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CNDS honors the "bishop of the poor", Dom Helder Câmara

"True Christianity rejects the idea that some are born poor and others rich, and that the poor must attribute their poverty to God's will"

Dom Helder Câmara

On Saturday, August 26, the Community of God and Our Lady held the event Somos todos Irmãos (We are all brothers) in Paulista, PE, to commemorate the 24th anniversary of Dom Helder Câmara's death. Various activities took place throughout the day to remember the legacy of "Dom", as the archbishop is affectionately called by the people of Pernambuco.

Presentations of typical dances from the Dom Helder Institute, the presence of indigenous people and church leaders created by him when he was still alive, showed the extensive work of evangelization and the rescue of human dignity carried out by the priest.

Grinaura Silva de Oliveira has known Dom Helder's work since she was a child, when she accompanied her mother on evangelizing activities. At the age of 72, she still takes part in one of the movements created by Dom, called "Meeting of Brothers", where they visit homes and evangelize the whole population. For Grinaura, this is true evangelization:

Grinaura has been following "Dom's" teachings since she was a child.

"The poor evangelizing the poor", as Dom wanted! The families always welcome the team with a cup of coffee and a lot of love for God! We are a large and very organized group, and we always reflect on how our work is going! As long as I'm alive, I'll carry on this project, in memory of Dom Helder"

One of the highlights of the day was the lunch served by the Community of God and Our Lady to all those present and to everyone who passed by, including homeless people. There were more than 800 "quentinhas" made with more than 50kg of black beans, meats and sausages, 30kg of rice and 30kg of farofa!

Young people were also present, helping out and enjoying a hip hop performance and the live graffiti of a large panel with Dom Helder's face.

At the end, Father Adriano Chagas celebrated a Mass, where he recalled Dom Helder's humility, when during a concert by Father Zezinho in Recife, the archbishop was called to the stage and as he made his way there, he was cheered and applauded by everyone.

According to the priest, when he arrived on stage the archbishop said that "for a second he thought the applause was for him, but then he looked up and saw Jesus sitting on his shoulders and understood that the applause was for Jesus, that he (Dom Helder) was just the colt that was carrying him!"

At the end of the Mass, the Community of God and Our Lady presented a manifesto in which they asked that "prophecy not be silenced" and that Dom Helder's teachings not be in vain. And they recalled an important lesson that Dom left behind:

That the world needs to be changed and this will only happen through the commitment and unity of groups consecrated to transforming humanity through a deep faith in human beings and in life. They are the Abrahamic minorities, because like Abraham, they are not intimidated, they do not waver in the face of difficulties and trials, and against everything and everyone, they walk towards building a more just and humane world!

At the request of AbmthS, the Anelo Institute created a song especially for the event. Marisa Molchansky composed the lyrics, melody and lent her voice to "Dom". Listen, in the clip made by CDNS with the best moments of the event, to the song that pays homage to the archbishop emeritus of Olinda and Recife.

Dom Helder Câmara died on August 27, 1999, at the age of 90. At a time when defending the poor and human rights was considered subversion, the priest chose to fight against social injustice without hating the oppressor. He dedicated his entire life to the defense of justice and citizenship and to this day is remembered with great love by the people of Pernambuco.

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