Our three sisters present in Nova Serrana share their new mission with us.

Hello dear sisters and friends of Saint Jeanne-Antide,

following the change of location of our community in Brazil since mid-January 2023, we are now present in Nova Serrana, Minas Gerais: a large city with around 114,000 inhabitants and a great challenge for our community and for our Province in Latin America as well as for our Congregation.

We continue our mission by helping the poorest, according to the charism of Saint Jeanne-Antide Thouret, in their daily lives through visits to disadvantaged families, lonely people, the sick; visits to the “favelas” areas where few people pass through. These are difficult and sometimes dangerous areas. We also accompany youth groups in the three parishes.

When we arrived in Nova Serrana, we began to discover the city, the parishes and their chapels by taking part in Eucharistic celebrations or celebrations of the Word of God, to get to know the reality of the place better. We are beginning to accompany the various communities following requests from the parish priests of three parishes in fairly poor areas, and they need help because there are many difficulties present in community life.

For example: every Monday evening, we are present in the New Horizon neighbourhood, in the Saint Jude Thaddée community, which is part of the Saint Gérald parish, for a time of recreation with the children, young people and their families, and a time of listening to the children’s parents. Then there is always a soup kitchen for people from the neighbourhood, regardless of race or religion. We also work with a group of teenage girls from the neighbourhood (Youth Ministry) every Sunday afternoon. These young people have a great desire to grow in their faith.

We also visit poor families and the sick, listening to their stories and their needs and trying to help them with what we receive from aid, in the Ville Nouvelle district, which is part of the Saint Sébastien parish.

In the same way, we have begun to accompany a first Oratorio (with the spirituality of Saint John Bosco) in a poor neighbourhood (Saint Antoine, part of the parish of Saint John Bosco) entrusted by a parish priest working with a group of young people and adults: one Saturday every 15 days, transmitting Christian values to them.

A second Oratorio in the Saint François d’Assis community has also started with local children: last Sunday of the month. People from the community are in charge of the activities, accompanied by our dear sister Fatima. Another youth group in the same parish meets once a month, on the fourth Sunday in the afternoon. These are very dynamic young people. They are the future of the church and our society.

In addition to our pastoral services, we also follow the Catechism of the Catholic Church course organised by the three parishes. We also try to take part in the prayers of various groups whenever our time allows. There are also catechism groups that ask us to talk about our vocation and faith. It’s perfect timing, as this is Vocation Year in Brazil.

With the Youth Pastoral Preparation Team, we organised the Youth Day in October 2023. The event took place on 29 October in Nova Serrana.

We’re continuing in this direction… because we’ve just discovered two other even poorer areas in Nova Serrana. This is a wake-up call for our church and for all of us as Christians.

July saw the start of our fortnightly presence in a therapeutic community: CROIX and GLORY (in Portuguese: CRUZ e GLÓRIA). It’s a wonderful service that requires discretion and professionalism. The men are aged between 22 and 54.

Each time, we try to work with them on a theme proposed by the Church and linked to current events, helping them to reflect on what they are going through. Their lives are punctuated by various services in the community, and by fairly strict therapy to help them get on with their lives after their release. We begin with a time of prayer, followed by an activity on a theme related to the Word of God.

At each point, we have a sharing time for those who wish to talk. Often, everyone shares what’s in their hearts. These are very powerful moments for growing together in faith and love for God and for our brothers and sisters in humanity.

In January 2024, from the 5th to the 12th, there will be a missionary vocation week in Nova Serrana with missionaries from Paraguay, Brazil (JUSSARA), Argentina, Bolivia and Italy to live a new missionary experience. We are in the process of organising with great enthusiasm and joy, but also with concern. Many local people are ready to lend a hand so that the mission can be carried out with joy and simplicity.

Even though we are in Nova Serrana, we continue to accompany the Friends of Saint Jeanne-Antide who are in Jussara. It’s a very dynamic group, living out the charism of the foundress. It’s wonderful work.

We count on your prayers, our dear sisters and friends in Christ. We also assure you of ours. Let us ask Saint Jeanne-Antide to support us and accompany us in our missions by bringing her charism to life where we are”.

The community in Brazil: sister Fatima, sister Eugénie and sister Thi An