I was able to get to Campos for a brief visit and can report that everyone is in good health and good spirits, and bearing well the limitations imposed by occasional regional covid lockdowns. It was a treat for me to see everyone again and to enjoy the silence and solemnity of the daily routine, if only for a day. We are all very greatful for the generous support of our donors, and for your prayers.
The pantry is well stocked. No one is fat! But they are getting good nutrition. Over 100 new fruit trees were donated by a local nursery: orange, acerola, papaya, avocado, mango and lime trees now grow prolifically on the large property. A new dirt road around the perimeter of the large property is being maintained to serve as an exercise path and firebreak, since the regular burning of the sugar cane fields on either side is a bit nerve-wracking. There are five calves fattening in the back pasture, and another several dozen at a farm in the north of the diocese, which assures some supply of meat for the months to come. Area dairy farmers donate some of their male calves to be raised for food. The care of the grounds is finally in the hands of a part-time groundskeeper, who is helping to maintain a more consistent civilized appearance in a tropical environment where everything one cuts down grows back very, very fast.
Since family-day visits have not been possible under the recurring quarantines, seminarians are allowed to make weekly video calls to their families instead of just audio. Brazil has a very family-oriented culture, and it’s rare for people to spend much time far from home, even in adulthood. Though a good portion of the seminarians are from the diocese of Campos some come from other states. The strict limits usually imposed on the use of internet and cell phone are excellent for building self-discipline, fraternal friendship, and focus on the tasks at hand. But especially for the first year students a little flexibility can help both parents and sons adapt to the novel arrangements.
The cataloguing of the library books is progressing, and Father Everaldo has compiled a list of books they need to purchase, mostly in the areas of philosophy and patristics. The total for that comes to about $3000 US, but they can be purchased a little at a time, so Friends of Campos will contribute as we can. Perhaps we can get discounts from some of the publishers, too. If you are particularly interested in helping with this project please get in touch via our contact page.
We reached a little over half our goal for the Lenten fundraiser, which has allowed us to help with food and pharmacy costs at the seminary and convent. We hope to receive a bit more in the next months to move ahead on the furnishings, library and music program support. The furnishings, too, will be paid in installments, so we are hopeful we can support that project in particular.
The sisters provided this sweet video - with an excellent effort in English narration! - to thank the donors to Friends of Campos for their generosity.
Also, the seminary has a nice instagram feed which includes videos of Holy Week and of day to day activities. If you use instagram you might enjoy following it! https://www.instagram.com/seminarioic/
Please keep us in your prayers and spread the word about the needs of this unique traditional diocese!
Yours in Christ,
Friends of Campos, Inc.
Friends of Campos, Inc. is a US-based not-for-profit (501c3) which supports the social and educational projects of the Personal Apostolic Administration of Saint John Mary Vianney, most of which are located around the diocese of Campos dos Goytacazes in the state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.