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​Sr Zenaide and Sr Vanderleia in Haiti

The inter-congregational religious community of Haiti is to receive two more Brazilian missionaries: Sr Zenaide Laurentina Mayer of the Congregation of the Franciscan Sisters of St Joseph and Sr Vanderleia Correa de Melo of the Congregation of the Franciscan Sisters of Christ the King. Since the earthquake that hit Haiti in 2010, the Brazilian Conference of Religious has taken the initiative of sending missionaries to the country to help the local population, so harshly tried. “The harvest is plentiful but the labourers are few. People’s lives have meaning only when they are dedicated to great causes and this mission is one of them”, said Sr Vanderleia, who has 17 years of consecrated life behind her, six of which she spent working on large farms (fazendas) and in pastoral work for the children in the city of Cocalinho. The fact that so many religious had chosen to go to the Haiti mission was, according to the sister, the great incentive for her to say “yes” too. “This is an appropriate moment for me”, she added. With a degree in fine arts and pedagogy, as from March 2016 Sr Vanderleia will take charge of projects related to children, young people, formation and literacy. Instead, for her part, Sr Zenaide, who holds degrees in psychology, educational psychology and theology, is working as a psychologist and an educational psychologist in the social field, assisting families, adults and children with learning difficulties, in the relational sphere. “I have always been involved in this field with the poor”, she commented upon her arrival on the Caribbean island.

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St. Peter’s Square

July 18, 2018

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