The main mission of the monks of our São Bento Priory in Vinhedo, São Paulo, Brazil is to serve the people through pastoral work and the activities at Siloé Retreat Center. They have been doing so since 1964 when the first missionaries from Saint Vincent Archabbey arrived in Brazil. As the community grows and the Brazilian monks take over these responsibilities, they continue to honor the original mission while embracing the new challenges they face.
Equally important to our mission in Brazil is our relationship with the Missionary Sisters of Christ, who assist destitute children and youths in the poorest neighborhoods of Jundiaí, Brazil, and are also active in ministering to impoverished communities in the state of Pará, in the Amazon Forest region. This area is where women and children have been exploited and abused for many generations. Breaking the cycle of abuse is a challenge. The Sisters are building shelters where these women and children have a safe place to stay, removed from exploitation.
An important component of this outreach to the Missionary Sisters of Christ is the service of the students of Saint Vincent College who, for several years now, have been helping to disseminate these seeds of hope in Brazil by volunteering to engage in service to the poorest of the poor there during Spring Break Service Trips. These seeds of hope are spread not only in Brazil, where those in need benefit from the care and compassion of our young volunteers, but also back in the U.S., where our young volunteers are forever changed by the experience of being able to make such a positive difference in the lives of the most vulnerable.
At right, attendees at the 2019 dedication for Oratório São Bento, a new health center for children Monks from Saint Vincent’s priory in Brazil volunteer at the center.