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Comunidade Deus e Nossa Senhora: The idea is to be a family!

In 1975 Dom Helder Câmara was the Archbishop of Olinda and Recife, in Pernambuco. Persecuted by the military regime that had ruled Brazil since the 1964 coup, the priest never bowed to political demands and always defended the rescue of human dignity through effective actions to combat poverty, which at that time was already affecting a large section of the population.

From this vocation to share bread with the most needy, countless social projects emerged that survive to this day. Like the Comunidade Deus e Nossa Senhora, which arose under the watchful eye of the bishop for the large number of people living on the streets of Recife.

This mission was shared by Dom Helder with Father Eduardo and Father Lourenço, who went to live on the streets. With a push cart, they collected cardboard to help the group survive.

And so the community was born! But the person who can tell us this story in great detail is Sister Carla, a nun who at that time worked and lived in a slum in the city and was called by Dom Helder to find a plot of land that he could buy and house these people.

the first children

After much searching, they found a plot of land in Abreu e Lima, on the outskirts of Recife, where the people were housed. Sisters Carla and Terezinha joined forces with priests Eduardo and Lourenço, and the Comunidade Deus e Nossa Senhora was established there and grew.

"Over time, the adults who remained in the community gained their place in life, but the children grew... The community organized itself around them and acquired this family feel!" says Sister Carla.

Carla Pimentel was the first baby to live in the community: - Her biological mother lived on the streets and was a close friend of Sister Carla. Until she was three months old, she lived on the streets with her mother, then she was given to her sister so that she could have a better future.

Carla, with her younger community brother Rui Pimentel and the director of AbmthS, Dr. John Sieh.

At CDNS, Carla discovered what it means to be a family. Calling Sister Carla and Father Eduardo "mainha and painho", she still lives with her many brothers and sisters in a relationship of great respect and love. At 41, Carla is a psychologist, married, mother of three and participates in the community's social projects, together with her husband Fábio, who is the community's current general coordinator.

CDNS and Social Projects

The idea was to be a family, but Dom Helder's legacy of love for his brothers showed that this family should extend beyond the farm in Abreu e Lima. As well as working with the local population, the community has carried out countless social projects in different parts of Paulista over the years, always trying to help the poorest.

And the CDNS, which was born rooted in the charism of prayer and evangelization, has faced countless difficulties, has grown, has borne much fruit and still today lives out Dom Helder's teaching that every effort to help the poor is worthwhile, because we are all brothers and sisters, children of God and one big family.

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