Sister Andréia's Report of her visit from July 22nd to August 13th.
to the report...
The tree of the childrens' pastoral with faith, life and mystical truth as its roots. Health, nourishment, education and civil rights are the trunk. There are branches for mothers, leaders, young people, work, communications, dialogue between the decision makers and politicians; there are games and toys. other pictures...
Nobel Peace Prize for the Children's Apostolate?
Is it possible that the Children's Apostolate will someday win the Nobel Peace Prize? Yes, as unbelievable as it seems, we are talking now of that Children's Apostolate that is under the responsibility of the National Conference of Brazilian Bishops whose sub-project is our project of the "Child Jesus of Nazareth"! more...
The Children's Apostolate is concerned with the children less than 6 years old and with their parents. Without a doubt, this Apostolate deserves that prize because in the last 25 years it has helped save the lives of hundred of thousands of children so that they have abundant life as Jesus says in the Gospel of St. John. (cf. Jn 10,10).
The realization of this seemed impossible for our Diocese of Cruzeiro do Sul, 25 years ago. Infant mortality rose to levels of more than 50 deaths per thousand and poverty was widespread. But the miracle happened by extremely simple means and at a cost of less than 10¢ a month per child — but we were rewarded by the inestimable collaboration of volunteers helping with almost 12,000 children of the poor families including the native Indian tribe, who were living in miserable conditions.
In order for this to happen it was necessary that:
- the 12 parishes would be sub-divided into 151 smaller working areas
- 960 volunteers, both men and women, would be found, taught, and assume the activities of the Apostolate
- monthly more than 7800 families would be visited so that they would understand the value and need of working together
- expectant mothers would be assisted during the pregnancy and after the child's birth
- the infant mortality would be diminished by a 5th part – that is, to 11 per thousand
- the children would be registered in the program, weighed monthly, and helped in their individual development
- the more difficult health problems would be directed to the area doctors
- hygiene and nutrition would improve
- the "slighted" rice hulls or chaff, egg shells, and dry manioc leaves would be collected, ground up to make into a multi-mixture that would be mixed with food and result in a visible improvement in the child's physical development by the increase of vitamins, calcium, and salt minerals
- the knowledge of natural medicinal plants would be amplified
- educational courses too numerous to count would be offered, accepted, and conducted
- mass communications would also be included
- the families would be enabled to achieve their guaranteed civil rights and to increase the family salary by means of knowledge acquired in the classes offered by the Children's Apostolate
The childrens' weight is monitored continuously - a procedure the children tolerate with scepticism...
If today someone would enter the gathering of the children families, it would be almost impossible to believe the progress realized – in addition to the above, there is the enormous intellectual development of the children in the play centers with toys and games the children are able to take home with them.
In comparison with the other Brazilian parishes, our diocese is in one of the first places with regard to intensity and quality of work. Special mention is given to the parish of Rodrigues Alves, which leads all the parishes in the entire country of Brazil in this intensity and quality of work.
Therefore, for this reason – even if we don't win the Nobel Peace Prize, we are certain that God gave His blessing on the work for the benefit of the children and will continue to bless it – this has a greater value than any prize given by man.