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A look at... the South Atlantic Province

A eventFriday, 05 June 2020

 

The South Atlantic Province, composed of Brazil and Argentina, continues to try to face this pan-demic that affects everyone with courage and faith. In both countries, it is clear that the gov-ernments are seeking how to respond, in their own way, with various measures in view of this health crisis.

In Argentina, social isolation was enacted on March 20, when only two people had died and this will make a difference in the end. The government is helping casual workers and the unem-ployed. There are many gestures of solidarity among neighbors: community kitchens, etc.

Unfortunately, in Brazil, as to this date, the president had done practically nothing yet, and his main concern was not, and is not, saving lives, but the economy. On March 31, a contribution of 88.2 billion reals was announced to help states and municipalities in the fight against the corona-virus.

Other measures to confront the pandemic continue, and people are still in social isolation in an attempt to curb the number of deaths, the statistics of which are growing every day.

The people in general are trying to obey the basic rule to avoid contagion: stay home. This is a great challenge for those who live in the countless slums (there are 14 million people in Brazil) where there is even lack of water to wash their hands.

However, this crisis has its positive side, the gestures of growing solidarity are multiplied in the most diverse situations and environments: the collection of food and money that is distributed among those who cannot work, especially the casual and autonomous workers; volunteers who show up to collaborate, either buying for the elderly who cannot leave the house, or sewing masks for home-dwellers, etc.

For people living on the streets, who in Brazil alone number more than 100,000, some activities are also being developed as providing shelter for refugees, with food also for the dogs, their faithful companions. Buildings belonging to the Catholic Church are assigned to shelter the homeless and for the construction of field hospitals.

Through the contact we have with our families through the social media, we discover that, re-garding relationships, everyone wins, since the time together also favours the deepening of family life with greater affection; tolerance is increasing, especially if the persons are timid. It is life for the family. The relationship with God is also increasing, the faith, abandonment into His hands and the certainty of filial love.

As a Province, we try to participate in the suffering of our people by joining forces through ges-tures of sharing and solidarity, seeking to alleviate the suffering of the most vulnerable and ex-cluded. However, we chose not to participate in a meeting already scheduled outside the Prov-ince and instead to give the amount in favour of the victims of the pandemic. In due course, the Council will establish a new Provincial Calendar. Up to this date, none of our Sisters has been affected by this virus and we hope that we will continue to respect the guidelines, so that we can soon resume our mission with stronger faith.

We see this time for our eight communities as a gift from God that helps us to be closer to the Sisters in our respective communities, an opportunity for a greater and better fraternal life to-gether. The reorganization of community life was necessary, more times for prayer, silence, personal and community studies, etc. The elaboration of the Community Project has occupied this time in a positive way. The WhatsApp group - South Atlantic - is the place to share these deep and enriching experiences that make us see the light of hope at this potent moment of our history.

Easter this year will be different for our Province and for each one of us because each one, there where she is, is already contributing in many ways to make life the top priority. And, of course, we will all come out stronger as consecrated women, as Religious of the Assumption. And as an old song says: "Easter is every day".