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’m not sure I’m really called to be a deacon, but even the chance to have a platform in front of a parish during mass would be a revelation for folks, especially people who experience gender discrimination. The Church would start to live out a truer version of universality.”
Katie Laskey
Contemplative Leaders in Action -  DC Cohort 2021-23 
“Women have been the caregivers and great support of most churches. Why? Because we deal with the personhood of the ordinary. The everyday matters of living. To me, that is what a deacon is. She extends the Church to the common community: visiting the sick and dying, helping parents with family problems, attending as a lector at Mass, burying the dead, and comforting families.” 
Kathleen Carlton Johnson
Hospice Chaplain
“It is time for our Church to acknowledge the role of countless women serving the people of God in positions of ministry and leadership.”
Deacon Guillermo "Memo" Rodriguez
Facilitator of Diaconate Formation for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles

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