Brazil’s official religion was changed to Catholicism in the 19th century, and faith is deeply woven into the fabric of Brazil’s culture. However, it is also a growing drug trafficking hub which contributes to violence, poverty, and crime. The people of Brazil struggle from overpopulation and corruption, and many of the marginalized are forgotten. Gang violence permeates the cities, drawing in many young men and drawing them away from their families. This creates a large divide between generations.
The CICM missionaries in Brazil have felt a particular call to minister to the elderly in Brazil. This blog post describes the neglect of the older generation in Brazil and how Missionhurst missionaries give not only legal aid and assistance, but also give love. 30 years ago, many families were very large and the life expectancy was short. Now, the parents of these large families are surviving longer but have been emotionally or physically abandoned by their children and their communities. Instead of acting as visiting nurses, something handled by the government, the Ministry to the Elderly volunteers focus on the more personal aspects of the elderly’s lives where visiting nurses do not help.