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The Society of the Divine Word actively participated in the recent Amazon Synod. Fr. José Boeing from BRA (nominated by the Union of Superiors General) and Fr. Michael Heinz (representing Adveniat, German Bishops’ Conference) participated in the Synod sessions.

They presented their statement and networking with other congregations and organizations. Outside the synod hall of Vatican, some of our confreres actively addressed various issues through side events.

On 8 October, the SVD co-hosted a seminar which introduces the advocacy commitment of religious NGOs at the UN. The following day, General Councilor Anselmo Ribeiro spoke about interculturality in the Amazon and the world during a conference organized by the Conference of the Missionary Institutes in Italy (CIMI).

On 15 October, Mr. Samuel Drempetic from Steyler Bank talked about the economy and ethics at a seminar of CIMI. Fr. Piotr Nawrot from BOL organized a Bolivian baroque music concert at the Vatican Audience Hall on 19 October. On 20 October, there was a private gathering of the Synod participants at the Catacombs of Domitilla, where the participants celebrated a Mass offered for the martyrs in the Amazon and made a pact inspired by the Pact of the Catacombs and the spirit of the Amazon Synod.

Fr. Franz Helm, SVD, from the Province of ECP was in Rome during the Amazonian Synod days. He came as the theological adviser of KOO (Coordination Office of the Bishops Conference for the ecclesial organizations of solidarity in Austria), to observe the Amazon Synod, to take part in activities of CIDSE and to assist Austrian Radio and TV in their reports of the Amazon Synod.

During the Synod days, St. Maria in Traspontina church was set as an “Amazon Tent”. Many events were organized and exhibitions held. The SVD and SSpS presented a small panel which introduced the work of confreres and Sisters. Such efforts are supported by SVD and SSpS volunteers. The team of Verbo Filmes (BRC) was also around to cover the events for a documentary. Our confreres Daisuke Narui, Stanislaus Lazar, and Reynaldo Roman Diaz (ITA), were on hand to help organize some of the mentioned activities.

--- Daisuke Narui, SVD

Published in the newsletter “Arnoldus Nota” – November 2019