By: Fr. Boy Toledo
Columban Priest Associate
On my weekly visit to Vila Nova- a very poor urban community in the parish of Vila Brasil, seldom do I miss to drop by the houses of Maria and Evans. In fact, they are the very first persons I usually consult if I want some information about recent happenings in the area.
She is a sickly elderly woman who was born in the area. She and her children live with her mother in a very small brick hut. Her inability to earn a living for health reasons I the cause of the perennial complaints of her mother about her church involvement. She is particularly involved with the youngsters Grupo dos Adolescents. Her dedication and fidelity to this group are quite impressive. That is, when she is in the hospital. At times I brought her to the hospital in my car and loaned her some money for medicine. once she visited the casa parpquial and fell in love with the chapel. Despite her condition, Maria is a sign of joy. She always has a ready smile as she extends her bony arm for a handshake. In spite of dire poverty, of hatred and criticism by those close to her, she is a sign of hope to everyone especially to the Gropu dos Adolescents.