Appeal of the month

“Listen. I am an atheist, but what your daughter has is what they call a vocation.”

This is what Maria’s doctor told her mother when she was growing up in the town of Niterói, in Rio de Janeiro State. A doctor’s appointment had at last explained what was happening in young Maria’s heart and mind! An early life once consumed with going to the beach, the movies and parties, was now at peace simply sitting in silence in church – all the time very aware of a presence that she had never experienced before and didn’t quite understand.

Maria began to get more and more involved in the Church: joining the Legion of Mary, working as a catechist, and visiting cancer patients and the poor. Her path to enter the convent was before her and Maria finally knew what that presence was, “He is here!”

Now, decades later, Mother Maria Aparecida and 14 Benedictine religious Sisters enrich the spirituality of Juazeiro do Norte and its faithful in northeast Brazil. The Abbey of Our Lady of Victory is a place of deep prayer and contemplation. It also welcomes thousands of pilgrims who arrive in the city each year. The Sisters open the doors of their convent to all who seek welcome and refuge beneath the image of Christ.

Aid to the Church in Need has supported Our Lady of Victory with convent projects and subsistence aid for its dedicated Sisters, and, worldwide, assists approximately 1,540 Contemplative Sisters each year with the help of generous donors like you.

You already know that our Sisters provide an invaluable service to us and to faithful in poor and persecuted regions. While so many might not see the importance of these women of God, we know the richness they bring to the world. We also know how challenging it is for them to care for both themselves and others.

Our Sisters live lives of poverty and prayer. In order to pay for their humble expenses, many grow their own vegetables in their convent gardens. Some provide for themselves by baking hosts. Others sew Mass vestments for their local dioceses.

For all they do for us, can you extend a hand in kindness and compassion to them? Your gift today will help these devoted women to cover some of their very basic needs, such as food, water, electricity, and particularly healthcare, which is a heavy financial burden for them.

These ordinary women, like Mother Maria, living in some extraordinary regions, give so much to faithful through their prayers, devotion and care. Thank you for whatever you can give to them.



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