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Regional Leader: Sr. Therese Odunukwe
E-Mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mobile and whatsapp: 005575 9 91625214.
Holy Rosary Sisters came to Brazil in 1966 in response to the call of Pope Paul VI after the Second Vatican Council. We live and work in the diocese of Feira Santana in Bahia, in the diocese of Maraba in Para, and in Sao Paulo capital and interior. All live closely with the people, being present and walking with the marginalised and excluded in a variety of ways, – basic Christian Communities, working with the homeless, with marginalised women, prison ministry, youth ministry, and Care for the Earth. Brazil, capital Brasilia, is the world’s seventh largest economy, with a population of almost 200 million people. It is a country of great diversity both of landscape and culture, stretching from the Amazon in the north to Uruguay in the south. The language is Portuguese, but several other languages are spoken. Brazil has been sorely affected by Covid 19.
Looking at the great inequality in society and the suffering of the poor, the homeless, the landless and prisoners, the Catholic Church calls us:
“Evangelise, with Jesus Christ and the strength of the Holy Spirit … nourished by the Word of God and the Eucharist, guided by the preferential option for the poor, so that all may have life and have it to the full.” (Pastoral orientation for evangelisation of the Church in Brazil)
The Sitio in Sao Paulo
Sister Ann Griffin tells about a special day for the people of the Favella
One of the Spiritans has a small patch of land on the city outskirts called a Sitio (small garden, green area). It has a lovely pond, trees, small vegetable garden, flowers, walking areas, a chapel, a centre for meetings, kitchen and refectory. We have built a compost unit and recycled organic waste, the soil from which is used for growing veggies. He invited me to be involved in doing Formation on Care for the Earth in the sitio.
In practice it involves organizing the families in the Favela (or concrete jungle) to visit the green area. It is very educational and the people just love the day trips to the Sitio.
The first part of the morning is spent walking about and connecting with nature, smelling the flowers, touching the trees and hearing the birds. The reconnection with nature is then followed with formation on Laudato Si, seeing the reality and what small steps we can take to change our relationship with the environment. After lunch we walk through the area, visiting the compost unit, organic soil and vegetable garden.
The day concludes with a liturgy where all receive a head of lettuce or cabbage. In evaluation the people said they loved the open space, it helped them remember their childhood and make contact with nature. They had experienced a lot of suffering and pain in their families and communities due to Covid: fear, unemployment, sickness and death. This was their first outing since Covid and they said it was a mental health day.
Thank God the day had gone very well. I had put a massive amount of time and work into the preparation. The intention is to plan a few more similar events in the New Year. Again, all will depend on the virus.
Sister Augustina Obi and Sister Helen Ohiemi work with vulnerable women in Feira De Santana-Bahia, Brazil.
Espacio viva Mulher: The Women’s Space, is a Social Pastoral Ministry with an ecumenical bias, a meeting place for people and community.
Our commitment is to the most impoverished people: we work with women in situations of social vulnerability. Our work is moved by faith and in the name of the Gospel. Our option is for life and against death. This is our spirituality and mysticism, based on perseverance and hope, in the constant search for liberation. Our commitment is to solidarity, to be a prophetic and evangelical presence.
We work with dedicated helpers and volunteers, “pedagogues” who help the women with their education, or who engage in counselling, consolation and rescuing.
This year we celebrate Ten Years of Espacio Viva Mulher and we thank God for the many blessings He pours out on us all.
A new book on Interculturality and the Religious life has just been written by Sr Chinyeaka C Ezeani, published by Pauline Publications Africa.
“Taking seriously the prayer of Jesus that all may be one (John 17:21), Sister Chinyeaka tries in this book to articulate clearly the challenges as well as the beauty of living as people from different cultures in religious life. The underlying assumption in her work is that it is possible and necessary to appreciate the beauty that each culture brings. This requires continuous to conversion to the heart of Christ, and prayerful attentiveness to biases and complexes that tend to support mischaracterization of other cultures. ” (From the Foreward)