I returned from Campos last month, my first visit in more than two years due to the
pandemic. The visit was shorter than I would have liked, but in a few days I was able to see
and be encouraged once again by the 40,000 person strong traditional diocese. In an age
when death and decline are much about us, that wild, mountainous terrain is filled with life
and growth. It reminds one of how the church must have looked in Italy a few centuries ago,
with religious orders everywhere, catholic families abundant, and architectural delights
appearing in all corners.
It was perhaps this last that makes the biggest impression since it is so noticeable and so
iconic. Not a church or shrine or hospital or seminary exists where some project small or
large to improve is not ongoing. With colonial baroque or continental gothic as models, new
churches spring up unexpectedly, built for hundreds of faithful to use at a time, and old
churches see new decorations. The church of Bom Jesus and the seminary of the Immaculate
Conception are two examples of this. In the former there are 5 Masses on a Sunday filling the
800 capacity church to the brim. Meanwhile decorators carefully paint the ceiling in blue and
gold. In the seminary, the facade has just been completed and painted and rooms are ready to
hold 80 seminarians.
And how is there so much life and growth? While the work of the bishop, priests and
religious all contribute, it is the Faith expressed through their love of Tradition which unites
them throughout. Once again I encourage you to support this good work that through our
little help, and God’s protection, they might continue to flourish in these difficult times.
Dom Benedict Nivakoff, O.S.B.
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.