[Brazil – Province of Amazonia] For nearly eight years the situation lived by the poor of the Rio Gelado settlement project, 185 km from the city of Novo Repartimento, in the state of Pará, Brazil, posed a question to the Daughters of Charity. Several evangelical denominations were spread out there and endemic diseases afflict and kill the people.
In 2003, considering huge challenges, needs and the neglect by the government for this big area, the Sisters decided, after having listened to the requests of the people and with the support of the superiors, to travel to work with the people in this area, going for 15 days at a time.
In May, 2004 the Sisters arrived in Vitória da Conquista to spend their first 15 days. The comings and goings of the Sisters from Novo Repartimento were momentous. They took on the new experience with joy and missionary zeal, driven by the cry of the poor and the call to “go beyond what is already being done” (Inter Assembly Document).
Fulfilling the will of God
Considering the appeals of the poor and the strong desire of the Sisters to improve the quality of service to them, the Provincial Council made the decision to create a new community in this area.
On September 6th, 2012 a group of Sisters, Postulants and young people traveled to attend to the foundation of this new Community. They arrived at the city of Tucuruí, in the state of Pará, in the afternoon. Very early the next day they left for Novo Repartimento where they were welcomed by local people who offered a delicious breakfast. Then they went to the Rio Gelado Settlement Project. The trip took seven hours, but everybody was very enthusiastic, praying and singing. Upon arriving at the village Vitória da Conquista, they met a joyful welcome with songs and a small musical band. The Sisters were taken to the chapel where they sang the Magnificat and thanked God for the good trip. The next day, after Morning Prayer, the Provincial Director blessed the house with the Sisters. In the late afternoon, the people gathered together in front of the Sisters’ house where a beautiful procession was organized towards the church of Our Lady of Aparecida, built by them, where there was the Mass of the Foundation of the Missionary Community, Sister Maria José Lima Campos.
The three Sisters chosen for this new Community are: Sister Esmeralda Antônia Pinheiro Corrêa, Sister Vitória Lima de Souza and Sister Maria Nelzete Teixeira de Oliveira.
It is the love of God that presses us to respond to “urgent calls”!
Sister Maria Cristina Cardoso da Silva, DC
Visitatrix of the Province of Amazonia