Visitation of the Superior General of the Pallottine Missionary Sisters to the communities in Brazil from 07 to 20 December 2013
From 07 to 20 December 2013, our Superior General Sr. Izabela Świerad SAC accompanied by her Vicar, Sr. Maria Landsberger SAC, held the Canonical Visitation to our three communities in Maranhão, State in the Northeast of Brazil. Our communities belong to the German Province and consist of seven Sisters, one of us is German and six are Brazilian. We were very happy to host Sr. Izabela, who was here for the first time, and to have Sr. Maria, who had lived and served for many years together with us.
Our visitors from Rome were joyfully welcomed at Teresina airport (capital of the neighboring State Piauí) by Sr. Maria Avaní Sousa da Silva and Sr. Maria Raimunda (Darzinha) Lopes Pereira together with Fr. Manuel, SAC, who is ministering in Codó. The visitation began with the community in the small city of Timbiras (about 3 hours distant from the airport), which was the first convent of the Pallottine Missionary Sisters, who had arrived in Brazil in 1980. The visitation continued in Codó, a big city, 30 minutes from Timbiras, where the Sisters live in two houses, São Raimundo and Santa Terezinha. Before the Sisters left, they visited with Sr. Avani’s Social Projects in Teresina. Our community in Teresina was closed in 2013, due to the small number of sisters, however the work continues with committed people, some of whom are Union lay members. Sr. Avani accompanies the activities with her regular visits.
In our communities the visiting Sisters shared in our daily life, by visiting our projects, participating in the Eucharistic celebrations and celebrations of the Word of God in the city and in the villages, and by visiting some of our families. Together with Sr. Silvia they were invited by Bishop Sebastiao Bandeira Coelho to a meeting and dinner in the diocesan city of Coroatá. We had two community meetings with the Sisters and also a joyful evening with the local Union members. Sr. Izabela is a very joyful person; her energy was very contagious and made us feel as one with her, in spite of the problem with the language. It is true that with the language of love all can understand each other.
It was a short time, yet very intense, but allowed us to live the joy of being together. However, during these days we were also deeply afflicted and stunned, as one of our Sisters, Sr. Marylande Rodrigues Lopes became ill and after a very short sickness died unexpectedly on the 16th of December. It was and continues to be a time of pain for all of us; we try to read and accept the will of God for us in this time, which puts before us new challenges. We experienced this time of distress as providential that Sr. Izabela and Sr. Maria were with us, because we felt supported and strengthened by their consoling presence.
The visitation of Sr. Izabela encouraged us to renew our faithfulness to God, to our Pallottine missionary vocation and our life in community. She emboldened us also to put more effort into the vocation ministry. We are very grateful for her presence.
United in the spirit of St. Vincent Pallotti,
Sr. Silvia de Almeida
Sr. Maria Avani Sousa da Silva
Sr. Elza (Ephrem) Lau
Sr. Iêda Maria Siqueira Silva
Sr. Maria Raimunda Lopes Pereira (Darzinha)
Sr. Rosangela Sousa
Sr. Maria do Espirito Santo da Silva (Santa)