Help for the Training of Seminarians in Brazil
There are currently 27 young men training to serve God in Brazil’s Diocese of Rio Branco. The life that awaits them as priests will be far from easy, since their diocese lies mostly in the Brazilian rainforest and covers over 40,000 square miles. And many towns within the diocese can only be reached by river.
Their vocation is the fruit of Italian missionary Father Paolino Baldassarri’s decades of tireless work. Even at the age of 90, Father Baldassarri went on long journeys into the wilderness on a simple boat in order to visit remote communities; since he couldn’t swim, he wore a life vest at all times. He was also a doctor and continued to practice medicine in his old age, helping countless patients.
When he first arrived in the region, almost half a century ago, he immediately fell victim to malaria, the first week of his stay. Miraculously, he survived, and soon afterward he began to visit the jungle settlements in a simple canoe. Because of the shortage of priests in the region, many families had drifted away from the Catholic faith. Father Paolino won them back. He died in 2016, widely regarded as a saint.
Today, the people‘s faith is again in danger, because the 40 priests struggling to minister to the 450,000 or so Catholic faithful in this vast and inaccessible region can only rarely visit some of the remotest villages and settlements. Meanwhile, other sects are spreading rapidly, seemingly well-funded, wasting little time on training their preachers and promising miracle healings to all the people.
In this light, the 27 future priests are a great ray of light and hope for the Church in the diocese of Rio Branco. ACN is supporting the diocese for their formation, with a total of $11,600 this year.
Will you give to support the training of these future priests in Brazil?
Aid to the Church in Need commits to invest your funds where they will have the greatest impact for the Church that we serve. Funds donated to Aid to the Church in Need’s projects will be used towards the greatest need in our programs to help keep the Faith alive.