09 March 2023
09 Mar 2023

Hearts full of hope and encouragement

Fr. Carlos and Fr. Levi visited the BRE Province, and celebrated the 130 years of Dehonian presence in Brazil and participated in the Provincial Assembly.

by  Ramon Fernandes de Lima Bertoldo, scj

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The year 2023 has been a remarkable one for the Dehonians in the Brazil Recife Province. Festivities celebrating of 130 years of ministry in Brazil, the visit of the Superior General, young men who made perpetual vows and who will be ordained, as well as the Provincial Assembly demonstrate the great milestones that the Province has been having throughout this year.

On February 3, 1893, the Dehonian mission began in Brazil with the intention of giving sacramental ministry and evangelization assistance in the workers in the factory in Camaragibe. By giving sacramental ministry and evangelization to  the workers and their families the Dehonians contemplated a new mission Horizon that no priest thought of for the religious of the Congregation. And so it happened. We started in the factory village and spread throughout the Northeast and consequently to other parts of Brazil. That is why the festivities to commemorate 130 years took place in three parishes that mark our presence here in Northeast Brazil. The first day of the celebration took place in the parish of Our Lady of Fatima, in Paratibe, in the city of Paulista. It is in the territory of this parish that we have a parochial school. The second day took place in the Sacred Heart of Jesus parish, in Vila da Fábrica, in Camaragibe. This is where our ministry first began. On this day we had a conference with many religious and lay people, and also a cultural presentation with the Indian confreres who recently arrived at the mission. The third and final day of the celebration took place in the Parish of Our Lady of the Rosary in Recife. That is where the Provincial House is located. On that same day we had the inauguration of the BRE memorial and right after the Mass we had a musical presentation with the confrere Father Joãozinho. “To remember by telling and singing the story of our presence in the northeast of Brazil” was the common theme for all SCJs (religious and lay) who were engaged in spreading and working on this great event. It is here that we begin to register the presence of the Superior General in our Province.

Father Carlos Luis arrived in our Province on the evening of February 1st. The following day he participated in the Eucharistic celebration on the second day of the 130th anniversary festivities in the Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish. On February 3rd , he participated in the Eucharistic celebration of the 130th anniversary and the external celebration. On February 4th, he will visit Saint Pius X Parish, in Camaragibe. Levi visited Águas Pretas, place where the remains of Fr. Francisco Geraedts buried.  Fr. Levi  had lunch with the Diocesan Bishop of Palmares and continued the trip to Maceió, at the Virgin of the Poor Parish. On the same day, the parish welcomed Frater Ramon Bertoldo for his internship experience in that parish. The next day, Fr Levi traveled to Poço Redondo.  There he had lunch with the Bishop of the Diocese of Propriá and in the evening presided at the Eucharistic celebration in the parish. On February 7th Fr. Levi returned to Recife and only on the 8th he had a meeting with the students in formation and the formators in the city of Paulista, where we have our formation house for propedeutics and philosophy. On the 9th Fr. Carlos Luis visited the Parish School and also the religious community of Paratibe. On the 10th, he visited the community of Várzea, Our Lady of the Rosary Parish. Fr. Levi traveled to Fortaleza and met with the religious of the two parishes of that city.

The Provincial Assembly took place from the 13th to the 16th. Fr. Carlos Luis and Fr. Levi were present. They talked with all the religious. They led the Province to reflect on essential issues in the living of the Province. During the Assembly, Fratres Luiz Alexandre and Ramon Bertoldo made their perpetual vows and became definitive members of the Congregation. Father Carlos Luis presided over this celebration. On February 17, 18 and 19, the religious communities in the state of Paraíba received the Superior General and General Counselor Fr. Levi.  They returned to the Provincial House and finished the visits to the Northeast and left for Amapa for the visit of the religious residing there. Only on February 24, Fr. Carlos Luis returned to Rome and concluded the cycle of visitations to the provinces of Brazil.

Finally, we thank God for this time of grace, because the presence of the Superior General and the General Councilor fills our hearts with hope and gives us courage to follow the path of mission that Father Dehon dreamed for the religious of his Congregation.

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