Thank You for Your Help in Constructing a Carmelite Convent in Brazil

Success Story

The northeast of Brazil continues to be the poorest region in the country. The Emeritus Archbishop of Natal, Dom Heitor de Araujo Sales, who is now 87 years old, has spent all his adult life serving the Church in this impoverished region of the country: for almost 30 years as a priest, then for 15 years as Bishop of Caicó and finally for 10 years as Archbishop of Natal. Officially he has been retired since 2003, but this is hardly the right term to use, since there is no sign of him choosing to rest.

He himself believes he is, so to speak, the "guardian angel" of his former Archdiocese of Natal, since he continues to manage numerous projects there. One project especially dear to his heart is the Carmelite nuns who first settled here at his own request. It is the first and so far the only contemplative convent in the archdiocese, and it was his heartfelt wish to be able to persuade contemplative Sisters to come here. Success Story

While still Bishop of Caicó, Dom Heitor was able to witness how greatly the people love the contemplative nuns. He recalls the story of a woman who once visited a convent there and afterwards said to a friend, who had not been there: "You just don't know what you missed!" As it is, a great many of the Catholic faithful come to Sunday Mass at the convent of the Carmelite Sisters in Natal, and the chapel is hopelessly overcrowded as a result. Dom Heitor has observed a "great hunger for God" among the people.

The initial community of five Sisters was at first temporarily housed in the former minor seminary, but very soon the building was bursting at the seams. Above all, the Carmelites were unable to accept any new vocations for lack of space, even though there were already seven young women waiting to enter the convent. There was also scarcely enough space for the Sisters to work with their hands in order to help support themselves. Apart from one sewing machine in one tiny room, they had no other opportunities for working. Among other things they wanted to start up a candle-making workshop in order not to have to depend too much on outside donations.

ACN was able to help the Carmelite nuns with a contribution of $135,000 to enable them to build a new convent of their own. Now the Sisters would like to say thank you to all our benefactors for their help in making this dream a reality!

Aid to the Church in Need commits to invest your funds where they will have the greatest impact for the Church that we serve. Funds donated to Aid to the Church in Need’s projects will be used towards the greatest need in our programs to help keep the Faith alive.

Code: 212-06-19


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