On June 08, 2021, Father Zezinho SCJ, one of the greatest communicators of the Catholic Church in Brazil, will complete 80 years of age.
A livestream event has been organized to celebrate this milestone. The show will delight the audience with various songs and testimonies about the life and work of our birthday celebrant. This event will be broadcast from 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm on Father Zezinho’s YouTube channel (170,000 subscribers), on Evangelizar TV channel, and on several radio stations.
Fr. Zezinho SCJ himself will be personally present at the virtual event, preaching at Mass and talking with Renato Teixeira, a famous artist of the Brazilian popular music. Fr. Zezinho SCJ will receive hundreds of guests who will connect through ZOOM technology and appear on the screen in small windows. On the occasion, Fr. Zezinho SCJ Online Memorial will be launched, making the scope of his work available for consultation in the internet. The event organizers are also promising to launch many other surprises, such as the EDITORA SCJ, a new Dehonian printing press which will be officially presented. There will be four hours of testimonies and music, with much of “challenging peace”, catechesis and hope. The repertoire will include the main songs of Fr. Zezinho’s career, such as “A Certain Galilean”, “Mary of Nazareth”, and “Prayer for the Family”.
More information at: https://conventinho.com.br
José Fernandes de Oliveira, better known as Father Zezinho SCJ, was born on May 8, 1941, in Machado, Minas Gerais. He is the sixth child of Fernando and Valdevina. When he was only two years old, his family moved to Taubaté, São Paulo, more precisely to Vila São Geraldo, where they became part of the Sacred Heart Parish community, next to what is currently called Conventinho, the house of the SCJ fathers. This was the environment where his vocation blossomed. At the age of eleven, in 1953, he entered the Minor Seminary in Lavras, Minas Gerais. Then, he continued his studies for six years in the Seminary of Corupá, in Santa Catarina, where he was able to develop many of his natural gifts, especially poetry. In the Southern town of Jaraguá do Sul, he made his novitiate and professed his first religious vows on February 2, 1961. The study of philosophy took place in Brusque (1961-1962), followed by theology in Hales Corners, Milwaukee, USA (1963-1966), during the period of the Second Vatican Council. Also, in the United States he was ordained to the priesthood on September 21, 1966, and then assigned to his first pastoral ministry at the São Judas Shrine, in São Paulo, beginning in 1967. This was like his “pastoral laboratory”, especially in youth and vocation ministries. Very soon he stood out in the communication field using the most diverse means of evangelization. His fame spread quickly and in 1969 he recorded one of his homilies on Long Play disc: “O Cristo Inconstante” (The Inconstant Christ). That same year, he recorded his first compact disc with the Pauline Sisters: “Canção da Amizade” (Song of Friendship). And then it would be the publishing of his first book, very significant at the time: “Alicerce para um Mundo Novo” (Foundation for a New World, 1970). He would never stop. There were hundreds of books and thousands of songs that changed the lives of so many people. His evangelizing concerts attracted increasingly larger crowds. In those days, he was an enthusiastic promoter of the Conference of the Latin American Bishops (CELAM) in Medellin (1968) and Puebla (1979), singing in prose and verse the “preferential option for the poor”. In 1980 he was transferred to the Conventinho community in Taubaté to teach communication at the Theological Institute which became the current Dehoniana College. He has formed many generations of priests and bishops, and continued his intense work of evangelization through the media, radio, TV and, later, the Internet. Fr. Zezinho SCJ promoted several musical groups. In 2012, he suffered a stroke, which took him off the road and robbed him of his ability to sing. Nevertheless, he didn’t stop. He found a thousand ways to reinvent himself. In 2016 he was granted the title of Doctor Honoris Causa from the Pontifical Catholic University of Paraná (PUCPR), and again in 2019 from the Salesian University (UniSalesiano). Now in his 80s, he remains still full of dreams, plans, and projects. Once someone asked him how he did not get discouraged when facing so many difficulties. He answered: “The river always finds its way to the sea”. Fr. Zezinho SCJ is acknowledged as one of the greatest communicators and catechists of the Catholic Church in Brazil.