Tony Sheen Writes:
Friday, 15th July:
We have driven for over 12 hours of so and have left the busy city and into vast open countryside. Out of the window we see the sunrise over a huge reservoir and open fields. It’s such a contrast to the over-crowded city of São Paulo.
Fellow Pilgrim Ivanilch explains the significance of the pilgrimage to São Felix do Araguaia.
“We will remember the Martyrs of not just Brazil, but the whole of Latin America, South Africa and the rest of the world.”
She is a member of the grassroots Christian community, who are very spiritual and who meet in people’s homes. “ We need to walk with a bible in our hand, but to look with our eyes. We must unpack the bible and challenge the status quo.”
“Look at the beautiful land out of the window owned by a few multinational firms and not benefitting the people. Soya, sugar cane and cattle farming firms pushing small farmers off the land and who continue to deforest the Amazon.”
The reservoirs we saw were on land previously owned by small farmers, who were pushed off their land by hydroelectric water firms.
The grassroots church criticises this and makes those in power feel uncomfortable including the church.
If the church were to recognise Oscar Romero as a saint it would fire up the people against Capitalism.
We hope to join over 4000 Pilgrims with Bishop Casaldiga in São Félix do Araguaia.
We stop off at a service station where we pray and sign in the open. I don’t understand all the words of the hymns and prayers, but pick up the worlds Liberacao, Alleulia and the Lord’s Prayer all said and sung with conviction. We also lay our hands on each other and pray for each other.
I not only pray for the poor and oppressed in Latin America but CAFOD supporters and volunteers at home.