Serving the Indigenous People of Mato Grosso, Brazil

Posted January 5, 2020

Mato Grosso, Brazil, is a state with many indigenous peoples in great need of support in the areas of health care, social rights, food, education, clothing, etc. In 2017, at the request of the Bishop of that region, an intercongregational community was created, composed of three sisters, one of whom is RSHM Sr. Lucilene de Oliveira. The area where they work is inhabited by the Xavante indigenous people. The sisters monitor the pregnancy of women and adolescents, and ensure healthy growth for the large number of girls and boys through the Pastoral da Criança. The sisters also teach women and teenagers how to embroider, how to make soap, and other skills. They also contribute to and encourage prayer services in other non-indigenous villages. Evangelization in this region of Mato Grosso, is conducted by the members of the Salesian congregation who have long worked with indigenous peoples, not just the Xavantes. For the sisters, evangelization is promoted through their presence–their way of being and doing speaks of God and his love for each one. I was invited by Sr. Lucilene to spend a few days there, participating in their lives as an intercongregational community. Time was short, but I learned a lot. And I believe that in addition to the importance of contributing to the mission of these three sisters, we also need to be presence, support and encouragement for them as well.
Sr. Fernanda Marques deOliveira, RSHM

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