With the encouragement of His Eminence, Josyf Cardinal Slipyj, the cooperation of Bishop Joseph Martinec, OSBM, and the support of the Provinces, Basilian Sisters set out bravely for mission work among the Ukrainian Greek-Catholics in Brazil. From the Generalate, Mother Eusebia Bilas, a member of the Philadelphia Province, and Sisters Ana Zapaia with Estefania Kosteski of the Argentina Province, arrived to Canoinhas in the springtime on December 12, 1972.
Soon after their arrival, Sisters commenced their ministry teaching catechism, the Ukrainian language and church music. Beginnings were trying especially when Mother Eusebia died suddenly in January 1973. The two courageous Sisters continued the apostolates and Sister Claudia Barszczuk joined them from Argentina. Sister Michael Bayda came from the Philadelphia Province.
God blessed the sacrifices and endeavors of the Sisters. Five young women who entered the candidacy program were sent for their formation to Argentina. In 1977, Saint Basil Monastery with a wing for the novitiate was erected in Curitiba.
In Canoinhas, a pre-school was dedicated in 1978. A monastery with a boarding facility for girls, who come from colonies* to attend high school in the city, was built between 1980-1985. As religious life in Brazil is developing Sisters extended their ministry into the area of Reserva. They built a new convent with boarding facilities for girls across the street from the Church.
Saint Macrina Delegature in Brazil, originally known as Saint Joseph Mission was under Christ the King Province in Argentina and since 2001, as a Delelegature is directly under the jurisdiction of the Generalate.
*colonies - sparsely settled areas of land far removed from the city and hard to reach by regular means of transportation.
Religious life in Brazil is developing. The Basilian Sisters, who serve the needs of the Byzantine Catholic Church, are engaged in apostolates, which radiate out from the central parishes to Mission Churches of the surrounding “colonies” thatoften can be reached only by horse and wagon. Sisters sustain themselves through the following ministries:
Conduct para-liturgical services: “Molebens”, funerals, Liturgy of the Word when a priest is unavailable.
Lead congregational singing during church services.
Direct and teach in a childcare school.
Catechize youth and adults.
Provide boarding room for girls from colonies attending high schools in the city.
Engage in ministry to families and the youth.
Visit the aged and ill.
Guide groups of Apostleship of Prayer.
Work as nurses in local Catholic hospital.
Bake and prepare holy bread “prosphora” for Divine Liturgy.
Care for the beauty of God’s House.
Engage in folk arts.
During the summer months, Sisters continue to be intensely involved in catechetical work in the “colonies”. Approximately 290 children and young people benefit from religious instructions, and learn religious and Ukrainian folk songs. Together, courageously and creatively Sisters continue to serve the faithful of the Byzantine Catholic Church in this beautiful land of diverse cultures.
Rua Ari Borba Carneiro, 1230 CX. P.42
84.320.000 Reserva, Paraná
Tel./Fax: (55) 423 2761. 744