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Maria de Nazaré do Nascimento - Brasil, Porto Velho


Marist District of AmazôniaPersonal experiences

I was born in Lábrea, Amazonia, on 7 September 1961. We went to live in the city at the end of 1970. I started my studies in 1971. In the elementary school of “Marie Madeleine do Valle”, where I spent the first three years of primary education, the Catholic religion was most important. Precisely at that time I signed up for Catechism class and in 1973 I made my First Communion. In 1974 we were given a hall in the Saint Augustine Marist School so as to be able to do the 4h grade. I felt happy because I already knew the Marists somewhat, and there I began to familiarize myself more with them, and little by little was drawn by their charism and style. They invited all the students to take part in vocation discernment, prayers and feasts, and I was always delighted to participate.
I remember that classes ended at noon and I always left alone to return home, after having participated with the Brothers in the noonday prayer which took place in the library. I felt very drawn to take part in all that I could, because I wanted to grow more and more, especially spiritually.
After Fourth Year I entered definitively in the Marist school, where I stayed until I finished the Eighth grade. During this time I knew several Brothers, and all of them taught me excellent things, like how to be responsible, how to respect people the way they are, how to be patient, inclusive, and especially to have dignity.
During 1975-1976, when I did my Fifth and Sixth Years, our Principal was Brother Astrogildo d’Oliveira Dutra, Brother Dutra. In my Seventh and Eighth Years the principal was Brother Sebastião Antonio Ferrarini, whom I lost sight of for a few years, and now that I see him again: I’m still learning much from him. I also knew some other Brothers who showed me, by their charism, how to be persevering, how never to be discouraged.
With the help and stimulation of the Brothers, and also of the Augustinian Sisters who had a school in town, I came to be Catechism Coordinator and then Coordinator of Youth Ministry in Lábrea, Amazonia.
The importance of the Marists in my life was not only in spiritual formation, but also in professional formation, because in 1980 they invited me to work in the school secretariat. Given that I had no knowledge of typing, since I had been working in a store, I took advantage of the lunch break to take the course in typing, which I finished at the end of three months.
That same year, through Bro. Alberto Girardi, I resigned from the store and, with all the papers needed for the change, I signed up with SEDUC in the Government of the State of Amazonia; this was in 1981.
For five years I was secretary in the Marist school, a period in which I learned still more by living daily with the Brothers, teachers, and other personnel in the Centre, since I would take part in all the activities organized in the school. We seemed to be all one family. The time I liked the most was the feasts of Saint Marcellin Champagnat, June 6, because there was always a marathon on the Founder, in which all the students from Fifth Grade to Eighth participated.
Certainly at this time the students in Saint Augustine Marist School, and perhaps those of all the other Marist schools, knew the life of Marcellin Champagnat through the talks because the marathon was competitive, with prizes, and everybody tried to win. The marathon changed not only the students, but me too, by the example of the simple life I learned from Marcellin, and his way of treating students and young people.
Given that I always liked to sing, I used to try to get the classes to sing. I stayed as secretary until December 1985, the year I moved to Porte Velho, RO. The Principal then was Brother Demétrio Herman.
When I arrived at Porto Velho I went through a very long period of adaptation, and I lost contact with almost all the Brothers.
As fate would have it, I happened to join a community led by the Marist Brothers, but I took a lot of time to fit in because I didn’t know any of them.
In 1994 I knew Brother Pedro Bulegon (deceased since), Principal of María de Nazareth Marist School; he invited me to help with the Catechism classes. I didn’t hesitate long. I accepted and joined the Catechism classes. I’m still there to this day, now as Parish Coordinator.
I’m married and have two daughters, one 18 and the other 16. We are all catechists, including my husband Gerson.
At the invitation of Brother Nilvo Favretto, on 21 April 2001 we started the Marist Fraternity Brother Balduíno, with more than six families.
Besides being a member of this fraternity, I am Catechism Coordinator, I’m part of the parish team for liturgy and hymns and, when needed, I serve in other ways, except in being a public servant like working in the Police Bureau…
I and my family and the community feel very much at ease with the Marist Brothers present among us, and we’re very thankful to be able to count on their work and help, since every day we learn more and more from their example and accompaniment, as much in the community as in the fraternity.
Perhaps I’ve written more than I was asked to do. Please forgive me because we will never talk enough of the importance of the Marist Brothers.

Maria de Nazaré do Nascimento, Fraternidade Marista “Ir. Balduíno Frantz”.
Paróquia “Nossa Senhora das Graças”, Porto Velho, RO, Brazil
Marist District of Amazônia