Since the 1970s, various bishops from Brazil had been asking
the Legionaries to found in their country: they offered seminaries,
parishes, chaplaincies, and they backed up many of their petitions
with recommendations from nuncios such as Archbishops Rocco and Furno,
who urged them to consider the future that Brazil would
offer to the Church. But the Legion did not yet have the
resources to meet those needs.
In the early 1980s,
various Legionary priests began learning Portuguese in preparation for a
future foundation in Brazil.
On July 25, 1985, the
congregation´s first Brazilian house was founded in Rio de Janeiro.
Cardinal D. Eugenio de Araujo Sales welcomed the Legion with
open arms. In May of 1986 the Legionaries founded a
community in Ponta Grossa, and on March 10 of 1987,
they founded their novitiate in Curitiba. Other foundations soon followed.
The first was in Porto Alegre, RS.
August 19, 1991, the recently named Metropolitan Archbishop, Dom Altamira
Rossato, CSSR gave his permission for the foundation of a
center for apostolate within his Archdiocese. This center was established
in early 1992 with Fathers Arturo Díaz, Salvador M. Calderón
and Guillermo Ortega LLCC.
In 1993, Fr. Héctor
Manuel Gómez Preciado and Br. José Luis Laris (now a
parish priest in Brasilia) established a center in the city
of Belo Horizonte, working apostolically in the local Catholic university.
In 1995, the community of Brasilia was founded. Immediately, arrangements
were made to be able to follow through on the
initiative of Cardinal José Freire Falcão, who had asked the
Legion to build a shrine to Our Lady of Guadalupe
in that city. This shrine was inaugurated on December 12
of 1999 and today also functions as a parish. Since
then, Legionary seminaries were established in Curitiba 1997, São Paulo
1998, and Porto Alegre 1999. In the year 2000, at
the request of numerous Brazilian bishops, the Legion of Christ
founded the Maria Mater Ecclesiae Seminary for the formation of
diocesan priests, provisionally located in the novitiate of the congregation
in Sao Paulo. In August of 2005 the seminary was
moved to its definitive campus. It currently has more than
130 seminarians studying their propedeutic year and their courses of
philosophy and theology. In the year 2006, the first 24
seminarians were ordained and a notable increase of students is
expected in the next few years.
arrival to Brazil, the Legionaries also established the Regnum Christi
apostolic movement in accordance with their charism and with the
consent and blessing of the bishops in the various cities.
In the past few years it has grown considerably and
has extended to other cities of the country: Fortaleza, Recife,
Campinas, Junjai, Joinville, Caxias, Bagé, Pelotas, and Ijuí. At present,
these cities do not yet have Legionary communities stationed there.
In the past few years, the Legion of Christ and
the Regnum Christi apostolic movement have developed their apostolates. There
are schools in Río de Janeiro and Curitiba, and the
first Mano Amiga school (for the underprivileged) was opened in
Sao Paulo in 2006.
The youth apostolates include
Gente Nueva, Soñar despierto (Making Dreams Come True), and Gaudium.
Apostolates for families include Family Mission and the Pilgrim Virgin.
In the area of evangelization, there is Youth for the
Third Millennium, School of the Faith, and a catechetical program
called Catequese Bom Pastor. In the area of social work
with the disadvantaged, the outstanding apostolates are Tertio Millennio and
Helping Hands Medical Mission, ANSPAC, and "Estenda sua mão" (Extend
Your Hand). In addition, there is a widespread network of
NET and CYWN clubs for children and adolescents.
To contact us:
Legionarios de Cristo
Guedala -Morumbi 05610-001 Sao Paulo - SP