2010-04-16 BRAZIL

Marist mission in the Amazon

During Holy Week, the annual meeting of the Community Superiors with the District Council took place in Porto Velho ? Rond├┤nia ? the District headquarters. This year?s meeting was especially significant in that there were the three Provincials of the Provinces of Brasil – Brothers In├ício Etges (RGS), Davide Pedri (BCS) and Wellington Medeiros (BCN) ? Brother Antonio Ramalho, Councillor General, and several members of Umbrasil (Marist Union of Brasil). Three subjects were discussed: sharing community life projects, exchanging information and drawing up the Strategic Plan for the District. The latter took up most of the time. It was co-ordinated by the Umbrasil team, directed by Brother Jo├úo Carlos do Prado.

Using a very participative methodology, the brothers were able to touch on the elements of Marist presence in the region, the great pastoral challenges and the life style envisaged and desired for the District. Currently, we have 28 brothers in nine communities, in four of the five states under the District?s juridiction: Acre, Amazonas, Rond├┤nia and Roraima.

During this week of intense work, we outlined a plan of action with the year 2017 in view, the same historic framework the Institute has given itself. We hope to reinforce our simple life style as well as the pastoral ministry inserted in the bases of the local churches, achieve financial autonomy, reinforce initial formation, encourage the communities to stay as welcoming spaces for the young, promote a climate of formation and intense life of brotherhood.

Forming part of the Amazonian situation, we questioned ourselves about our participation in the preservation of the environment, about a plain life style, an education and a formation oriented towards awakening life. At present, some large government projects threaten immense tracts of the Amazon. Those living near the great rivers, the indigenous communities, the small farmers, are all questioning the meaning of these projects. Numerous prophetic leaders of the Church are engaged in the struggle for the life of the inhabitants of Amazonia and of the Amazonian biome. We ask ourselves in our turn how we can be Marist life bearers in our pedagogic, pastoral and social work.

The work of this Holy Week will help us to be more united among ourselves, with the Provinces and with Umbrasil.

Br. Sebastião Ferrarini, District Superior.


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