Cachoeira Paulista (Brazil). On 12 December 2022, on the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Msgr. Jonas Abib, founder of the Community of Canção Nova, the 25th Group of the Salesian Family, died at the age of 85 in his home in Cachoeira Paulista, in the State of São Paulo.
Born in Elias Fausto, São Paulo, on 21 December 1936, Msgr. Abib is one of the religious who distinguished himself in the evangelizing action of the Catholic Church in Latin America, using the media and organizing major evangelization events. In addition to being the founder of Canção Nova, he was President of the John Paul II Foundation, parent body of the Canção Nova Communication System, and the Canção Nova Social Development Network, as well as Rector of the Shrine of the Father of Mercies of Cachoeira Paulista.
Preacher, musician, writer, and editor for the portal and magazine “Canção Nova”, he held the position of Vice-President of the Executive Directory of the International Catholic Fraternity, a body connected to the Pontifical Council for the Laity of the Holy See, in Rome, and was one of the members of the National Council of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal in Brazil (RCC).
At the age of 12, he moved to Lavrinhas to begin his studies in the Salesian Congregation. He studied Philosophy at the Salesian Institute of Philosophy and Pedagogy of Lorraine and Theology at the Salesian Theological Institute “Pius XI” in San Paolo. He was ordained a priest in 1964, choosing as his motto “I did everything for everyone.”
He began his work with young people by promoting meetings and retreats for boys and girls of São Paulo. After joining the Catholic Charismatic Renewal in 1971, he became even more involved in youth work.
On 2 February 1978, he founded the Canção Nova Community, with the mission of evangelizing by communicating Jesus and the new life that He has come to bring, through meetings and means of social communication. Two years later, he inaugurated “Rádio Canção Nova”, in Cachoeira Paulista (SP), and in 1989 “TV Canção Nova”, today a point of reference among Catholic television stations in Brazil.
In January 2010, he was able to celebrate the admission of Canção Nova into the Salesian Family, approved by the General Council of the Salesians in Rome. The definitive pontifical recognition of the Catholic community took place on 29 June 2014, on the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul. In the same year, the dedication ceremony of the Shrine of the Father of Mercies was held in the Canção Nova headquarters and the 50th anniversary of the priesthood of Msgr. Abib was celebrated.
In the conclusion of the press release sent for this circumstance by Canção Nova we read:
“The whole body of Canção Nova tightens in this moment of pain for the loss of its spiritual father, the great creator of this Work which today has more than 1,300 members spread throughout Brazil and abroad. At the same time, with a contrite and sorrowful heart, the Community and all those who are part of the family of Canção Nova reaffirm their hope in the Resurrection (…). Canção Nova is grateful for the affection and condolences for the loss of dear Msgr. Jonas Abib and will do even more so that his precious and innumerable teachings can reach more and more people, so that they can experience a personal encounter with Jesus as well as he did, and never tired of testifying”.
Together with the whole Salesian Family, the Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians are close to the members of the Canção Nova Community with grateful prayers for the precious contribution of their Founder to Don Bosco’s charism with evangelization to young people through the means of Social Communication.