Building a catechetical centre in the Amazonas
In the federal state of Amazonas in Brazil, stands Tefé’s parish of Saint Anthony established in 2007. This parish encompasses three smaller communities who have chapels in the town itself and an additional three communities in the surrounding rural area. The parish is under the care of the Franciscan Fathers and it is faced with significant challenges.
In the Amazonas, there is a great shortage of priests. It also is home to numerous sects scattered throughout who attempt to woo the Catholic faithful and it is an area which experiences high social tensions.
The members of the sub-parish of Our Lady of Fatima are particularly active, and this is positive for it gives the local priests strong support in their social and pastoral work. Above all, this support is most important when it come to working with youth, for many young people easily fall easy prey to negative influences, to drug dealers and human traffickers or ‘pimps’.
To counter this problem, the parish really wants to build a pastoral which will serve to attract and spiritually nourish children and young people who are caught in the vicious cycle of poverty and abuse on the streets like so many other communities throughout the country.
The parish is already very active in this work and in addition to the catechesis and other religious activities; the community also offers music lessons in keyboard and guitar, so to provide young people with a meaningful and productive alternative. It also allows them to bring their personal contribution to the liturgy, making it more beautiful with their music.
Other areas of work the parish committed to, are helping disabled people find work, and supporting families
in need. They also have a psychologist available to see people once a week, another important form of support for some.
This pastoral centre is important. Why? Because it provides a central point for the organization of all these important social services, for there is a real danger that without this resource, many young people in particular might turn their backs on the Church and end up on the difficult life of the streets, or get caught in the clutches of the local sects or criminal gangs.
ACN is supporting the work on this catechetical centre with a contribution of $24,650.