“Whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.”
Support the Formation of 54 Men in Brazil
Today, over 3,000 people in more than twenty countries belong to the Shalom Catholic Community. This community was founded in Brazil in 1982, and its members include priests, married couples, and people pursuing a religious vocation. They prioritize youth evangelization efforts and outreach to marginalized groups, and their lives are centered on daily Mass attendance, personal prayer and contemplation, and a radical commitment to Christ.
The community has happily produced many vocations. At the site of its founding, the city of Fortaleza in northeast Brazil, there are 54 young men currently training for the priesthood.
Not long ago, Father Vitor Bomfin Santos was one of these men. He was ordained in December 2019, just before the outbreak of the coronavirus. And though he has recently witnessed “so much suffering and so many challenges,” he has also seen God’s grace. This year, he discovered his particular vocation: the service of the poor and homeless.
Father Santos explains, “I have always had a great love for the poor, and to be able to serve them directly now as a priest is a great joy for me. For me to be able to meet them in the squares, listen to their stories, hear the confessions of people who have not made confession in years, even to baptize the child of two homeless parents: it has all been a grace, and I thank God for revealing this to me as the particular mission of my priesthood.” Each person he meets helps him to hear the call of God.
Like Father Santos last year, the 54 seminarians in Fortaleza, Brazil are preparing for ordination and the opportunity to serve in a deeper, more personal way. Rai Rannier, one of the seminarians, is only 25. He explains, “I was looking for a life of total conversion to God and His Church.” For him, the personal encounter with Christ is most important, and he and his fellow seminarians are sharing their experiences with young people trying to discern their vocation and follow Christ.
ACN is planning to contribute $21,900 to their formation. Will you help these young men become priests in Brazil?
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