Cuiabá (Brazil) In 2020 the Province of Our Lady of Peace (BCB) in Brazil celebrates 125 years of the arrival of the first Daughters of Mary Help of Christians in Mato Grosso. Here is the story of the origins:
“On January 3, 1895, the missionaries left San Paolo, headed for Montevideo: Sister Maria Heitzmann, Sister Margarida Micheletto, Sister Ana Gudehus, and Sister Frederica Hummel. Disembarking in Montevideo, the sisters go to Villa Colon, where the Visiting Councilor from Uruguay, Mother Emilia Borgna, organizes the expedition with four other missionaries: Sister Rosa Kiste, Sister Carolina Manfredi, Sister Madalena Tramonti, and Sister Helena Michetti. The embarkation took place in Montevideo on March 14, 1895. The chronicler from the Pio School notes: “Monsignor Lasagna sent the expedition of Mato Grosso, made up of two priests, Fr. Balzola and Fr. Cavatorta, the acolyte Fraga, the professed Manuel Fonseca and Angel Sordi, the novice Herman Gross, and eight sisters.” Arriving in Corumbá, the director Fr. Antonio Malan was waiting for them. At the port of Corumbá they change ships and on April 9, 1895 they arrive at the port of Cuiabá. The Sisters of the Daughters of St. Vincent went to welcome them and accompany them to Orphanage St. Rita, handing it over to the direction of Sister Rosa Kiste, FMA”.
The missionaries who have come over the years from Italy and other countries, together with the local vocations, have given continuity to the small ‘sprout’ born from the seed sown in Mato Grosso by the Institute in 1895, which has become a ‘luxuriant tree’, rich in vital lymph. Today, 125 years later, the Province is made up of 52 Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, divided into 10 Communities present in four Dioceses, and covering eight Provinces of Mato Grosso. The commitment continue for life, education, and the culture of peace between the indigenous peoples, Xavante and Bororo, and the surrounding communities, which find comfort on many fronts in the presence of the FMA.
Although, due to the closure because of the Coronavirus pandemic, it is not possible to carry out all the planned celebrations, on April 9, 2020 each Community raised thanks to God, remembering the fruitfulness of the origins and giving continuity to the process of resignification of the Provinces in Brazil, which concerns the works, the Educating Communities, the consecrated life of the FMA, and creative fidelity to the charism.