AMERICA/BRAZIL - People are willing to walk even 10 kilometers, and under any weather condition to go to Mass

Tuesday, 2 February 2016 evangelization  


Duque Caxias (Agenzia Fides) - "I came back a few days ago from the experience of the 'Youth Mission' in Rondonia in northwestern Brazil. An initiative promoted by the Youth Ministry of the Diocese of Niteroy (Rio de Janeiro, near Duque Caxias) with the cooperation of missionary priests of this diocese who work in the missionary area close to Porto Velho". This is what Don Benedetto Zampieri, an Italian fidei donum missionary in Brazil told Fides, who is currently busy with other fidei donum of the diocese of Padua in the diocese of Caxias Duque, and is about to start work in the Diocese of Roraima in June.
"They were three intense weeks, in a totally isolated area, full of meetings in order to know the reality of small rural communities in the Amazon region", continued the priest.
"In the morning I arrived with my backpack in a community where they were already groups of four or five young missionaries who animated the days, then after 4/5 days they went to another area. In the morning I prayed with them and visited families. In the afternoon I celebrated the Eucharist. Every night I slept in a different house as a guest. The life of rural communities, formed by 10 to 20 families, is special. They are formed by families of farmers from all over Brazil in search of arable land for their livelihood. The first inhabitants say they arrived just 15 or 20 years ago, when it was all forest, bordering the indigenous area. Then, thanks to their work, they managed to build the path to reach the center of the country. They grow rice, beans, coffee, cocoa, bananas, chestnuts, coconut and other tropical fruit, they raise cattle for the production of milk or meat".
Don Benedict goes on to describe the reality in which he operates: "Between a community and another and between a house and the other there are huge distances. Catholic communities are a minority, many people adhere to evangelical communities, that arrived in this area first. However, people are willing to walk even 10 kilometers, and under any weather condition to go to Mass once a month. The main problems are related to alcohol and domestic violence. Many young people already at 15 years of age leave the family to move closer to the center", concludes the missionary. (AP/BZ) (Agenzia Fides 02/02/2016)