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ab 01The Sisters of the Area in the official photo of the gatheringOn  January 13-15,  the Sisters of the Brazilian Area gathered at Casa São José in Goiania for our Assembly. Our meeting began with a prayer prepared and conducted by Sister Maria Helena. She also introduced the group to a technique that asked us to seek some “angels” who were present in the room.  As each was found, the Sister who found that angel would give it a name.  This search helped us reflect about the “angel” each of us needs to walk with on her journey. After our common prayer, Sister Maria Helena announced that every Sister’s 2014 Annual Report of Activities was exhibited in the room and asked each to read her own aloud.

I felt both grace and gratitude as I listened to how our Sisters are carrying out their ministries.  And I was glad to realize that, even though we are few in number here in Brazil, we have achieved our goals -- and have been a meaningful presence in the lives of so many people. The services we provide fulfill the appeal Pope Francis’ made in his Apostolic exhortation, "Gaudium Evangelli” (The joy of the Gospel).  In it the Pope tells us that each Christian community - and all Christians - are called to be instruments of God in the service of the poor, so that they can be fully integrated in human society. That is to say, we must be attentive and listen to the outcries of the poor and help them.

ab 07Sisters Marta, Maria Helena and Tânia MariaWe carry out the practice of love when we let ourselves be led by God.  I can tell that our Sisters with more life experience actually make shine “the flame of holy love for our neighbor”, as true mirrors of Blessed Frances Schervier. This gives me the strength to take on without fear the vocation to which God calls me, a reaper in the great harvest that the Lord has sown and cultivates.

Sister Maria Lucia talked about her experience in the Philippines, a little about the ministries to the poor they are developing there. Sisters Thalyta, Helena Paula, Terezinha and Lécia talked about their vocational mission in the city of Minaçu, Goiás, and expressed appreciation for the prayerful support of our entire Congregation. As a part of this mission, they visited schools, long term care facilities, hospitals, family houses and recovering substance abusers.  Several families welcomed them with great affection.  They relied upon the participation of lay friends from Jataí and Ipameri as well as Associate Ataci, from Goiania.

I could feel the joy of these “missionaries.”  I felt exhilarated by their enthusiasm and worthy effort: they are a blessing to all they touch.  They helped me see how important it is for us "to surrender our comfort zones, and choose to work with those who live in situations of social vulnerability: poor people, especially those unseen, and all of the community of life."

By the end of our Assembly we were glad to find out that we are indeed putting into practice the calls and direction of our General Chapter in Brazil, a reason for much joy and thanksgiving. We concluded our time together by savoring a delicious “churrasco” barbecue prepared by Sister Maria Helena, and sharing the joy of our living in sisterhood.  During this event we also celebrated the recent birthdays of Sisters Maria Bernadete and Maria Lúcia.

ab 03The Sisters of the Area during the gathering

ab 05Sisters Antonieta, Marta and Helena Paula

ab 06The Sisters of the Area during the gathering

ab 04Sisters MariaGoretti, Bernadete and Maria Lúcia

ab 02The Sisters returning to Casa São José after the gathering

Sister Marta Gomes Pedrosa

Published: May, 28, 2015