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.
Can drug addicts be healed without expensive medication or replacement drugs, especially given that all the skills of doctors and therapists are often of little avail against the power of an addiction that can destroy a human life?
The Diocese of Rio Branco covers a vast area of over 40,000 square miles in the west of Brazil, with large areas lying in the rainforest. It is an impenetrable region of great distances, with many places accessible only by river boat. There is a grave shortage of priests here.