27 April 2012
Archbishop Fares meets with families after baptisms at Our Lady of Paradise Cathedral in São Paulo. (photo: Izan Petterle)
In the July 2011 issue of ONE, São Paulo based journalist Fidel Madeira reported on the Melkite Greek Catholics who have called São Paulo home for the past 100 years:
“In the Middle East, it is common for parishes to have on file the names and details of all the families in the area. Having those archives in hand helps our work. In São Paulo, on the other hand, people move around frequently,” says the priest. “And just the city alone is a world unto itself. Its vastness makes it hard for someone who does not live close to us to attend church regularly. But thankfully, they come to us on important occasions, such as weddings, baptisms and funerals.”
“By the grace of God, we manage to find ways to preserve our traditions,” adds Archbishop Fares. “But there is still much more to be done. For instance, I am trying to translate, in a more comprehensive way, our liturgy into Portuguese and bring awareness to the richness and beauty of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church.
“I have become acquainted with a new reality when moving to Brazil and now recognize the plurality of the Catholic Church,” continues the archbishop. “All the natural beauty — the endless forests, waterfalls with crystalline water — that I was hoping to find, I did find after all: in the hearts of the Brazilian people.”
For more, read Paradise in Brazil.
Tags: Middle East Cultural Identity Melkite Greek Catholic Church Arabs