Faith and life in Brazil

It’s official: the deep Amazonas is more remote than Siberia.

In all of the visits I have made to provinces of the Congregation of Jesus (CJ) all over the world, never have I been without a signal for my BlackBerry… until I visited one of our sisters living and working in a community along the Amazon.

This was just one extraordinary revelation among many from my visitation to the Brazilian province in February and March 2014.

What follows is an account of part of that trip, two weeks during which I and Elena, one of the General Assistants, covered an enormous amount of Brazil visiting the CJ sisters at work in the furthest corners of the country.

The pace of our travelling was hardly leisurely, as you will gather, but the remoteness of the locations meant that this was the time required to see all of our sisters at work – Brazil is very, very big indeed!

All of the communities we visited in these two weeks are in places in which the majority, if not all, of the people are poor, and our sisters work with them both in a catechetical and a pastoral role, in collaboration with the local parish priest where possible.

Parishes in rural Brazil are huge and can be made up of a number – anything between 20 and 40 – of smaller communities, some in the town in which the parish is located and the majority in the ‘interior’ hinterland to that parish.

These interior communities might see their priest anything from once a month (unusual) to once a year, depending on the size of the parish, the number of such communities, the distances involved – and the difficulties of transport, which are not to be underestimated! Continue reading.

Jane Livesey is the General Superior of the Congregation of Jesus.

Source: Thinking Faith

Image: Diocese of Westminster

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