Sister Rebecca, Buffalo native, has lived and served the people of Brazil for many years
1976, the missionary spirit which has long been a part of the Sisters
of St. Mary prompted the sisters in the various African countries
where we already were living to found a new mission in a new country.
They chose Brazil which has close ties with Africa because of previous
slave trading because it provided an opportunity to serve the poor in
new ways. This new mission also introduced a new language into our
congregation, Portuguese. Some sisters teach in the government school
system, usually during the scheduled night classes since the schools
have split shifts. Many children work in the fields and do not start
school on time and so risk having no education. The sisters have begun
small schools known as escholinas in which they teach the basics and
then give the students the clothing and supplies they need as they
enter school at the appropriate grade level. The sisters have also
addressed the danger of young girls having no proper way to earn money
by creating the Tabitha Project. Named after the young girl Jesus
raises from death in the Gospel, the project teaches young girls a
craft that will then enable them to earn money. This project is very
similar to what our very first sisters in Belgium were doing in Namur.
Evangelization is an important focus of ministry in Brazil. The
sisters go to many poor villages and give missions. They have even
created an itinerant community to do this.
Sisters of St. Mary of Namur . 241 Lafayette Avenue . Buffalo, New York 14213 . (716) 884-8221