São Paolo, Brasil. “Infinite thanks and praise be given to God for such an outstanding benefit done to this my beloved diocese, which will be rejuvenated through the fruitful apostolate of these edifying religious”.
With these words, Dom Joaquim Arcoverde, Bishop of São Paolo, thanked Father José Xifré for the arrival of the missionaries in Brazil on November 19, 1895. From this date 125 years have passed and today they are a reason to rejoice for all the good received.
The first missionary community that arrived in Brazil was formed by 9 missionaries, 6 priests and 3 brothers, led by Fr. Ramón Genover. The place of residence was the neighborhood of San Francisco, from where they extended the itinerant preaching to other places of São Paolo. After a short time, they received their new house in property, the present Provincial Curia, from where the mission was taking greater stability. “Everything is greenery and poetry” wrote Fr. Genover, in which we could understand that this mission was open to hope and to the creation of new possibilities.
In the words of Fr. Marcos Loro, cmf, the present Major Superior of the Province of Brazil, although “everything was new for these men [in] language, customs, climate, religious manifestations, etc.” they never left aside their desire for martyrdom because “everyone was certain that the beloved Congregation was accompanying them in this new and exciting mission in the land of the Holy Cross. From this we can see the variety of the ministry exercised during these 125 years. The effort was in the formation of religious and lay people with schools and universities; parish animation; the media with radio, television and editorial where the work of “Ave Maria” stands out; the Holy House of Mercy and social works of promotion; attention to migrants and situations of vulnerability; commitment to social and ecological struggles in different points of the immense Brazil; the prophecy of Pedro Casaldáliga and many other ministries are fruits of the Word that animates the missionary life. It should not be forgotten that, as a sign of maturity in the journey, the Brazilian province has favored the foundation of Mozambique where, together with the Province of St. Thomas, different projects are encouraged to care for and accompany this portion of the People of God.
There are many reasons to be thankful, but there are many more motivations to continue dreaming. The Jubilees are necessary to refresh the gift of gratitude and to revive the efforts that make us burn in love with an imaginative and creative fire.
Being part of the Jubilee
Brazil is, worldwide, one of the countries most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, in this climate, the Jubilee could not go unnoticed, mainly because it confirms options for responsible care and attention of communities.
In order to accompany the celebrations, the official web page of the Claretian Province of Brazil has designed a special section on the motivo del jubileo. There you will find some reference dates, motivations for the celebration and a brief reference to the logo and what this anniversary means. It is worth mentioning the material prepared by Claretian TV Missionários Claretianos – 125 Anos no Brasil, where you can find audiovisual references to the legacy of so many missionaries and collaborators of the mission.
Finally, this jubilee proposes to make a revision of the memory and for this reason the Provincial Government of Brazil has entrusted the writing of the “História da Província Claretiana do Brasil”, where a commission of Claretian religious and scholars from the different centers of academic formation of the Province will work to present a historical work in the Provincial Chapter of 2023.
We encourage all those interested to continue deepening and to accompany this jubilee with a prayer for the missionaries of Brazil.