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

The Evangelizing Mission of the Church in Brazil, Holy Cross Province, Passo Fundo

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The number of Catholics worldwide is declining and other religious denominations are increasing. In Brazil it is not different.

In conjunction with the work of Evangelization, the Conference of Bishops of Brazil outlined a series of guidelines for all dioceses. The bishops are committed to those guidelines and are inviting all church leaders to participate in the ongoing formation and to engage in the church´s evangelizing mission in a concrete way. Due to the evolution of technology, science, and theology, there is an urgent need for permanent education and updating. Needless to say, cconsecrated women religious have a relevant role and participation there.

The bishops outlined four directions for Evangelization: The House of the Word, The House of Bread, The House of Charity and The House of Missionary Action. Our Sisters have been participating in these formation opportunities and have become collaborators in the formation of local leaders, catechists, young people, families, and liturgists. In addition, the missionaries reach out to the elderly, the sick, and to those participating in grass-roots movements. Also, students are a particular area of concern and are reached out to through school pastoral care programs. The content of biblical, catechetical and other courses corresponds to the proposed Episcopal Guidelines and is promoted according to the reality of each parish or community. The dioceses rely on individuals, people especially prepared to address these themes.

Meetings take place mainly in the evening and on weekends. Seminars or congresses include teachers, catechists, and youth. Pilgrimages and evangelization campaigns occur regularly. There are opportunities to visit the sick and the families – and these activities are only a few. All of them are occasions to reflect on the Word of God, to socialize and celebrate the joy of life with music, dance, artistic performances, etc. As a result, faith is revived and life is gifted with a new outlook and meaning. Even those who have difficulty participating in such gatherings due to lack of transportation, work or scarce financial resources, are positively influenced by the testimony of neighbors and by the grace of God.

We are joining hands and reaching out to the fallen, to the children, to the young people, to the elderly, to the sick, in a Samaritan-like attitude of welcoming, listening and practicing charity. We desire is that in our Common Home there is a good word, bread, a roof, work and joy for all. May the joy and the meaning of life be restored, despite of injustice and violence. We experience and “we achieve fullness when we break down the walls and our heart is filled with faces and names!” EG #274.

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