On November 30, 2019, the friars of the Provincial Custody of the Immaculate Conception of the B.V.M. in Brazil made their third Custodial pilgrimage to the National Shrine of Aparecida in the State of São Paulo, Brazil.
The Minister Provincial of the Province of Our Lady of the Angels in the USA (OLA) Friar James McCURRY, while making his fraternal visit to the Custody, took the opportunity to attend this event as well.
Mass at the Shrine was presided over by a Redemptorist priest assigned there. Almost all of the friars of the Custody attended as did the friars from the friary in Caçapava, which belongs to the Province of St. Francis in Brazil. In addition, a large group of lay faithful took part in this faith event who came from parishes under the care of the friars, namely, the parishes in Araruama, Rio Comprido, Costa Barros, Paraíba do Sul, Juiz de Fora and Belo Horizonte.
The Mass was broadcast nationwide by Aparecida TV. After the Mass, more than 600 people gathered in the crypt of the Shrine to pray the Franciscan Crown together and to spend some time giving witness. During the event, the confreres paid tribute to the memory of the Most Reverend Elias James MANNING, OFM Conv., Bishop Emeritus of Valença, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Bishop Manning regularly participated in this pilgrimage. He passed away on October 13, 2019.
To conclude this faith-filled, fraternal event, the friars shared lunch together and thanked God for another year of their Conventual Franciscan presence in Brazil, for their pastoral ministry and for the challenges they met.
Friar Carlos Roberto de Oliveira CHARLES Custodial Secretary