Italy - Salesian participation in the Synod: "The Salesian Amazon that challenges us"

23 September 2019

(ANS - Rome) - On 15 October 2017, Pope Francis convened a Special Synod Assembly on the Pan-Amazonian Region, indicating the main objective: "to identify new ways for the evangelization of that portion of the people of God, and especially the indigenous peoples" in this region of the world "who are often forgotten and without the prospect of a serene future, also because of the crisis of the Amazonian forest, [which is] a lung that is of capital importance for our planet." There are now only a few days to an event of great importance, an event that will be a moment of grace for a renewed presence of the Church in this region and to offer a significant contribution to integral ecology. It is a Synod in which our "Salesian Amazonia asks us to give a renewed response to the Amazon youth," said Fr Martín Lasarte, SDB.

The Salesians are present in various countries and regions, one of which is the Amazon region. The Pan-Amazonia region is composed of nine countries: Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Venezuela, Surinam, Guyana and French Guyana, and it is a region that is an important source of oxygen for the whole earth, an area that houses more than a third of the world's primary forest reserves.

The Salesians are present in 6 countries and have 47 communities with 245 Salesians, serving the rural and urban areas of Amazonia and Mato Grosso.

The Vatican has recently published the names of the participants. Of the 185 appointed, there is a considerable Salesian presence, both of the Salesians of Don Bosco and of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians.

1. Archbishop Edmilson Tadeu Canavarros Dos Santos, S.D.B., Titular Bishop of Feradi Minor, Auxiliary Bishop of Manaus
2. Archbishop Antônio De Assis Ribeiro, S.D.B., Titular Bishop of Babra, Auxiliary Bishop of Belém do Pará
3. Mons. Flavio Giovenale, S.D.B., Bishop of Cruzeiro do Sul
4. Mons. Néstor Vidal Montesdeoca Becerra, S.D.B., Apostolic Vicar of Méndez, titular bishop of Celle of Mauritania

5. Archbishop Augusto Martín Quijano Rodriguez, S.D.B., Apostolico Vicar de Pucallpa
6. Mons. Pablo Modesto Gonzalez Pérez, S.D.B., Bishop of Guasdualito
7. Mons. Jonny Eduardo Reyes Sequera, S.D.B., Apostolic Vicar of Puerto Ayacucho, titular bishop of Canapio
Papal appointments
8. Card. Óscar Andrés Rodriguez Maradiaga, S.D.B., Archbishop of Tegucigalpa (Honduras)
9. Gaetano Galbusera, S.D.B., former Apostolic Vicar of Pucallpa, Titular Bishop of Mascula (Peru)
10. Fr Martín Lasarte Topolanski, S.D.B., from the Missions Department of the Salesian Central Office in Rome, a missionary in Angola.

11. Fr Rossano Sala, S.D.B., Professor in Youth Ministry at the Salesian Pontifical University and director of the journal "Note di Pastorale Giovanile" (Italy)
Members of the Pre-Synodal Council
12. Mons. José Ángel Divassòn Cilveti, S.D.B., former Vicar Apostolic of Puerto Ayacucho, titular Bishop of Bamaccora (Venezuela)
13. Archbishop Edmundo Ponciano Valenzuela Mellid, S.D.B., Archbishop of Asunción, (Paraguay)
Collaborators of the Special Secretariat
14. Fr Giovanni Bottasso, S.D.B., former professor of the Salesian University of Quito. Researcher specializing in Amazonia and Indigenous peoples (Ecuador)
15. Fr Justino Sarmento Rezende, S.D.B., Expert in Indigenous and Inculturated Pastoral Spirituality (Brazil)
Publishers and auditors
16. Sister María Carmelita De Lima Conceição, F.M.A., of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, Superior of the “Laura Vicuña” Province of Manaus (Brazil)
17. Sister Mariluce Dos Santos Mesquita, F.M.A., of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, a religious of the Barassana ethnic group (Brazil).

"Our congregation is missionary. We are in 134 countries and we consider ourselves an eminently missionary congregation," Fr Lasarte said, "not because of the things we do in the middle of the Amazon, but because we announce Jesus Christ ... This Amazonian Synod is a time to rethink the missionary dimension of the Church and of the Congregation."


ANS - “Agenzia iNfo Salesiana” is a on-line almost daily publication, the communication agency of the Salesian Congregation enrolled in the Press Register of the Tibunal of Rome as n 153/2007.

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