Vatican City, Oct 7, 2019 / 09:31 am
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.