With a missionary pastoral heart, from the 17th to the 21st of November, we Sisters: Sônia de Fátima Batagin, Rosilene de Lima and Gabriele Camelo Moraes, were in the city of Paulo Afonso – Bahia, in the Paróquia Sagrada Familia, carrying out a missionary visit. In May of that same year, the sisters Ana Paiva and Rosilene had made a very brief visit to get to know the place.
This time, they presented a program that helped expand knowledge: Visits to communities, meetings with different groups, with the local Bishop and priests.
In this contact and attentive listening, we concretely hear the cry of many people who await, with open arms, our insertion in this Parish because the challenges are immense. Between them:
reality lacks a presence that helps revive groups and pastorals;
awakening and forming leaders. Some more recent communities do not have coordinators and are groups that assume and accompany as they can. The neighborhoods that make up the parish territory tend to expand more and more;
specific work with youth who, without training, go to other evangelical churches. Young people seek biblical-pastoral-catechetical formation;
visits to needy families, organization and revival of social pastorals (families that suffer from hunger);
according to the leaders, it is a fertile field for vocations;
there is the flourishing of communities of life in the diocese's phase of structure and, with our insertion, we will be able to offer something new that the young people can get to know and be enchanted by our pastoral charisma, a new way of being Church.
In the diocese, there is a fairly young clergy. Among them, priests José Ronnes dos Santos Santana (priest) and José Sivanildo de Jesus Silva (vicar), from the Sagrada Familia parish. They are open to pastoral collaboration, it was even the parish priest who invited us to get to know and, who knows, insert ourselves into this reality. Acting on the pastoral council commission, some young people help to think about the life of the Parish – pastoral as a whole, as there are more than 50 thousand inhabitants belonging to this region and the tendency is to increase the number of people. The challenges are great, and joining forces is necessary!
We visited several communities of popular housing condominiums, former residents living under the bridge, and in these areas, poor families are expanding. This Parish was recently created – before there was a rural part, which today has expanded into an urban area. At the moment, it needs many pastoral agents. The challenge is to train leaders and invest in training.
We were welcomed into the homes of Mrs. Aparecida and Mrs. Joana. What generosity and hospitality! We thank you for this time of listening, of getting to know the reality so that, later, we can see how we can give a response to this Church present in the Northeast, with a people with open arms to welcome us. May the Holy Spirit enlighten us!
Sr. Sônia, Sr. Rosilene e Sr. Gabriele, sjbp