Seminarians Helped in Brazil

Success Story

Archbishop João Bosco Oliver de Faria, knows well that the true “diamonds” are the souls of the people entrusted to his pastoral care here in the mining town of Diamantina in the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil. And thanks to you, his seminarians will receive help.

It was here, in the 17th century, that diamonds were discovered outside Asia for the first time. But, as tends to happen all over the world, only a handful of people grew rich as a result. Yet even to this day there are still many people attempting to support their families by diamond hunting. And while they are no longer slaves as their ancestors were, this unremitting hard work brings them very little in the way of income. Support this Project

Generally, it is others who make the profit, and in any case diamonds have become very rare in this region. In their search for these treasured stems, the men live sometimes for months on end in camps in the mountains, while their wives and often numerous children are left behind, living in the direst poverty. Broken families and neglected children are often the result. Yet there are few other opportunities for employment. Only a few people manage to profit from tourism, while others try to make things by hand to sell, but there is little market for them. The soil is sparse and rocky and little suited to agriculture, and industry has so far failed to become established here to any noticeable extent.

The town of Diamantina is also the seat of the Catholic archdiocese of the same name. Its head, Archbishop João Bosco Oliver de Faria knows that good priests are vital to helping the poor to live a life of dignity, for as Our Lord has said, "man does not live by bread alone." His diocese covers an area of over 18,000 square miles, or over half the size of Indiana. Yet there are just 61 priests for some half a million people.

The hope for the future lies very much in vocations, and especially in the 41 young men who are currently training for the priesthood in the major seminary of Diamantina. But the seminary is just as poor as the people in the region, and the seminarians themselves cannot afford the cost of their training. They do their best to make themselves useful within the seminary, by cleaning, serving at table and performing other menial household tasks. They do so gladly and with joy, but they know that this is only a tiny contribution to the running of the seminary. For the real funding of their formation the seminary is dependent on outside help. Thanks the generosity of our benefactors, ACN is helping them with $25,700, so they can serve God and the poor in Brazil.

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