Since December 1985 the Community has been in Belo Horizonte, one of the most populous cities in Brazil, counting over two and a half million inhabitants. We have been entrusted with the parish of São Sebastião, one of the 300 parishes present in the city, in the southern suburbs.  To better accompany the community we divided the territory, inhabited by about 25,000 people, into four areas, each one with a specific meeting place for people: 

  • São Sebastião, where there is the so-called “mother” church, set in a central position
  • Mãe dos Pobres (Mother Of The Poor);
  • Nossa Senhora de Fátima (Our Lady of Fatima);
  • Santa Luzia (Santa Lucia), where, while waiting to have the resources to build a church, people have been gathering for years at the house of a family.

The parishes

Listening To The Local Reality

When the missionaries arrived to this new context, they started listening to the people and the local reality. Since the beginning, friendships have been born and a climate of collaboration and unity has been created, encouraging us to work as brothers and sisters and to experience deep human and faith bonds. 

From the earliest years, the missionaries understood the importance of elaborating a pastoral project to favor the people’s journey of faith, the relevance of evangelization, the experience of unity and fraternal communion among the parishioners and the different realities present, and the social commitment towards the poor and the most marginalized people. For this reason: 

  • the pastoral project NIP-New Image Of The Parish was launched
  • focus was placed on the creation of small evangelizing communities, composed of neighbors who meet in the neighborhood where they live to experience fraternity and walk together on the journey of faith
  • social pastoral care and human promotion projects were developed in favor of the weaker sections of the population

Andreia Lucienne, who used to live on the parish territory and is now a missionary of the Community, once said: 

“During all these years, the ideal of the Church as a community based on communion and evangelization that emerged from the Second Vatican Council has guided us in our pastoral service to the people. The ideal which also nowadays guides us is that, more and more, the parish is a missionary family, a community of communities where lay people are protagonists by assuming multiple ministries”. 

We try to give this imprint to all the parish structures and dynamics, favoring teamwork, co-responsibility and subsidiarity ministries. The task of guiding and managing the parish is also entrusted to several people: the missionary priest, appointed by the Bishop, who does not carry out his task alone but with a parish team which includes 3 missionaries and a married missionary couple. 


A Community That Evangelizes

Over the years we have carried out different parish missions with the aim of visiting all the families living in the area and involving them in an experience of community, walking together and following the Word of God, and fostering an experience of fraternity and mutual love. 

These missions are going on and new challenges always arise. The neighborhood has developed a lot in these last years, with the construction of large residential structures and a significant increase in population. “They are new families to be reached with the proclamation of the Gospel” said Father Luis Carlos, the current parish priest, “but, above all, families to be welcomed into a living community, which always wants to remain with doors and arms open to all.” 



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Centro de Acolhida Betânia
Cipriano de Carvalho, 574 Cinquentenário
30570-020, BH – MG