P. Levi, general councilor, accompanied the Superior General on his official visit to the Dehonians of Brazil. His testimony at the end of the visit
60 days we visited the confreres of the BRM Province and the Districts and Missionary Area of the BSP. Father Carlos and I visited all the religious communities including Paraguay. It was a deeply edifying experience. Thank God, everything went well. We did not have any problems. We were well received and well accompanied. We had the chance to talk and live with the confreres and to meet and pray with many lay people of the Dehonian family.
We started in Santa Catarina, went to Rio Grande do Sul, visited Paraná and then to Rondônia. From there we traveled to Mato Grosso, Maranhão and ended the visit in Pará, in the heart of the Amazon, celebrating the feast of Our Lady of the Assumption.
The opening of the canonical visit took place with the solemnity of the Heart of Jesus in the Corupá Seminary. It was a beautiful occasion for a fraternal meeting with the religious of the areas and with all those in formation from the neighboring houses of formation. Many activities, also joyful ones, marked our conviviality during those days there.
When we began to visit our works, we saw the good that our religious do to the communities they assist. Many people asked the Superior General: “please don’t take our priests away from here”.
How good it is to know that the witness of our confreres is a sign from God to the people. May the Heart of Jesus continue to bless and guide the work of our Dehonians.
A very emotional moment was when we stood before the grave of the German pioneer Gabriel Lux, in Vargem do Cedro. That zealous and intrepid man who did so much for the foundation of the Province! By the way, this small village has already gifted many religious vocations to the Congregation! What a blessing!
Finding the churches full of the faithful singing at the top of their voices makes the difference when one is getting used to the European reality. We had several moments of meetings with the parish communities. How beautiful it is to see that there are so many lay people, young and old, interested in serving the Church in the various ministries. Everywhere we go we find people who are devout and zealous for sacred things, not to mention their respect for priests.
We are not under any illusion and we know that there are signs of secularization also in Brazil. Religious indifference and conflict with religion have always accompanied humanity. That is why, in personal meetings, the superior general advised our confreres not to neglect spiritual direction, the lectio divina of the Bible, and to be disciples. He also exhorted them to take care of themselves, to take care of their spiritual, physical and mental health.
It is impressive how cultural, climatic and geographic realities change so much within the same country. That is Brazil! And there the SCJs take the love of the Heart of Jesus as our founder wished.
May the patroness of Brazil intercede for the SCJs in this great country and grant them much health in body and soul to continue serving the Church and the Congregation with Dehonian apostolic zeal.