MISSION OF BRAZIL
History of the Presentation of Mary in Brazil
The Congregation of the Presentation of Mary was established in Brazil in 1986 to make Jesus Christ and his Mother known and loved, preferably to the poorest.
After six years of help given by the Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus to the Mata Congregation (Father João Pedro Baptista da Mata) in the foundation and structuring of the work “Aldeia da Paz”, and the formation of religious women for his institute, the Bishop of the Diocese of Anápolis, Dom Manuel Pestana Filho, requested the permanent presence of our Congregation in his Diocese.
The first community of the Congregation of the Presentation of Mary was established in the city of Abadiânia, located between Goiânia (capital of the state of Goiás) and Brasilia (capital of the country) in March 1986.
Marie Rivier’s zeal burned in the hearts of the sisters who soon began their mission: visiting families, training catechists, catechesis for all ages, and welcoming underprivileged children in small spaces until they found their own place with more space and comfort in the Ana Maria Rivier Child Education Center.
The work of welcoming children and teenagers in Abadiânia has been growing day by day and is maintained by the Mother Marie Rivier Association. The Association was created to give a legal entity to the work.
The mission expanded, the vocation work and the group of Marie Rivier Associates began, and more sisters arrived to strengthen the community.
As time went by, new houses were established.
The Second Community (February 3, 1990) was formed in one of the faraway neighborhoods of the City of Anapolis – Vila Fabril. The mission of the sisters was to help in the structuring of the parish, catechesis, formation of catechists, visits to families and the sick, manual work with the children and vocation ministry. The group of Marie Rivier Associates was also founded.
The third community was Erigida, in Miranápolis, a rural area of Anápolis, on November 21, 1998. Although it was a novitiate, the sisters, led by zeal, took on pastoral activities in a chapel of St. Rita of Cascia Parish. At the beginning of 1999, two young women joined the novitiate. On the feast of the Presentation of Mary that year, the two began their novitiate and the first Brazilian vocation made her temporary profession. The Brazilian mission began to bear fruit.
The fourth community – St. Joseph – was established on March 19, 2001, but its main activity had begun a year earlier, directing the Parish Nursery. The parish coordination of catechesis, catechesis, and manual work with children and teenagers have also been added to this activity. The Love for Jesus and the Blessed Virgin is being enkindled in the hearts of the children, youth, and collaborators.
Approaching 25 years of foundation in the country, the sisters felt it was time to dare to found in another diocese. Thus, the fifth community is founded in the Diocese of Itumbiara, in the city that gives the diocese its name. The community’s initial mission was the diocesan coordination of catechesis. In Our Lady of Grace Parish, where they are settled, the sisters took on the parish coordination of catechesis, visits to families and to the sick, and collaborate in the diocesan vocation ministry.
With the grace of God, the Holy Spirit has been blowing and pushing the charism of Marie Rivier in Brazilian lands.
Brazil is a country with the largest Catholic population; it has approximately 278 ecclesiastical circumscriptions. Although there is a great acceptance of the religion and many who call themselves Catholics, one feels the need for a deeper evangelization that favors a personal encounter with Christ and forms missionary disciples because many are unaware of the doctrine they claim to profess. So, every day the explicit proclamation of the Gospel with the charism of Marie Rivier becomes more urgent.
This urgency burns in the hearts of the PM sisters in Brazil and being present in three cities (Abadiânia, Anápolis, and Itumbiara), they zealously seek to bring Marie Rivier to life anew.
The presence of the Presentation of Mary is in the Heart of Brazil, that is, the three cities, where the sisters are present, are located in the state of Goiás. Goiás is one of the Brazilian states that make up the Midwest region of the country. The state currently has 7.1 million inhabitants, and its capital, Goiânia, is the most populous municipality.
Abadiânia is the city where the first Community of the Presentation of Mary was built. It is located between two capital cities, Goiânia (80 km) and Brasilia (94 km) and had 20 042 inhabitants in the last census (2011).
In the Community of Abadiânia, the main mission is the Ana Maria Rivier School, but the sisters also collaborate in the coordination of the parish catechesis; there is also a group of Marie Rivier Associates
The Ana Maria Rivier School has not stopped, and with the effort of all, has entered virtual education with online classes; it continues to give bread to the hungry, transforming the food destined for the school meals into basic Fridays for the families assisted. The meetings with collaborators were sometimes held online and others in person, following the precautionary guidelines. Catechesis has also entered the digital era and has not stopped. The proclamation of the Gospel was made online. The meetings with groups of Associates stopped due to having some members in the high-risk group, but it is returning with due care.
is a Brazilian municipality in the interior of the state of Goiás, located 50 km from the capital, Goiânia. With an estimated population of 391,772 inhabitants, it is the third largest municipality in the state in population and its second largest economic strength.
In Anápolis, there had been three communities, currently there are two:
Vila Fabril Community was closed at the end of 2008, because its mission had been fulfilled. However, the group of Marie Rivier Associates remains strong. At the moment the meetings are suspended in preparation for the return in person.
The community of Miranapolis continues to welcome the sisters for their monthly and annual retreats. It has more frequent Eucharistic celebrations. Catechesis in the parish of Santa Rita is taking place as family catechesis (there are few children – the priest is orienting the parents).
The Vocation Ministry had to reinvent itself, adapt and innovate, because most of the events have changed. The sisters in charge, driven by the love and grace of God, continued the mission with ardor and joy. The individual consultations are done online or in person, with due precautions, as well as the meetings and vocational picnics. If in person, the meetings take place with a limited number of participants. Other events like the Vocation Rosary, the gatherings and the animation of the vocations groups are done online. The Congregation is part of the Vocation Ministry of the West Central Region with the presence of Sister Aline, who is the secretary of the same, organizes and makes the online events happen or some face-to-face events following the recommendations.
St. Joseph Community – Since 2015, the community has taken on a new mission as a house for young sisters who are studying due to its great location in the city of Anápolis.
Itumbiara – (name from Tupi-Guarani – means path to the waterfall), is located on the border of the state Minas Gerais. The division is made by the Paranaiba River on which a river procession in honor of Nossa Senhora das Graças has taken place since 1960. It is located south of the state capital, Goiânia (204 km) with approximately 104,742 inhabitants.
The mission of the Itumbiara community is the coordination of the parish catechesis, catechesis, visits to the families and to the sick, accompaniment of three teams of Nossa Senhora (base team), orientation of the group of Marie Rivier Associates, and with them forming singing groups to animate the Eucharist in the Chapel Nossa Senhora da Saúde.
The Brazil Mission is proud to have already sent a missionary – Sister Lourdes de Fatima, who is currently carrying out her call with the sisters in the provincial house in Portugal.