Little Sisters of Jesus in Brazil, Consequences for the planet

A Gathering in BrazilA Gathering in Brazil

From Goiania in the state of Goias

I am not going to talk about the situation of the country in general, but more specially this time about what is happening in the Center-West region, in the state of Goias where our town of Goiania is located.

In the name of a need for combustible fuel, hundreds of kilometers of the special and vital vegetation of this region, the "Cerrado", is in the process of being destroyed. The Cerrado is a type of savannah, which extends also to other states. Its fauna and flora are rich and diversified, which is neither respected nor its particular qualities understood. There is an ignorance of the fact that the trees of this region, which have very deep roots, channel the rain water to feed the water tables. This explains why there are such large drinkable underground water reserves. This natural vegetation is being replaced by thousands of hectares of sugar cane, which dries the earth, to produce ethanol, the supposedly non-pollutant combustible. Not only are water reserves at risk but when cutting the sugar cane, it is burnt to make it is easier to cut, which gives off a lot of CO2. To react and fight against this devastation, the Conference of Religious of Brazil have formed a group to which we belong from our Community at Goiania.

Sugar cane plantationsSugar cane plantations

Here at Goiania we are three. We often welcome the little sisters living among the Tapirapes and from Jussiape, a village which in reality could be very prosperous but which for political reasons remains very poor and under-valued. Here there are not many jobs and the men are obliged to emigrate to other regions. There is no hospital and very little means for primary care or for doing any sort of tests. The little sisters from these two Communities come and stay with us, waiting for treatment. There is often a long waiting list, a problem many of our neighbours face too.

Every year, in all Brazil, there is an event that we call "The cry of the excluded". It was founded a few years ago by the Conference of Bishops of Brazil and other Churches. It is an ecumenical event. It takes place on the day of our national holiday, September 7th. While the military and the authorities of the country have their march, groups of different tendencies, people who are aware of the injustices in our country have another march, on the theme of ‘Who are the excluded?’. We think it is part of our mission, when possible to take part, to continue to fight with tenacity and perseverance so that a more just world may become reality.

Yes, it is a grace and a chance to be able to communicate and exchange news about all the countries where we are present. It keeps our heart and spirit open to so many realities that we are all living and we feel close to you all.