The Mission in Brazil
On 9 April 1957, four Grey Nuns from the Nicolet Province flew to Brazil to establish a dispensary, Santa Casa de Alcantara, in one of the poorest areas of the country. They joined some priests from the Diocese of Nicolet and some Sisters of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin, who had arrived a little earlier in this part of the Nordeste.
The Grey Nuns fulfilled their mission of charity in Alcantara until 1974. Other places in Maranhão State benefited from their spirit of solidarity, fraternity, and sharing with the most deprived and from their services in the areas of health care, social services, education, and catechesis; these places were:
Guimarães (1962-1965); Monte Castelo, São Luis (from 1964); Chapadinha (1965-2001) Anjo da Guarda, São Luis (1976-1993); Fátima, São Luis (1984-1988); Santa Quiteria (1987-1991); São Bernardo (1989-2004); Apeadouro, São Luis (1992-1996); João Paulo, São Luis (1999-2000); Campestre (1993-2009). They also exercised their apostolate in Bela Vista, Tocantins (1997-2008).
Today, the community of the Grey Nuns in Brazil is made up almost entirely of Brazilian Sisters. Two Canadians are still there. The Grey Nuns have been in Monte Castelo, São Luis, and at Aurora São Luis since 2000, in Goiânia (Goiás) since 2003, and in Crato (Ceará) since 2009. They work at promoting life through the Children’s Ministry and the Mothers’ Club and by being involved in social work with people with HIV (especially through the group Solidarity and Life and in the Children’s Dream house). They provide aid to prostitutes, accompany young people, work with basic communities, and in parish ministry and therapeutical accompaniment.