Mission Bethlehem (Misión Belén): Being family for those who have no family.
In the city of São Paulo there are over 25,000 people living on the streets. They are our “brothers and sisters of the streets”, to borrow the phrase used by the missionaries of the Bethlehem Mission (Misión Belén), a mission outreach founded in 2005 by Fr Gianpietro Carraro and Sister Cacilda da Silva Leste. The charism of the community consists in living out the reality of that first Christmas night and “becoming incarnate in the midst of the poor, so that God can reach them in a more profound manner”.
The members of the Bethlehem Mission originally began their work by actually living on the streets with the poor. But soon they realised that what was needed was to give these people shelter, and so began their work of welcome, rescuing the men and women, children and old people living on the streets… And this, in most cases, at the same time involved rescuing them from a life marked by drugs, violence and abuse.
A former homeless shaving another homeless welcomed in Missão Belém. Photographer: Erica Viana. Copyright: Aid to the Church in Need.