Skip to content
Deacon Keith Fournier Hi reader, it seems you use Catholic Online a lot; that's great! It's a little awkward to ask, but we need your help. If you have already donated, we sincerely thank you. We're not salespeople, but we depend on donations averaging $14.76 and fewer than 1% of readers give. If you donate just $5.00, the price of your coffee, Catholic Online School could keep thriving. Thank you. Help Now >

Women religious play vital role in Amazon, sister says

Free World Class Education
FREE Catholic Classes

By Hannah Brockhaus
10/8/2019 (5 days ago)
Catholic Online (

A religious sister from Colombia taking part in the Amazon synod said Monday her congregation and other women's religious congregations play a big role in the life of the Catholic Church in the Amazon.

Briefing about Amazon synod at Holy See Press Sister Alba Teresa Cediel

Briefing about Amazon synod at Holy See Press Sister Alba Teresa Cediel


By Hannah Brockhaus
Catholic Online (
10/8/2019 (5 days ago)

Published in Politics & Policy


Vatican City, (CNA) - A religious sister from Colombia taking part in the Amazon synod said Monday her congregation and other women's religious congregations play a big role in the life of the Catholic Church in the Amazon.

"The presence of women in the Amazon is very great and very fertile. I do think we are very important as women, as far as our presence in the Amazonian forest," Sr. Alba Teresa Cediel Castillo of the Missionary Sisters of Mary Immaculate and Saint Catherine of Siena told journalists at a press briefing Oct. 7.

She said that because there are so few priests and bishops in the Amazon, they have to spend a lot of time moving around from place to place to minister to the different communities, but women religious are able to be a more stable presence, contributing to things such as education, healthcare, and development projects.

"What do we do? Well, everything that a woman can do," Cediel said, explaining that when priests are not available, sisters from her congregation will perform baptisms. She also said that though they are not able to hear sacramental confessions and give absolution, the sisters do their best to "listen to the hearts" of the people they serve. "We accompany [people] when priests cannot be there," she said.

Cediel also mentioned overseeing marriages, though she did not clarify exactly what she meant by that. According to Latin rite canon law, a couple may validly and licitly exchange consent before other witnesses when there is no possibility, and will not be for a very long time, of exchanging consent before a priest or deacon.

The sister said her congregation and others in the Amazon were very involved in the pre-synodal process and in giving feedback for the creation of the working document, or instrumentum laboris.

Since Pope Francis announced the Amazon synod in 2017, she said they "started working at all levels" to listen to the indigenous people in the communities they serve and to relay this information to the Synod of Bishops.

She said she has high expectations and "infinite hope" for the Amazon synod. "We are a part of this process. Where we work, we have already had significant experiences working with these people and their life environment."

Contributing to the instrumentum laboris "was an experience that enriched us," she said.

Cediel noted the richness of the Amazon, saying before it was a "hidden garden," but now it is under everyone's eyes. She lamented that people now pay attention to the Amazon not to see the people who live there, but "to understand how they can grab all this richness."


'Help Give every Student and Teacher FREE resources for a world-class Moral Catholic Education'

Copyright 2019 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK


More Politics & Policy

Tax churches that oppose gay marriage, Democratic candidate says Watch

Image of

A Democratic candidate for president has said religious institutions should be stripped of their tax-exempt status if they oppose same-sex ... continue reading

Legal group warns about sex-selective abortion on Day of the Girl Child Watch

Image of Indian girl

On the International Day of the Girl Child, a legal advocacy group in India is drawing attention to the problem of sex-selective abortion ... continue reading

Brooklyn's Bishop DiMarzio begins visitation of scandal-hit Buffalo diocese Watch

Image of Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio of Brooklyn

Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio of Brooklyn has begun his apostolic visitation of the scandal-hit Diocese of Buffalo. Buffalo, N.Y., (CNA) - ... continue reading

Little Sisters of the Poor appeal to the Supreme Court, again Watch

Image of Little Sisters of the Poor

The Little Sisters of the Poor have filed a petition requesting that the Supreme Court affirm the religious exemption protecting them from ... continue reading

Pope accepts resignation of NY auxiliary under investigation for abuse Watch

Image of Bishop John Jenik

Pope Francis accepted Thursday the resignation of Bishop John Jenik as an auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of New York and appointed two ... continue reading

Never Miss any Updates!

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers.

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2019 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2019 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.

Catholic Online is a Project of Your Catholic Voice Foundation, a Not-for-Profit Corporation. Your Catholic Voice Foundation has been granted a recognition of tax exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Federal Tax Identification Number: 81-0596847. Your gift is tax-deductible as allowed by law.