Viva Brazil! Brothers Visit South American Confreres

Brother Marcelo, Director of Colégio Dom Amando, at the new building site.

Brother Marcelo, Director of Colégio Dom Amando, at the new building site.

For Brothers Bill Zaydak, CSC, and Jonathan Beebe, CSC, it was an Amazon Easter—but not of the online variety. The Brothers traveled to the District of Brazil from March 18-30 to the Amazon region and other areas of the South American nation to visit Holy Cross religious ministering there. The trip moved Bro. Jonathan to reflect, “The faith life of the Brazilian people is inspiring.”

First stop: Colégio Dom Amando to celebrate the Feast of St. Joseph and the 73rd anniversary of the school’s founding. Colégio Dom Amando is undergoing renovations, adding a new classroom building and a new Holy Cross community residence that will allow for expansion of the community. After a day filled with Mass celebrated by Bishop Flávio Giovenale, S.D.B., fellowship at celebratory meals and student soccer games, Bro. Bill and Bro. Jonathan were the guests on a local Catholic radio program.

Social Services Center near Paudalho, PE.

Social Services Center near Paudalho, PE.

While in the area, the Brothers also visited Pastoral do Menor, which serves at-risk youth and their families at multiple centers in the area. Some of the current staff were enrolled in the program as youths, bringing encouragement and hope to the next generation of participants.

The Way of the Cross.

The Way of the Cross.

The next leg of their journey led the pair to the Holy Cross community in Guadalajara, Paudalho, PE, which administers the local parish and several chapels in the surrounding countryside.  A small school and social outreach program will begin here soon. The brothers joined in the local Holy Week liturgies, including the Mass of the Lord’s Supper and the Way of the Cross, a three-hour procession through the streets of Guadalajara.

Their last stop was São Paulo, where the Congregation of Holy Cross in Brazil has a variety of ministries including the District’s central house in Sousas, a formation community, schools and parishes. Bro. Bill and Bro. Jonathan celebrated the Holy Saturday vigil with local parishioners at Santo Antônio church in Sousas, and Easter Sunday with the school community in the chapel at Colégio Notre Dame in Campinas. After observing their Brazilian confreres’ extensive work, Bro. Jonathan commented, “They truly are ‘men with hope to bring’ to the people of Brazil.”

The beautiful countryside in Pernambuco.

The beautiful countryside in Pernambuco.