Novena Aparecida 2022
Contributed by Thaiany Matta
October is a very important and special month to any Catholic Brazilian family! On October 12, we celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of Aparecida, our mother and patroness of Brazil.
In preparation for this feast, every year from October 3 to October 11, people gather in their parishes to pray a traditional novena and to get ready for the day of the feast. The days of the novena are full of prayers, Eucharistic Adoration, flower offerings etc. It is a time to thank her for all blessings, for protecting our families, our church, our country, and the entire world.
In our Brazilian community in Atlanta, it couldn’t be different. Actually, it was even more special and meaningful as we are celebrating the 25th anniversary of our community in the Archdiocese of Atlanta. Even far from our home country, we are thankful for her love, blessings, protection and all accomplishments of our community over these twenty-five years.
To celebrate this important feast and our jubilee, we received a visit from Bishop Emeritus Francisco Biasin, who came from Brazil to lead our novena. We started it on October 3 and during nine consecutive days we had a ministry or apostolate supporting the novena prayers. This consisted of a procession featuring the image of Our Lady, of decorating the church, and even of promoting a food sale. The group of Pilgrim Mother Campaign missionaries actively participated in the novena, living the spirit of Schoenstatt Movement through serving the Church and promoting a faith which can be applied to daily life.
Our missionaries were responsible for the fifth day of the novena. We had a meaningful moment where all missionaries walked in procession with Our Lady of Aparecida and the Pilgrim Images in our parish. According to our Brazilian chaplain, Father Vanderley Oliveira, it was an important moment to renew our faith and our commitment to the Gospel message, and as Mary did, open our hearts to receive the Word of God and to serve others.
For Bishop Francisco Biasin, it was an opportunity to witness the new community, being inspired by our Beloved Mother’s examples of hearing God through prayer, serving others even when they are against us, showing Christ’s way to others, being fraternal, forgiving and celebrating as she did when she met Elizabeth, and recognizing God’s acting in our midst.
We are thankful for this opportunity to serve our community, our Mother, our Church and the Schoenstatt Movement, now we can’t wait for the next special day in October, for our covenant of love renewal and a celebration of 108 years of our founders covenant of love with our MTA!