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a bra 16 07Sisters and Associates

The Brazilian Area Assembly held July 28 through July 31, 2016 at the Frances Schervier Formation Center in Goiania counted with the participation of our Congregational  Minister, Sr. Licia Mazzia, our Area Councilor, Sr. Maria Helena Carvalho, all the Sisters of the Brazilian Area and our Associates from Goiania. Describing these days we spent together, Sr. Maria Goretti said:

a bra 16 01Prayer time“Experiencing the new enriches and transforms us, though often arousing doubts and questions in our mind. Participating in our 2016 Area Assembly was an immense joy for me.  It was a healing experience and not only for me personally, but also for many people who have approached me ever since, asking for support concerning their faithfulness to God the Father and to our neighbor.  Mother Frances brought to life St. Francis’ Evangelical project for her time when she founded the Congregation of the Franciscan Sisters of the Poor with the scope of extending her God-given charism throughout the world, as she said: ‘I recognized my divine Lord in the poor and suffering as clearly as if I had seen him in them with my own eyes!’  It is only by deeply loving each brother and sister that we can, in our time, help anyone in their transformation process.”


And the Sisters in Jataí, Helena Paula, Marta, and Terezinha, added:

a bra 16 02Prayer time“The Brazilian Sisters who went to Italy to participate in our Congregational Conference, along with our Associate Marli M. Barbosa, have creatively transmitted to us at the Brazilian Assembly the time they spent together in Rome sharing in prayers, lectures and study. They said: ‘In these very rich occasion, we got together with our Sisters and Associates from around the world to pray, deepen and reflect. We focused mainly on the Congregational Conference theme: “Apostles of the Resurrection: Joy on a Transforming Journey.”

Sister Maria Lucia, from Pires do Rio, said:

“I did not personally attend the Congregational Conference in Rome, but during our Area Assembly it was possible to experience some of it.  Those who participated conveyed their lively experience of being together with Sisters and Associates from all continents with the richness of their diversity. Just sharing in different languages itself brings about an immense cultural wealth. Joyfully and creatively, the participants gave us their accounts. The PowerPoint show made us travel back in time, reviewing loved ones who are far away and some who have already reached the Father's house in heaven.  Having Sr. Licia among us was also a high point in our Assembly.”

a bra 16 03Sisters and Associates during the AssemblyFor me it was very enriching to recall the good times I had last June in Rome. The Sisters and our Associate Marli who had been there expressed in creative ways to the Brazilian Assembly their personally lived experience in the joy of being together as sisters and brothers. As people expressed their own experience of the Conference, I could see that the transformation is individual and God's love is unconditional, as He works on us, healing and transforming our ordinary hearts in extraordinary ways.

The transformation in my own life is to make simple things in extraordinary ways, everyday, by faithfully following our Congregation’s charism to heal the wounds of Christ in poor and suffering humanity.

I am very grateful to the Congregation, that has enabled us to make this journey and begin our transformation process. I believe it is up to each of us to know how to choose a way to live through the daily transformations we experience.

And let us always remember to resort to the African ethics of Ubuntu: “I am because we are”!

Article by Sr. Lécia José da Silva

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Published: October, 11, 2016

a bra 16 04Sr Licia and Sr Maria Helena a bra 16 05Group reflection

a bra 16 06Group reflection a bra 16 08Socializing moment

a bra 16 09Sending ceremony at the chapel

a bra 16 010Sr. Licia anointing Sr. Marta a bra 16 011Closing Mass at the Frances Schervier Formation Center