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Br. Joao Gutemberg participates in the Synod of Bishops on the Amazon

02/10/2019: Brazil

Br. Joao Gutemberg, from the Brazil Sul-Amazonia Province, is one of 55 observers invited to participate in the Synod of Bishops for the Pan-Amazon Region, which takes place in the Vatican, from October 6 to 27. We reproduce here his thoughts and expectations.

“The invitation to participate in the Synod for the Amazon was based on my ministry as "organizer of activities and initiatives linked to Integral Ecology for the Ecclesiastical Network of Pan-Amazonia (REPAM)". Being chosen gives me a feeling of joy and affirms the mission we have taken up in recent years.

“This mission began when, at the creation of the Marist Province Brazil Sul-Amazonia in 2015, the Brother Provincial and his Council appointed me to collaborate in the coordination of the Formation and Methods of Pastoral Accompaniment bureau of REPAM. The role came at the invitation of REPAM’s Executive Committee. Our service incorporates the 9 countries of the Amazon where the Church is present. We seek to connect experiences or propose initiatives using methodologies, content and commitments to Integral Ecology from an Amazonian perspective.

“So that this mission might be effective, we have involved and connected with young people, formation institutions, religious congregations, roving teams, schools, local churches, and related organizations attuned to their surrounding societies.

“From the beginning of this beautiful ministry, I have never been alone. I have the daily support of our Marist community in Manaus, the Congregation and various others, enthusiastic to develop this initiative. So, I need to stress that this mission is a joint effort, a work of many. And the more it positively influences people, inside and outside the Amazon, the more we will deepen our vision and commitment to socio-environmental causes, in tune with a dynamic which reflects the kingdom of life!

“Faithful to this idea of working as one among many, I will participate in the Synod for the Amazon as a representative of the many people who have identified with and committed to this good work: Marists, youth, religious, laity, itinerants, indigenous, riversiders, pastoral leaders in urban contexts, priests and bishops: good shepherds from the Amazonian people who will come and engage with a special Synod convened by Brother Pope Francis on our much loved and coveted Amazon.

“I strongly hope that the Synod for the Amazon, by its meticulous preparation, operation and subsequent process of discernment supported by a constant spirit of goodwill, leads to greater effectiveness in the evangelization of peoples and in the care of life in our Common Home; and this, in the Amazon and beyond it. We are all connected to the gospel of creation.

“May Mary, the mother who took care of Jesus, help us to contemplate this with wisdom (cf. Laudato Si, 241)”.


Brother João Gutemberg Mariano Coelho Sampaio

He was born in Cruzeiro de Sul, in the state of Acre, in the Amazonian interior, the border region between Brazil, Peru and Bolivia. He studied there and was accompanied in his vocation and formation by the Marist missionaries who arrived in the area in 1968 and by other local congregations. He continued his studies in southern Brazil and Europe. In his apostolic mission, he has worked almost always in the Amazon context: education, youth ministry and formation.

At present he is a member of and contributes to the Ecclesial Network Panamazónica - REPAM, in the coordination of the bureau of Formation and methods of pastoral accompaniment in the perspective of Integral Ecology, which connects the 9 Amazonian countries. He is also a member of the Committee on Consecrated Life for the Amazon of the Latin American and Caribbean Confederation of Religious, CLAR.

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