Sr. Marilena meets by the River Uaicurapá, in the Amazon, an extraordinary couple, Bené and Susete. Spouses and missionaries of the Gospel, who tell their story.
I am in the community of Maranhão, on the Uaicurapá River. The area is part of the parish of St. Sebastian, in Parintins (State of Amazonas – Brazil). Benedito, familiarly known as Bené, confidently leads the parish boat, alternating with the parish priest, Father Benjamin. He does this service regularly, as a member of the evangelization team of the parish, which includes also our sisters, Sr. Lilian and Sr. Clarice. At the helm, Bené speaks little but, once we reach our destination, we have the opportunity to stop calmly at the house of the community leader and, having lunch together, he tells his story: «My name is Benedito Rodriguez, I’m 61 years old and, I’m a congregado Mariano (member of a Marian group).
In the 80s, I met a special person, Susete, a strong woman of great faith: my wife. I was a Catholic, but I did not practice the faith, on the contrary, I had fallen into vices. It was she who converted me; she with her patience did not abandon me and I changed. I began to take an interest in parish life and to commit myself more and more, until I entered the Marian association, consecrating myself to Our Lady of Fatima. The foundation of this Marian group dates back to 1955, on the initiative of Msgr. Arcangelo Cerqua, first bishop of Parintins, a PIME missionary. Anyone who joins this association undertakes to seek Jesus through His mother Mary; the association’s mission is evangelization, especially of young people, leading them to Jesus through Mary.
At the beginning, my wife did not participate in this association and I can say that through me, she too received the gift of a conversion: the conversion to evangelization. Through my commitment, she understood how important it is to evangelize and now she too participates with me in missionary visits to riverside communities. Susete and my children are all Congregados Marianos, at the service of evangelization in our parish and in the diocese of Parintins and I am very proud to have involved them in this adventure of faith.
Every day I thank the Lord for calling me to evangelize and above all for placing a life partner beside me, my wife Susete. Without her, I do not know what my life would have been like. We have lived together for forty years and we are happy because our understanding improves every day. Thanks to her I am a man of prayer, and thanks to me, she is a missionary, dedicated to “evangelization”.
Sr. Marilena Boracchi – Generale Direction