Meeting of the First Five Years – Rio de Janeiro

Province of Rio de Janeiro 

23 to 26 August 2021 

            On August 23, 2021, at 7:00 PM, the Meeting of the First Five Years of the Province of Rio de Janeiro began in Juiz de Fora (MG), composed of the accompanier, Fr. Ruaro Cândido, and the following companions: Fathers Adeilson, Alisson, Bruno, Eliezer, Fábio Júnior and Magno Luís, and the deacons Pablo, Patrick and Roney. 

            The 24th began with lauds at 8am. At 9h30, they welcome Ruaro as the new accompanier and the newcomers to the group, Fr. Fábio Júnior and the deacons. Ruaro presented his orientation programme, stressing the need for a culture of ongoing formation and personalised accompaniment. His plan of action will consist of annual meetings with the group and individual colloquiums in the mission stations of each confrere accompanied is. He concluded by sharing his journey, highlighting the challenges of that time when accompaniment was not part of the early years of the mission and the difference that this present programme makes. The whole group shared the necessity and importance of the accompaniment of a more experienced confrere. At 3:00 p.m. Father Attila, who has guided the group for nine years, told the story of how accompaniment came about. Then he shared his vocational testimony, telling how his missions were in the Congregation. He highlighted the richness of the charism and the way of being of the Rio de Janeiro province, inherited from the Dutch missionaries.  

            The 25th began with Mass at 8am. At 9h30 Ruaro spoke on the theme of interpersonal communication, differentiating between aggressiveness, passivity and assertiveness. He emphasised the importance of knowing one’s own feelings in order to communicate in an assertive manner and to maintain healthy interpersonal relationships. Finally, he opened the floor for questions and made available a material for training assertiveness. Ronnie Anderson, the Provincial, spoke about the institutional structure and the changes in the experience within the institution that have occurred over time. He emphasised that MSC identity and belonging must be rooted in the experience of Mercy. At 9 p.m. the recreation took place, a moment of great joy and fraternisation. 

            The 26th began with Mass at 8:00. At 9.30 Fr. Ruaro thanked the group for their welcome and for the sharing that they had done throughout the meeting. There was unanimous agreement as to the relevance of the meeting in terms of coexistence and the topics discussed. The group suggested that the next meetings be held in other places so that all could take advantage of the opportunity to rest. Fr Ruaro said that he would soon be in contact with each one to arrange individual visits. The 2022 meeting will be held from 16 to 20 May in Bahia (BA).