The “Bethlehem Mission” (Missao Belem) is a lay spiritual community of people who devote themselves to caring for the homeless, drug addicts, the lonely and all those facing a crisis or some difficult situation.
At age 88, Sister Halina has surely earned the right to more rest after a long life of daily service on behalf of the poor, but she continues to work, tirelessly visiting the sick and sewing quilts and pillowcases for newborn babies. And her equally elderly fellow Sisters also continue their service – listening to and counseling those who come to them for advice, helping children with their homework and comforting the sick and needy. Some of them even continue to instruct and give talks.
It was only 30 years ago that the religious institute the Servants of the Lord and the Virgin of Matarà was founded in Argentina. Since then, it has spread throughout the world, with 160 convents in 35 different countries on all five continents of the globe – such is the measure of its success to date.
The Apostolic Prelature of Cristalandia in central western Brazil covers a vast area of over 24,000 square miles – larger than many U.S. states. It has 17 parishes and its close-to 177,000 Catholic faithful live widely scattered. There are just 16 priests to minister to them pastorally, and the distances are vast, making pastoral care a massive challenge.