Brazil

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Fifty years of missionary presence in Brazil!

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This year, 2016, the Missionary Sisters of the Holy Rosary are celebrating the Golden Jubilee of their arrival in Brazil. It is indeed an occasion to rejoice and praise God.

“Living signs of the Second Vatican Council working in the reality of the People of God.” These words were spoken by Fr Valdir Jaoa Silveira at the celebration of Mass in honour of the Jubilee. “We now have Pope Francisco who is begging the church to go out to the peripheries to meet God’s people. You Holy Rosary Sisters have been doing this for the past 50 years.” 

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Pictures show the procession into the church for the Jubilee Mass, and Sisters Trish Dervan, Martha McDermot and Aine Garvey, the first Holy Rosary Sisters who arrived to begin the mission in Brazi lin 1966.
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The Region of Brazil

Regional Leader: Ir Ann Griffin, Caixa Postal, 115, Centro Cananeiai, 11.990-000 Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Phone: 0055 13 3851 1245 Mobile: 0055 13 9733 2185
Email: amgrif@gmail.com
Vocation Directress: Sister Augustina Obi.
Phone: 00 55 75 919 69368
Email: sisobi@yahoo.com

 

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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, local health councils, and more.

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A testimony from Dom Jose Luiz Bertanha, Bishop of Registro Dioceseto Sister Ann Griffin.

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Above Sisters Ann and Bridget (OP) with a statue of Nossa Senhora Aparacida, national patroness of Brazil, visiting parishes. And on the right, braving the seas to visit the islands.
“For the past 10 years we had the presence of the Missionary Sisters of the Holy Rosary – AnnGriffin. God’s blessings in the life and history of Sister Ann – years lived in communion with the Church of Registro, always in fraternal union, walking together, praying together, working together. Sister knew how to make ties of friendship and in that way build up the Kingdom of God. These were years lived among the people, in the midst of the poor, first in Barra do Turvo and then Cananeia – humble families, downtrodden and excluded who were always welcomed by Ann. They, Sr Bridget OP and Sr Ann mshr, an inter-congregational community, rented a house in the midst of the people, unpaved roads, walking in mud and living detached from the goods of this world, thus being one with the people with whom they lived and worked.

In Pastoral work Ann trained leaders, building up the Kingdom of God with children, youth groups and women. But her special gift was with the youth, always with a smile on her face she knew how to reach out to them. For a time she was responsible for Youth Pastoral Work at Diocesan level – a time of joy and caring, and how the young people loved their Sr. Ann.

In Barra de Turvo Sisters Ann and Bridget worked for the Community of Our Lady of Hope. They drew up a project and with donations and willing helpers the parish soon had a Community Centre which made a big difference to their lives, helping them on the path of faith and Christian living.

In Cananeia the Sisters had to adapt to a seaside town – learning a different type of “fishing”, always with and for the people, in tune with the Parish, first with Padre Victor, a Spanish priest and then Padre Alessandro, a young priest from the Diocese. They faced the reality, with no fear of waves or dangers from the sea, always working and fighting for justice for the poor and downtrodden.

Thank you Sr. Ann. Our Diocese, together with Barra do Turvo and Cananeia thank you. Your witness as a Missionary, a woman of generosity, feet planted firmly on this land – a part of your life’s history given to this people whom God loves, the poorest of the poor.

We thank your Congregation, the Missionary Sisters of the Holy Rosary for the timeSr. Annstayed with us.Her testimony of a selfless woman, one consecrated to Jesus Christwho did everything to build the Kingdom of God, in a life given to the poor. We are sending a very precious person from Cananeia and the Diocese of Registro to another world and another mission field. May God fill with blessings your new missionary work. “

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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.

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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)

Every year there is a National Ecumenical Campaign launched by the National Conference of Bishops for Brazil. This year, the theme is Fraternity: church and society, based on the gospel of Mark, 10.45: “I came to serve, not to be served.” The aim of the campaign is to deepen the spirit of the gospel, dialogue and co-operation between church and society, in the spirit of Vatican II, as a service to the Brazilian people for the building up of the kingdom of God.

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Holy Rosary Sisters in Brazil

“The joy of the gospel fills the hearts and lives of all those who encounter Jesus. A joy every new. A joy that is shared.” Pope Francis.

Our Ministries

In the State of Para

In Eldorado de Carajas we continue the ministry to the poor and excluded in rural and urban areas. This includes working with the Municipal Health Council, trying to guarantee basic services for all, especially the poor who have no alternatives. We work with the diocesan Pastoral and Social council in outreach to children and youth.

In the State of Bahia:
The Social Center Monsenhor Jesse provides support for the homeless in the Archdiocese of Feira de Santana and beyond in terms of food, clothing, personal hygiene, return home, medical assistance and accompaniment to local health services, access to government housing programs, start-up kits for self-employment such as tools, wheelbarrows etc., and the general all round support that comes from being in a welcoming, nourishing, caring environment, which for many is their only “family.”
The Center relies on a very dedicated group of lay volunteers.
About 150 homeless people come daily to the center, which operates out of a diocesan building ceded for the ministry to the street people.

 
 
 

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Sister Mary Sinor, above, with people who come to the Centre where they enjoy their meal, and sometimes have an impromptu dance outside afterwards.

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In the State of Sao Paulo …

Sister Margaret Gaffney, prison ministry

Sister Margaret Gaffney with prison ministry committee.

Planning: the need to lobby for eradication of tuberculosis in prisons.

Planning: the need to lobby for eradication of tuberculosis in prisons.

Meeting of the work group for the eradication of T.B.especially for prisoners and vulnerable people. This group is planning how to lobby to get laws passed at state level, to provide food for T.B. sufferers and free transport to clinics for medication. Sister Margaret and co-worker Edina represent the Pastoral Prison Ministry Team at this meeting. Prisoners are particularly vulnerable because of gross overcrowding.

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Religious Profession of Elitania Moraes Paranhas
“Lord, you are my life, other Gods I have not; You are the way and the truth: I walk according to your word as long as you desire.”

Elitania Moraes Paranhas was born in Maraba, in the State of Parana, Brazil. These were the opening words at her Final Profession Ceremony, which took place on March 21st, 2015, in her home parish of the Sacred Heart where she was first baptized. It was a day of great joy and gratitude to God.
The ceremony was presided over by the local Bishop, Dom Vital. Present were the Holy Rosary Sisters from the Brazil Region, her proud parents, family, friends and people from the parish, not least her catechist who prepared her for the sacraments of Confession, Holy Communion and Confirmation.

After a three-year discernment period Elitania entered the Missionary Sisters of the Holy Rosary in 2002. On completion of her first profession and studies, she was assigned to South Africa. In 2012 she was assigned to her present mission in Kenya, where she lives in Thika, outside Nairobi. Here she volunteers with an NGO which accompanies adolescents and youth. (see picture bottom right)

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Silver Jubilee of Sister Mary Sinor Agbavabor

Sister Mary Sinor Agbavabor renews her commitment to God as she celebrates 25 years of religious profession. The ceremony took place in the Cathedral in Feira de Santana, Bahia, on October 7th, Feast of the Holy Rosary. Dom Itamar presided; the Cathedral was full of friends and well-wishers, including her own Holy Rosary Sisters. Many friends also camefrom the Centro Monsenhor Jesse, founded by her for the homeless.

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