Brazilian sister celebrates birthday in her new home


Sister Alexsandra da Silva arrived in the United States on her 32nd birthday Thursday — but, gratefully, the Sisters of St. Joseph allowed her to rest for 24 hours before throwing a party in her honor at the Nazareth Motherhouse in Concordia.

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Sister Alexsandra, who speaks Portuguese, will be here for a year, studying English at Kansas State University and living in Manhattan with Sisters Beverly Carlin and Missy Ljungdahl.

Sister Alexsandra traveled from the Sisters of St. Joseph Mission in Teresina, in  northeast Brazil, with Sister Anna Marie Broxterman, who had been in Teresina as part of a contingent of sisters from Concordia helping to celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Brazil mission. Their trip home took 24 hours, and they arrived about 3 p.m. Thursday.

Their arrival and today’s party were equally emotional for Sister Rose Marie Dwyer, who served in Brazil for nearly 40 years. In 2005 Sister Rose Marie returned to the U.S. for a visit, but failing health has kept her from returning to Teresina. As she and Sister Alexsandra chatted in Portuguese before the party started, Sister Rose Marie was overwhelmed. “All I can do is cry,” she said in English.

The sisters from throughout Concordia and Salina gathered at the Motherhouse for the celebration, and to sang “Happy Birthday” in English to Sister Alexsandra. Then Sister Janet Lander helped Sister Rose Marie sing it again in Portuguese.

Sister Anna Marie also presented Sister Alexsandra with several surprise gifts she had brought from the sisters in Teresina.



4 thoughts on “Brazilian sister celebrates birthday in her new home

  • July 20, 2013 at 12:38 pm

    Love these pictures and all of the news of the 50th anniversary of the Teresina mission and S. Anna Marie and S. Alexsandra’s return to Concordia! … and S. Janet sings in Portuguese? Cool!

  • July 20, 2013 at 10:35 am

    Great pictures and great celebrations!

    Happy Birthday Alexsandra!

  • July 19, 2013 at 7:39 pm

    Que bom vê-la ,Irmã Alexsandra! Que festa bonita! Gostou do chapeu? abraços, Irmã Lúcia e Francisca

  • July 19, 2013 at 4:45 pm

    What a great treat to have this so soon. Sarah, you captured the event so well. I just showed it to Alexsandra and she was so happy. Thank you!

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