The Diocese of Georgetown began preparations for the Pan-Amazonian Synod of Bishops (scheduled for October 2019) with a meeting led by Bishop Francis Alleyne OSB to discuss ways in which the Church in Guyana can embark on a diocese-wide reflection for the synod.
Last year, Pope Francis announced that he would be holding a special assembly of bishops from South American’s Pan-Amazon region: Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Peru, Venezuela and Suriname.
The main purpose of this gathering, the pope said, will be to identify new ways for the evangelisation of all of the peoples in all the Pan-Amazon regions, paying particular attention to indigenous people and the crisis of the Amazonian rainforest.
Among those participating in the June meeting at Bishop’s House were members of the clergy and religious, the Vocations Committee, the youth and catechetical departments, the Stewardship and Finance councils, the Justice and Peace and Family and Life Commissions, the Pontifical Mission Societies, Catholic Communications and the Laudato Si’ Guyana group.
A July 6 issue of Catholic Standard report said that salient points of the preparatory document for the synod released by the Vatican, Amazonia: new paths for the Church and for an Integral Ecology were discussed, as well as many good ideas about how to implement the preparations for the synod.
The diocesan weekly said that the Vatican has requested that 45 pre-synodal assemblies be held across the nine countries that comprise the Pan-Amazon region, so that there can be the widest possible consultation before the synod itself convenes.
“We in Guyana have been asked to hold one of these assemblies and it was agreed to aim at a date towards the end of October or the beginning of November this year. The aim of this pre-synodal assembly will be to bring together representatives from across the diocese to reflect on the preparatory document and its questionnaire and submit an official response in the name of the Church in Guyana.”
The article mentioned that to give everyone in the diocese the opportunity to be involved in the process, the pre-synodal assembly will be preceded by three levels of gathering. Beginning at the end of July and continuing through the month of August, each community will participate in a community gathering followed by 15 cluster gatherings.
The cluster gatherings will serve to get a sense of the issues and concerns of the people in the cluster and select representatives for the one-day regional gatherings to be held in Georgetown, North West and Rupununi/Pakaraimas.
Each regional gathering will reflect on the preparatory document from its own perspective and select representatives to attend the pre-synodal assembly.