Brazil 1
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Porto Rolim de Moura de Guaporé is the name of an island surrounded by two streams of rivers, the Rio Meqéum and the Rio Guaporé, at the heart of Amazon, near the border between Brazil and Bolívia.

Now, it is one of the newest outstations served by the Divine Word Missionaries from the Parish of Nossa Senhora da Penha, Alta Floresta D´oeste, Rondônia, Brazil. For a long time, this place was attended by the missionaries who passed there by boat every now and then, including the SVDs from Alta Floresta.

There was no specific date or time for the visit. It could happen that the visitation occurred after two or more years. It was for this reason that the leaders of the community initiated the talks with the priests of Nossa Senhora da Penha and also with the bishops of the two dioceses, so that the priests from Alta Floresta could formally take care of their spiritual and pastoral needs.

It was in 2017 that the bishop of Guaraja-Mirim, Msgr. Benedito Araujo, agreed and opened the door for the Divine Word Missionaries from Alta Floresta to work there. Porto Rolim de Moura de Guaporé is only about 160 Kms from Alta Floresta D´oeste, but the condition of the road during the rainy season makes it really difficult and challenging to reach this place. It takes around 4 to 5 hours driving from Alta Floresta to Porto Rolim, depending on the quality of the road, and another 15 minutes by speedboat to reach the community.

The community has more or less one thousand people scattered along the riverside and in the interior part of the island. Most of them are descendants of Quilombolas (descendants of the African slaves) and some Indian tribes from the region. It has also a rich history of the survival of faith.

Days before the arrival of Fr. Jorge Teté, SVD (Parish priest) together with Fr. João Batista (Provincial of BRC) and Fr. Clemens Naben (Mission Animation) for the second pastoral visit of this year, the people there celebrated the 124th Festival of the Holy Spirit in which an icon of the Holy Spirit was brought to visit various communities along the river of Guaporé, both in Brazil and Bolivia. This place is also known as a good place for those who love fishing. Usually during the months of July until September, this place is frequented by tourists coming from many places just for fishing.

With the addition of this community, the number of the outstation communities of the Nossa Senhora da Penha parish has grown to 57 and most are in the rural areas. On our way to visit Porto Rolim recently, a farmer who stays along the roadside requested us to start forming a community at their place, because there are many Catholics and they have never been attended by a priest since their arrival there some years ago. Now, there are three SVD missionaries working in this place, namely, Fr. Jorge Teté (Togo), Fr. Yuping Duan (China), and Fr. Adrianus Abun (Indonesia).

--- Fr. Clemens Naben, SVD

Posted in the newsletter “Arnoldus Nota” - August 2018

Other Notes

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Arnoldus Nota News Service - English November 2019

A News service of the SVD Generalate from Rome to keep us updated with the missionary activity of the Divine Word Missionaries.
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Synod for the Amazon - SVD Presence

Interview with Miguel Heinz and José Boeing, both SVD, about the works and debates of the Synod for the Amazon (in Spanish and Portuguese).
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