“Life is mission, I am mission, the Church is mission: O God, my missionary being hears your call and responds consciously: Here I am! Keep me faithful to your vocational plan, baptized Christian, in renewed faith, living the mission.”

(Test and music: Life is mission, Joelma Alexandre)

I am Sr. Shiuly, from Bangladesh, I have been in the Amazon for a few years. This month I was asked to represent the MDI at the 6th Diocesan Missionary Week of Barreirina, from 8 to 13 April. It’s a very special day for me, because it was also my birthday. I received this request as a gift from God: the oppoprtunity to do mission with the peole of the river community. I was a little scared and I thought: “How will I be able to do mission with other people without knowing how to speak Portuguese well?” However I went.

Suor Shiuly: la sua prima esperienza in Amazzonia

Arriving in Barreirina on April 8th at 3.00 pm, there was a great celebration for the sending of the missionaries into the communities. I felt like when Jesus sent his disciples into the villages to announce the Gospel (Lk 10,1).

After dinner we left Barreirina and traveled by boat all night. The next day at 8 in the morning, we arrived in the community of Santa Maria do Lago Preto in Cabeceria and stayed there for five days. We were welcomed very well; Professor Valmir hosted us in his home.

Starting from the next day, we went out for visits with the young people of the community. We visited the sick, the families and met the young people from the schools, we walked a lot. The day ended with a Eucharistic celebration with a large turnout of the locals.

This was my first missionary experience. I felt what the basic text of the last missionary congress says as a great truth: “God is mission, therefore the Church is mission. In reality, the mission of God is the being of the Church, whose action includes both the Church and the world, and in which the Church is privileged to participate”. (Basic text 5, National Missionary Congress, 207). It was a new experience, I was able to talk to people, to families and, to my great surprise they understood what I was saying. I felt very happy! I was reminded of the words of Jesus in the Gospels: “The Holy Spirit will teach you what you should say” (Lk 12,12)

In this mission I heard and saw that our brothers and sisters are thirsty to know Jesus and his word, they want to live with Jesus, receive sacraments and grace they need, to feel in tune with God. We will truly be an outgoing Church only if we are willing to reach out to our neediest brothers and sisters, who live in communities on fumes, difficult to reach. I thank God for everything I have received and been able to share with his grace!

sr. Shiuly Rozario, Brasile Nord


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