[Province of Amazonia – Brazil] I would like to share with you my experience during my Pastoral Visit to the Sisters who work in the Rio Gelado settlement, one of the largest in Latin America. The Community is located 160 Km from Novo Repartimento City, in the state of Pará, more precisely in the Transamazônica region. The only access is a dusty dirt road and bridges in disrepair. Our Sisters work there serving the good people of that region, distributed in eight towns and in communities lying within the forest. The mission of the Sisters is pastoral animation: formation of leadership and catechists, visiting families and working mainly in popular health through the “Bioenergy” method.
Faced with the cry of the poor, and after many comings and goings, the Sisters went to live in Vitória da Conquista village. The region was marked by much violence, banditry, diseases like malaria and worms, inequality in land distribution, neglect by the political authorities, abandonment etc. Today, the situation is much better thanks to the presence of the Catholic Church in the area through the Sisters. One resident said: “The Sisters are angels sent from God to engender peace.” When the Community was installed there, residents wrote to Sister Evelyne Franc, Superioress General, and to the General Council thanking them for authorizing the community in that region.
I can say, after this visit, how rewarding it is to see that the charism of St. Vincent and St. Louise stays very current, through the presence of these Sisters among the poor. Yes, there is the true place of the Daughters of Charity. For me as Provincial Director, these days of Pastoral Visit have been days of many blessings from God to make me love the Company even more and strengthen my work with the Sisters of the Province of Amazonia. I am very grateful to God and to the Congregation of the Mission to be doing this work with the Daughters of Charity
Father Raimundo Nonato Cândido, CM
Provincial Director of the Province of Amazonia