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Sister Patty: Bringing the Periphery to the Center

This is the first in a series of Stories of Hope for the Easter Season prepared by the Justice, Peace, and Integrity of Creation committee of the Dominican Sisters of Springfield (JPIC). Every story demonstrates a success in meeting one or more of the United Nations' Sustainable Development  Goals (SDGs) and provides a glimpse into the world that is possible.

Watch for a new story each week throughout the Easter Season. Read all the stories as they appear here.


Sister Patty is a religious sister from an indigenous community in the Amazonian region of Peru and ministers there.  As was true for many other lay persons, she was not invited to participate in the Amazon Synod meetings in Rome. Nevertheless, she and other lay leaders from the nine countries forming the Pan-Amazonian region took the initiative to organize a group called Casa Común (Common House).

Casa Común: Our Common Home

This group led a series of prayers and rituals, and brought elements from their regions to Rome during the synod.  All the images seen during the Way of the Cross, the symbols that were placed in Saint Peter’s Basilica, the planting of a tree on the feast of St. Francis of Assisi, the blessing of the bishops each morning before they gathered for the Synod, all were seen by the world through the media.

These activities brought to the synod the spirit of the people of these Amazonian regions. In doing so, they allowed the whole world to see and hear the “rostros concretos” of the marginalized of our world. They brought the periphery to the center!

About the photo: Springfield Dominican Sister Marcelline Koch traveled to Rome in October 2019 to attend the international gathering of Dominican regional justice promoters. While there, she was able to participate in some of the Amazon Synod events held around the city. Santa Maria Traspontina Church near the Vatican hosted several of these events, including this display of symbols important to the indigenous cultures of the Amazon.

Learn from the Springfield Dominican Associates in Peru who contributed to the synod through Casa Común.

Read the Synod Report

At the Vatican Website

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