Mariángel Marco Teja describes the leading role of women in the Amazonian Church

By Mariángel Marco Teja

Women play a leading role in Pan-Amazonia, cultivating and transmitting identity, knowledge and exercising leadership. Seventy percent of the social and missionary work in the territory is carried out by women.

Pan-Amazonia includes areas of nine countries and covers a third of South America. The Amazon rainforest is of vital importance for the planet.

Within the framework of preparing for the Synod of Bishops on the Amazon, “New Paths for the Church and an Integral Ecology,” the first meeting of what would become Núcleo Mujer REPAM took place.

The Pan-Amazonian Ecclesial Network, or REPAM, was born in 2014 as an initiative of the bishops to express and support the work of the Catholic Church in the Amazon to promote human rights. It is organized according to different areas of work and reflection groups. Núcleo Mujer is one of them.

Núcleo Mujer is made up of more than 50 women from six countries: Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia and Brazil. They work in five commissions: theology and spirituality, formation, violence, post-COVID, and the diaconate.

The women of Núcleo Mujer have welcomed Pope Francis’ invitation to work creatively. Their objective: “Feeling ourselves heirs of our ancestors, we want to honor their lives and their words and embody the feminine side of our indigenous, ribereños, quilombolos, Afro-descendants, rural and urban peoples. Together as women, we work in order to create a collective wellbeing, genuinely connected to the sacredness of Creation, strengthening the mission of women in the Amazonian territory, both in society and in the Church, promoting advocacy for the prevention of violence and the guarantee of rights, and contributing to an integral well-being paradigm shift.”

Núcleo Mujer is delighted to build bridges with Discerning Deacons and to serve as a gateway to make known the various works of service that women perform in the Church in the Amazon region.

Mariángel Marco Teja is a member of Núcleo Mujer.

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“[I hope the Church ordains women to the diaconate] to bring a wider witness and expression of God’s life, love, and presence to the people of God. Women’s voices and leadership will heal, encourage and empower the lives of men, women, and children. It will call forth a new understanding of church vocation and enrich Catholic family life.”
Deedee Van Dyke
Catholic Chaplain, Joliet, IL
“The first Apostle was a woman, Mary Magdalena. She continues to remain a tower of strength for women in ministry today. If more women were ordained to the diaconate in the Roman Catholic Church, I believe we would have more meaningful and spiritually enriching homilies, and our liturgies would embrace and welcome all to the Eucharistic table.”
Sonja Grace
“If I was ordained as a deacon, it would not be a means to an end, but rather it would be a continual invitation to a deeper and broader journey with Christ. Deacons are asked to become outwardly more visible as hands in service to the Church. To respond to such a vocation would be a treasure, a deepening of my inner faith life enriched by the outward experiences of ministry and service. Both the inner and outer journey become a longing to seek and know the Christ we are called to serve.”   
Nina Laubach
Student, MDiv program at Princeton Theological Seminary

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