Anna in Rome - Part 5

In this fifth part Anna Teresa Peter Amandus shares her experiences during the third week of the Synod.

Nov 01, 2023

1.    What are my significant moments? 

a) It was the best time of my life! Rapporteur In my previous sharing, I shared that I was voted to be the Rapporteur for my group. This is my third group for the second module of the Synod. I was a bit surprised as I was the only woman in that group.I never ever have thought I would be sitting in a table with two cardinals, seven bishops and two priests. My task was to report the outcome of our Conversation in the Spirit to the bigger group and assist the secretary to ensure that we captured everyone’s voices. By the way, the secretary of my group was a cardinal from America, and it was indeed a privilege to have worked side by side with him. Once we finalised our short report, I read it and read it again and againto ensure that I was familiar with the content of the report and to ensure I did not exceed the three minutes reporting.

When it is my turn to report,odoi … I was nervous! My hands were cold and my heart beat like a rock song. But my group members supported and encouraged me. I started off like this “Ola Papa Fransiskus and to all my lovely friends. Our table consists of two cardinals, sevenbishops, two priests and a flower.” When I said a ‘flower’ I made a gesture putting my two hands at both side of my cheeks and smiled. The silent hall becomes alive with laugher. And that made me feel confident and continued to report until the end. I exceeded the three minutes though, but it was wonderful.

Soon after that, some people recognised me and called me ‘flower’. It was a spontaneous gesture, and I am glad I did what I did.

b) Luncheon and Sharing for all Synod Women – Lay, Consecrated and Religious The International Union of Superiors General (UISG) invited all the women participating at the synod for luncheon and sharing at their residence. It was very nice catching up with oneanother, sharing and giving encouragement to each other. I must say that it was a vey enriching experience to finally meet with all the great women who serve the Church with their gifts and talents. 

c) Saying ‘Hi’ to the Malaysia Ambassador to the Holy See As I was heading back to St Paul VI Hall, we came across a building with the Malaysian flag. I was wondering what place it is. So, we went near the building, and it happened to be the office of the Malaysia Ambassador to the Holy See. Without much thought, I went up and got the chance to meet the Ambassador, Hendy Assan. It was not a planned visit, the time was so limited but we managed to sit and share. 


d) Vatican Museum The Vatican Museum was enormous and packed with visitors. If you stay in Rome for a month like me, there are always places of arts and history that will blow your mind. I do not think that one day is enough. I need at least two or more days. The members of the Synod had the opportunity to go and visit the museum, but we only had two hours. In that short period of time, the guide only took us to the important part of the Museum, and we were walking non-stop.

We ended our Vatican Museum tour at Sistine Chapel. It took my breath away. All the ceilings and walls were filled with stories from the Bible.Though wewere not allowed to take pictures inside the chapel,  I will cherish thisvisit in my heart.

The Sistine Chapel; Latin: SacellumSixtinum; Italian: Cappella Sistina is a chapel in the Apostolic Palace, the pope's official residence in Vatican City. Originally known as the Cappella Magna (Great Chapel), the chapel takes its name from Pope Sixtus IV, who had it built between 1473 and 1481. Since then, the chapel has served as a place of both religious and functionary papal activity. Today, it is the site of the papal conclave, the process by which a new pope is selected. The fame of the Sistine Chapel lies mainly in the frescoes that decorate the interior, most particularly the Sistine Chapel ceiling and The Last Judgment, both by Michelangelo.Wikipedia

e) Prayer for the Migrants with Pope I was so touched during this prayer for the migrants all over the world together with Pope Francis. St Peter’s Square was closed for public so that the Synod members and Pope Francis could have the special prayer in front of the “Angels Unawares” statue. The statues speak a thousand words about every migrant.  

f) Out to “Porta Portese” This market is only open on Sundays. O dear, if you are not careful, your wallet will be emptied in just seconds. This market offers cheap prices for almost everything. The place was so full of people. As I entered the market, I reminded myself to think and discern hard before buying anything. I am so glad I did it. I just bought two things, a shoe, because the shoe that I used to wear for Synod was damaged. And the second item is perfume. I bought it because mine was almost finished. However, I forgot to take the perfume back with me and there goes my six euros gone just like that.

2. What God’s invitation for me?
The more I immersed myself in this Synod, the more I felt like Samuel in the book of Samuel. God keeps ‘knocking on the door of my heart.’ I’m not sure just yet what God wants me to do. God’s invitation for me for the coming week is to continue trusting in the Him and the process. I hope at the end of the Synod I can clearly ‘hear’ God’s voice and be bold enough to answer “Here I am you called me. Speak Lord, your Servant is listening.”1 Samuel 3:1-10.

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