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 is not easy, since their diocese lies mostly in the Brazilian rain forest and covers over 40,000 square miles. Many towns in the diocese can only be reached by river.
Their vocation is the fruit of Italian missionary Father Paolino Baldassarri’s tireless work. Even at the age of 90, Father Baldassarri went on long journeys into the wilderness on a simple boat 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 arrived in Brazil almost half a century ago, he immediately fell victim to malaria. Miraculously, he survived, and soon after he began to visit the jungle settlements in a canoe. Due to a 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: 40 priests now minister to 450,000 Catholic faithful and can only rarely visit the more distant communities. Meanwhile, other sects are spreading rapidly: they promise miracle healings and seem to be well-funded.
These 27 seminarians are a ray of light for the Church and the diocese of Rio Branco. ACN is supporting their formation with a total of $11,600 this year.
Will you give to support the training of Brazil’s future priests?
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