On Mission Sunday, 20th of October, 2019, the Superior General, Fr. John Fogarty, and all the members of the Generalate community welcomed our three bishop confreres who are participating in the Pan-Amazon Synod: D. Altevir José da Silva, D. Teodoro Mendes Tavares and D. Francisco J. Meinrad Merkel. Also present were other bishops where the Spiritans work or those who have a relationship with us. Among them was the President of the National Conference of Bishops of Brazil (CNBB), D. Valmor de Oliveira de Azevedo.
The Spiritan presence in the Amazon Region began in French Guyana in 1775, but was interrupted by the French revolution. The arrival of the first confreres in Brazil was in 1885 in the city of Belém, in the State of Pará. Our presence in Bolivia began in 2003 in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, as part of the commemoration of the 300th anniversary of the foundation of our Congregation.
The visit of the bishops of the Amazon region is of particular importance. Firstly, because the Amazon has always been part of our Spiritan mission and secondly, because it demonstrates our communion with Pope Francis and the Pan-Amazon Synod. We pray that the Synod’s work, inspired by the Holy Spirit, may discover new paths for the Evangelization of the Amazon and for an Integral Ecology. This event has made our religious family better known in the Amazon reality and challenges us to commit ourselves more and more to the defense of the Common House, after all “everything is interconnected”.
In welcoming our visitors, Fr. John Fogarty said: “May this short period of time together help us to deepen our spirit of collaboration with the local Church in each of your dioceses and strengthen our relationships at the service of the people of the Amazon region.”