Brazilian Jubilee concludes with special Mass

June 29, 2013 by

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The 17 members of the Mission of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia in Teresina, Piaui, Brazil are quick to agree these days that for 50 years God in God´s Providence has been abundantly present to them. God has continued to work miracles among them, for them and with them for others as they have gone from mission to mission in one town after another, establishing little faith communities among the people. Now, after 50 years their enthusiasm for the mission and their hope in God´s Providence is still active. They are ready for the work that continues to call them.

But first, they celebrate the 50 years of grace. They began the festivities on Friday, June 20, with the arrival from the United States of five Sisters of St. Joseph and three relatives of Sister Patricia Neihouse. The American Sisters presented their Sisters in Brazil with an acrylic painting of St. Joseph by Sister Ramona Medina of Concordia. This long-coveted piece now overlooks the dining room in their conference center.

During the days following, the Mission entertained former members, associates and took some of the U.S. guests on shopping trips to local artisan shops. Serious conversations also ensued about the life of the mission of the Sisters of St. Joseph in the Mission in Brazil.

Tuesday, June 25, marked the beginning of a three-day preparation for the formal closing of the year-long celebration.  A prayer vigil was held each evening until Thursday, June 29.

On Thursday, June 27th, the Parish of St. Joseph the Worker celebrated Mass in honor of the Sisters. Sister Patricia Neihouse, the only remaining original founding member, gave the reflection citing her gratitude for the past and the present and her readiness for the future as well as the availability of the whole Mission to follow wherever the Holy Spirit might lead.

At the end of the Mass, the celebrant, Father Jadhy Hobest, introduced a tribute to Sister Patricia because of her service here for 50 years. First, Sister Naira Regina da Silva Ribeiro spoke of Pat´s leadership qualities; next the head catechist and long-standing friend of the community, Teresinha Sa, gave her tribute. Then 12 associates presented her with a dozen yellow roses and Associate Maria do Carmelo Gomes de Carvalho gave a tribute. The celebration ended with the presentation of a very large bouquet of red roses by a very small child, gift from the Redemptorists.

Mass was followed by a concert in honor of the Sisters, compliments of the Irish Redemptorists. The Teresina Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus, under the direction of composer/director, Raimundo Aurelo Mel, performed the Missa Sancta Benedicte.

At the same time, Sisters Patricia Neihouse and Donna Otter autographed books titled “Fifty Years of the Mission of Sisters of St. Joseph in Brazil,” a history written by Sister Patricia and Onisina Alves da Costa, who was in the first group to be received into the community. Others also contributed to the work.

On Saturday, June 29, Bishop Jacinto Brito celebrated the closing Mass at St. Joseph the Worker Church, which was packed with friends, family and parishoners.

The U.S. visitors left Teresina Sunday, June 30, to return to Concordia.



One Response to “Brazilian Jubilee concludes with special Mass”

  1. Carm Thibault on June 30th, 2013 9:31 am

    What a great celebration you all had in Brazil…………!!! Thanks for the photos as it makes us feel we were all there!

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