Sisters of Notre Dame…Missioned to Incarnate the Love of our good and provident God

90 Years in Brazil

TO CAMPOS NOVOS, Santa Catarina

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As part of the celebration of the 90 years of the presence of the Sisters of Notre Dame in Brazil, the calendar of activities offered an interprovince pilgrimage to Campos Novos. On May 19th, 2013, more than 80 Sisters of Notre Dame of the Holy Cross Province, Passo Fundo, and of the Province of Our Lady Aparecida, Canoas, went to this town which is a historical place for us because the third miracle recognized by the Church for the Canonization of Julie Billiart in 1969 happened here.

Holy Mass in the Shrine Our Lady Aparecida was the first moment of  the program, which was very well organized by the sisters of the local community — Sister Maria Salete Rech, Maria Selma Schwab and Sister Maria Antonia Bueno. It was transmitted by the local Radio. There we had the opportunity to speak about the life of Saint Julie and the Congregation of the Sisters of Notre Dame. Sister Maria Alcídia gave a significant message to the people. At the end of the Mass, we offered souvenirs to them: pictures of Saint Julie, medals and little books: “The Messenger of God’s Goodness”. On that same day, a girl was baptized and received the name Rosa Júlia. After that, we went to the Hospital, which was totally remodelled and enlarged. The Province of Canoas transformed the room of the miracle into a beautiful chapel of Saint Julie. The altar is in the place of the bed of the man who was cured. The sisters of the community of Campos Novos had prepared a very meaningful prayer service. Gathered in the small room, we prayed and sang. Very much touched and happy, we placed there a very beautiful statue of Saint Julie with two children, given by the Province of Passo Fundo. After the prayer, we heard stories about the miracle. Some sisters added details and testimonies.

In the catechesis classes at the parish, Sister M.Salete met a great great-grandson of Mr. Otacílio Ribeiro, who, in his honor, received the same name as the man who had been cured upon the intercession of St. Julie. The cured man, however, is already deceased, in the catholic faith. When Sr. M. Kristin, Sr. M. Sreeja, and Sr. M. Alcídia visited Campos Novos in 2012, the Administrator of the Hospital said that here God reveals His love, His presence amog the people. A lady who was freed from oppression and exploitation has been living in the hospital for about 60 years. The doctors continue to make her stay there possible. This is like the link between the charism of Saint Julie and the mission of the Sisters of Notre Dame.

The words of Sr. Maria Alcídia, Sr. Renete Maria Cocco, and Sr. Maria Lori Steffen on that day were a sign of the congregational unity, hope, vocational growth and of the transformation of the chapel of Saint Julie into a pilgrimage place.


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