Shiuli a Brasilia - evidenza

Sr. Shiuly, newly arrived in Amazonas, tells us about her first encounter with the new Brazilian culture, through the course organized for the missionaries by the Missionary Cultural Center (CCM) in Brasília.

‘‘Language is a deep communication system, which expresses effectively emotions, ideas and thoughts, creating relationships among people’’.

When I was assigned to Brazil, one and half year ago, I had the desire to announce the Word of God to the peoples but I was wondering how I could do it without knowing the reality, the local Church, the cultures and the religions of the peoples living there. “How to be a missionary in Brazil?”. To be able to participate in the course of introduction to the Brazilian language and culture run by the CCM in Brasília with other missionaries just arrived, has been a precious opportunity to enter this reality. A special time to learn Portuguese, to plunge into the local habits, to know the aspirations and the challenges of the Brazilian people. A time to learn the detachment from my own culture and welcome the new one. A time to listen to the Spirit and learn again what God is calling me to be as part of another people.

CENFI, the Course of Initiation to the Mission in Brazil for newly arrived missionaries started on March 26th, with the opening Mass at CCM.

The participants were 30, from 18 countries: Italy, Uganda, Kenia, Angola, Ruanda, Congo, Madagascar, Ethiopia, Indonesia, India, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Philippines, Haiti, Honduras, Uruguay, Argentina, Mexico. The first part of the course was dedicated to the Portuguese language lessons, the second to conferences on different subjects: the human and affective dimension of the mission, the social doctrine of the Church, the formation of the Brazilian people, the Conference of the religious in Brazil, Amazonia and mission, history of the Brazilian Church, mission ad gentes and inter gentes. During week-ends we were going to different parishes for the celebrations, or to visit the city of Brasilia. It has been an intense period of immersion in the local culture and of training. The course helped me to improve the Portuguese spoken and written language and to have more confidence and to master the language.


The international community life which we lived during the course has been a precious exchange opportunity among us, belonging to different countries, cultures and Churches but together in a process of insertion in the life in Brazil. Fraternal relationships are of a great help!

During the Holy Week I lived 4 days in a family. I could practice the language and experience Brazilian family life. I could feel how welcoming and fraternal they are. I was treated like a member of the family and till today we keep contact and they ask me about what I am doing. A beautiful relationship was born among us.

My biggest difficulty was the language. Portuguese is so different from my mother tongue and its structure completely new to me; the alphabet and the way of writing too are different and to learn them in only 3 months was very challenging. We were all together during the lessons, but with different levels of learning and I was not always able to follow the teacher. During the conferences about the culture, the history of the Church, the Amazonas, … the language used was not simple and not at everybody’s level, so despite our effort, we were not always able to follow. In spite of the difficulties, I have learned a lot!

I finished the course in June and I received my destination: the community of Parintins. I reached Manaus by plane and after few days I took the boat for Parintins. It was the first time I travelled by boat. I have never seen an hammock before and I didn’t know how to sleep in it: the sister who accompany me showed me how to do. An other experience to put in “my luggage”. I could not sleep for the almost 24 hour journey but I could appreciate the nature and the beauty of the Amazon River. Before reaching, I thought the city of Parintins was very large but I discovered that it is actually an island, relatively small but very beautiful. The life of the people is very simple and everybody very welcoming.

On July 16 I participated in the feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, the patroness of the Diocese and of the city of Parintins. I was amazed by the manifestation of faith of the people and their devotion.

For everything I thank the Lord: for the opportunity to participate in the course in Brasília and for the gift of the mission in Parintins: an experience that, I am sure, will be very enriching.

Sr. Shiuly Rozario, North Brazil


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