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Project of the Week – Brazil

Fuel for a pastoral boat in the Amazon

Since 2006, three Capuchin priests have been working in the parish of Saint Francis of Assisi in Belém do Solimões in the Amazon region of Brazil. Their parish includes 72 riverside villages and settlements, ranging up to 400 km in distance from the parish centre and accessible only by water.

In total, there are around 25,000 Indigenous Peoples living in these riverside settlements. They live in deep poverty and the young people are facing enormous problems, including widespread drug and alcohol addiction, violence, and a lack of opportunities. It is not uncommon for some to turn to suicide.

It is therefore very important that these people should not be left to cope with their troubles alone. And since the priests simply cannot be everywhere at once, the parish is training lay missionaries who can visit the villages and support the people, praying together with them and helping them to grow in their faith and gradually overcome their problems.

But the vast distances are a massive challenge. It is not merely the fact that travelling by water takes a great deal of time and presents risks to safety; the rising cost of fuel is also a factor. To be able to visit the faithful more regularly, the Capuchin Fathers have asked us for $13,380 in “fuel for the kingdom of God,” as they call it. Thank you for helping them!

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