Sao Paulo: Day of Prayer and Action for Children.

 BRAZIL- Sao Paulo – The city’s Children’s Pastoral Services organized the Day of Prayer and Action for Children, with representatives from different religious traditions attending. “November 20th, the Day of the Convention of the Rights of the Child, was the date for the World Day of Prayer and Action for Children.” Read the account of the November 18 proceedings by Coordinator of the Sao Paulo Archdiocese Maria del Rosario.

In the City of Sao Paulo, the Children’s Pastoral Services of the Archdiocese of Sao Paulo was represented by its regions – Se, Lapa, Brasilandia, Belem, Santana and Iripanga; Father Marcelo Marostica, represented Cardinal Archbishop of Sao Paulo D. Odilio Pedro Scherer. On November 18th, 2010, this most important date, we held a joint celebration with the acting committee for the GNRC or Global Network of Religions for Children, and participants, including: for the Sao Paulo Israelite Congregation, Rabbi Ruben Sternschein, Mrs. Miriam Markus, and Shirley Jungman Sacerdote; for the Methodist Church, Reverend Luiz Carlos Ramos and Reverend Luciano de Lima; for the Zen Buddhist community, Monk Joshin; for the Ramakrishna Vedanta Ashram, Mr. Swami Nirmalatmananda and Mr. Eduardo Chohfe; for URI – United Religions Initiative, Reverend Elias de Andrade Pinto; for the Brotherhood Movement of Christian Churches, Father Jose Bizon; and for CLAI Brazil, Mr. Darli Alves de Souza.

Children are a sacred gift that must be protected by all the world’s religions. Thus we bring together the different traditions for a yearly renewal of this sacred commitment to insure children are respected, protected and loved.

Further promoting this interfaith action was the presence of 50 children from Santa Isabel Parrish – from the Santana Episcopal Region Tubo Community, who were greeted with the fun and games of Bacalhau (Codfish) the clown, and storytellers from UMAPAZ University.

The program included a very moving moment, a moment of blessing when the various religious representatives, before offering prayers according to their tradition, received the blessing from the children themselves, symbolized by candlelight.

By the end of the ceremony there vibrated among the participants an evident impulse to become messengers of peace, to bring abundant life to all children of the country and the world, and the confirmation of this sacred commitment to celebrate this day every year.

We made the concrete commitment this year to promote breastfeeding, and the message in the poem called Psalm 131 by Luiz Carlos Ramos, which reads as follows:

I wish, o Spirit of Life,
to be like that breastfed child,
that nestles in its mother’s lap;
needing nothing more
than the tender warmth of your embrace;
feel your loving caress comforting me;
and, to the beat of your patient voice,
doze off serenely
and rest close to your heart;
and, to the rhythm of your soft breathing,
dream of good things
that put a smile on my lips,
and even with eyes closed,
make me contemplate the stars in the sky
and the fruits of my land.

Report taken from the Pastoral de la Crianza web page

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