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Dom Avelar Museum - From dream to reality, a story of evangelization!

One of the main avenues in the Cristo Rei neighborhood in the 1950s.

A region lacking in basic infrastructure, inhabited by an even more needy population... And not just in terms of material goods, but in terms of access to education, culture and, above all, evangelization!

Such was the community of the Cristo Rei neighborhood in the city of Teresina, Piauí, when Father Pedro Maione, a Jesuit from the Northern Province, took over the new parish created by the region's archdiocese in 1974. It was in this community that he realized his greatest dream: to found a museum!

For many people, this idea would cause astonishment, but not for the Italian priest, who arrived in Teresina with the mission to evangelize and realized that this would only be possible if the region's residents had access to education and culture.

With this aim in mind, in 1989, Father Pedro and pastoral agent Lygia de Sousa Martins created the Cristo Rei Cultural Foundation, which began to offer social, cultural and spiritual formation to everyone in the community, through tutoring, theater, language, photography and music courses for young people and children.

In an old interview, Mrs. Lygia said that the population received Father Pedro very well, and that although they were very poor, everything that was proposed, they accepted and actively participated. This was also the case with the creation of the museum. Everyone contributed by bringing stones and other artifacts they found interesting.

Faced with this interest, Father Pedro had his large collection of ancient coins, stamps and minerals brought from Italy, his country of origin: - The year was 1990, the museum was coming into existence and was named Dom Avelar after the bishop, cardinal of Teresina and friend of Father Pedro, Dom Avelar Brandão Vilela.

But due to a lack of donations and encouragement from public bodies, Father Pedro saw his dream wither away and without an adequate structure to receive visitors, the museum was forgotten.

In 2019, the building where the museum still operates today, which was built with donations from the priest's family and friends, was renovated by IPHAN (National Historical and Artistic Heritage Institute).

Fully modernized, with adequate facilities for exhibiting the pieces and for visitors, the museum has been reopened and has been receiving visits from students from various schools in Teresina, as well as tourists and the general public. Father Pedro's dream has come true.

Having overcome the pandemic and the sadness at the departure of its founders to eternal life, the Cristo Rei Foundation continues to pursue its main objective, which is to evangelize through access to culture and education, announcing a new project aimed at children and adolescents, with the support of ABMTHS:

The Literary Museum

Watch the video of the launch of this new project:

"The aim is to encourage reading by providing children with a magical space where they can explore the literary universe, stimulating them to work on various axes such as art, creativity, etc."

Mônica Mendes, director of the Museum

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1 Comment

Que bênção! Pe. Pedro sonhou e realizou. Gratidão a todos que tornaram possível esse projeto tão importante, sobretudo para Teresina - PI.

Abraços, com orações.

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