarte, SDB, of the Salesian Missions Department in Rome, and Fr. Damasio Medeiros, SDB, dean of the School of Theology of the Pontifical Salesian University in Rome, collected in more than 350 pages the reflections of the Pan-Amazonian Salesian meeting held at Manaus in November 2018, and of seminars held at the Pontifical Salesian University in Rome entitled “The Witness of Holiness among the Amazonian Peoples” and “New Ways for a Church with an Amazonian Face.” Also appearing are the results of the survey on the Salesian presence in the Amazon area and interviews with Cardinal Claudio Hummes, president of the Pan-Amazonian Ecclesial Network REPAM, its vice president, Cardinal Pedro Ricardo Barreto Jimeno, and its executive secretary, Mauricio Lopez Oropeza.
Fr. Justino Sarmento Rezende, a Salesian originally from the Amazon, says that the Salesians, in the midst of the native peoples, “feel responsible for contributing also to the Synod with their experiences in the field of inculturation of the Salesian charism … with an indigenous face.”
Fr. Lasarte insists on three elements present in the opus: Amazonian youth, the Amazonian cities and migrations, and the processes of faith capable of generating a ministerial Church with an Amazonian face.
Salesian Amazon: The Synod Challenges Us is a work that should be read in the immediate preparation for the special Synod for the Amazon, which will be held in Rome, from Sunday, October 6, to Sunday, October 27, 2019.