Rome (Italy). While the work of the Amazon Synod is in full swing, there are many echoes, debates, stories, and reflections that come through the media. As Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, we are fortunate to have Sister Maria Carmelita de Lima Conceição, Provincial of Laura Vicuña Province of Manaus (BMA) and Sister Mariluce dos Santos Mesquita of St. Teresinha Province (BMT) who participate as auditors.

We met with Sr. Carmelita and interviewed her.

Participating in the Synod on the Amazon: what emotions, what expectations, what contribution is required from you?

It was a great thrill, because I was not expecting to participate in such an important moment in the Church, where the central theme is the reality of the Pan Amazon, and as FMA we work in close contact with the lives of thousands of young people, families, and schools, in ecclesial and itinerant communities, in a missionary life of great struggle and sacrifice.

The Synod went beyond all my expectations in its organization, in the seriousness with which the themes are confronted, in the dedication and the life witness of so many Bishops, priests, religious, lay men and women, united in synodality as they search for new paths for the Church.

I was invited by Mother Yvonne to participate as a representative of Religious Life through the Union of Superiors General (UISG) and for me, this means my commitment to represent all the consecrated women, the mothers of families, and a great number of women who are present in the name of communities of faith that support the Church present in the most distant regions of the diverse countries of the Pan Amazon.

Synod means walking together under the inspiration and guidance of the Holy Spirit. What are the themes that emerge most strongly?

The great theme is LIFE, the rights of the poor, of nature, of every being created by God to live in harmony. References to the Encyclical Laudato Sì are frequent, as are those to other documents of the Church.

What is the climate?

The climate is of great respect in the interventions, of listening to the proposals, taking into consideration the origin of each one and the reality in which he lives, aimed at seeking new paths for the Church, towards an integral and pastoral conversion.

It is a week since the beginning of the Synod, what new paths are emerging for the Church in the Amazon and for the Church in the world?

The evangelizing mission of the Church is the transversal line, from the formation of priests and religious life, to the education of young people, to the challenges of the great distances, which make it difficult to celebrate the Eucharist in the most isolated regions, and to the recognition of the service of women, to the need to oppose the violation of human rights and nature’s rights (human trafficking, drug trafficking, smuggling of timber and minerals).

And for the FMA and the Salesian world?

The Salesian presence is closely linked to the promotion and defense of life, in addition to being inserted into the Church with and for the new generations. I am happy to hear that as FMA we are taken into consideration in many proposals concerning the care of life, the protection of the common home, and the salvation of the planet.


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