Since our last update Madre Lúcia, who had been hospitalized with Covid, passed away. Due to the health restrictions then in place her religious daughters were not allowed to attend her burial, though a priest was permitted. The sisters have since elected a new Mother Superior, Mother Maria José, who formally took her position on July 26th.
During the end of July Brazil also lost a beloved bishop, Dom Henrique Soares da Costa, of a diocese in the state of Pernambuco, who was a respected friend and support to traditional Catholics. He had preached the annual clergy retreat of the Apostolic Administration just two years ago.
Brazil’s love of festivities is charming. Even in the simplest or most rustic of parishes birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays like Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and so on are opportunities for special prayers and blessings, followed by group photos, cake and soda.
The library in the new wing is really developing nicely: there is a reading room with individual desks and air conditioning (a rare thing!) and the books which had been stashed in every spare nook and cranny of the seminary and are being neatly cataloged and shelved. Finishing work continues in the remainder of the new wing, as does clean up of the gardens, which got a bit mangled during all the construction.
The Feast of the Transfiguration was the annual parish feast day in Bom Jesus (the city’s name means Good Jesus). The novena leading up to the feast featured Adoration, a homily and Confession. Despite the accommodation of state and city regulations regarding crowding and social distancing, people are happily attending Mass, Confession, and devotions in the parishes. This is true here in Rio, too, where the Tridentine Latin Mass is as full as conditions allow (it was moved to a larger church for the time being to accommodate the need for space between people in the pews). The lines for Confession are long, and the hardships and upheaval of recent times seems to have only inspired greater enthusiasm in many Catholics.
In an interesting development both the seminary in Campos and the convent in Bom Jesus have received generous private donations to install solar panels. Other parishes and institutes, having seen the benefit, are pursuing the same installation via bank financing. The initial setup costs are high (150,000 to 250,000 reals), but the savings are enormous. Electricity is relatively expensive in Brazil, and an institution or parish can easily have monthly bills of 5000-8000 reals. With the solar panels, the monthly electric bill drops to a few hundred reals!! The Campos region is extremely sunny all year round, so it’s an excellent place to take advantage of the relatively new availability of solar technology in the area.
I hope that, with your help, we can continue to contribute to the support of this unique traditional Catholic community. Your prayers and donations are precious, and most welcome. You are always most welcome to reach out to me by phone or email if you have any questions.
God keep you and repay you for your generosity.
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.