Saint Dulce of the Poor

Canonization Date to be Announced

Sister Dulce (1914-1992) was a member of the Congregation of the Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate Conception of the Mother of God (SMIC). She was born in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil where she was known as the Good Angel of Bahia.

Her baptismal name was Maria Rita de Souza Brito Lopes Pontes. Daughter of Augusto Lopes Pontes, dentist and professor at the Federal University of Bahia and of Dulce Maria de Souza Brito Lopes Pontes. From childhood Sister Dulce wanted to follow Jesus Christ by being a consecrated Religious. On February 8 1932, she became a primary school teacher and in the following year entered the Congregation of the Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate Conception of the Mother of God in São Cristóvão, Sergipe, Brasil.

In 1934, she professed her religious vows becoming a Sister and receiving the name of Sister Dulce, in honor of her mother. Returning to Salvador, as a Sister, her first mission was to teach in a school of the religious congregation.

In 1936, at 22 years of age, Sister Dulce founded the St. Francis Workers' Union together with Friar Hildebrando Kruthaup. Another creation of Sr. Dulce was St. Anthony School for workers and their families. Also important was her participation in creating a hostel for the sick, located in the convent of St. Anthony's old chicken coup which later was transformed into a hospital , today, the Social Works of Sr. Dulce".

Sr. Dulce dedicated her life to the service of the poorest. She would gather the sick she met in the streets and tended to their wounds. She had a great passion for Jesus Christ and because of this saw Him in the image of those needy persons. Her great merit was to listen and to attend the calls of God. If, it was necessary for her to disobey whatever rule or norm that was not favorable to attending such persons who needed to be welcomed, cared for and compassion. She is considered by many as an illumined soul which God sent to the earth to show his love to his creatures. Sr. Dulce had a fragile health but had a vibrant soul very strengthened in the Christian faith. She knew whom she served and was clear about the mission she received, for this reason she fulfilled it with dedication, self- giving and love.

On May 14th, 2019, the Holy See informed us that the Holy Father, Pope Francis recognized one more miracle attributed to the intercession of Sr. Dulce of the poor, beatified in May of 2011 in Brazil. The miracle took place with a blind person who asked the help of Sr. Dulce and was given sight. For this, Sr. Dulce will be proclaimed a saint by the Catholic Church. The date has not been communicated as yet, but the decree of canonization was signed by Pope Francis at the Vatican on May 13th, 2019.

Sister Dulce will be the first saint born in Brazil, the country with the most number of catholics in the world.

We are GRATEFUL to God for the legacy of love to the poor, left us by our founders, Bishop Amandus and Mother Immaculata. This legacy which Sr. Dulce, faithful to the call of God, lived it day to day. Our SMIC Religious family is grateful to God for all that He has realized to humanity through the Social Works of Sr.Dulce!

In praise to Christ, We rejoice always in the Lord!

VI SMIC Educational Symposium

2018 SMIC Education Symposium

The Sixth SMIC Education Symposium was held between the 24th and 26th of August at Dom Amando Convent in Salvador, Bahia. Collaborators from the following Schools were present: Immaculate Conception, Capela, Sergipe, St. Eufrásia- Barra-Bahia, Vera Cruz- Recife-Pernambuco and Dom Bosco- Itabaiana-Sergipe, with the latter responsible for the preparation of this Symposium..

The event had as its theme: SMIC Education: Breakdown walls, construct bridges. Go evangelize

Based on the Year of the Laity, the talks and all the activitives were directed to the mission of evangelization, lay men and women to make the world better. We who are educators need to be involved in this spirit, as we are the collaborators and integral to the formation of our students.

The Symposium clarified and strengthened ideas in relation to our mission as citizen, educator in collaboration of forming a just and equal society

The days were enriched with learning and joy. Each speaker offered a concentration and participants were emotionally involved taking them to real life, their experiences and concerns; the perspective of making a difference.

Within this context, the speaches were inspiring and provoked us to be a transform- ative participant in the school and world. One can sense that all depends on us, on our professional and Christian responsibility.

We are grateful for the Symposium which we felt was great. We need to Evangelize!


Lay Persons Associate Missionaries of the Immaculate Conception

The seed planted in good soil and blessed by God has blossomed in other fertile lands where there is a SMIC Community. Many are called but few respond with a YES. Today there are 125 members in the following SMIC locations of Brazil

Fortaleza: Bairro Padre Andrade 11 Sr.Leônia
Fortaleza: Bairro Antônio Bezerra 08 Sr.Eliene
Canindé 10 Sr. Maria Cleofas
Belém 12 Sr.Carmelita
Alenquer 13 Sr.Nilsa
Monte Alegre 21 Sr. Heloísa
Itaituba 24 Sr. Heloísa
Santa Clara – Santarém 11 Sr. Maria Olinda
São José – Santarém 15 Sr. Heloísa
Total 125

LEMIC Commitment Terms We, attending to the call of God, freely decide to assume the commitment to be Lay Missionaries of the Immaculate Conception, living the charism and spirituality of the Congregation of the Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate Conception. We wish to develop the Mission and Marian-Franciscan Spirit in the example of the Founders, Bishop Amando and Mother Immaculata being a Compassionate Presence and Evangelizer, principally among the most needy.

The group serves in diverse ways both within the Congregation and in the Parishes and Dioceses to which they belong.

Briefly, the objective of LEMIC members, is to share with the Sisters the mission of Jesus Christ by being a contemplative and missionary presence especially to those most in need.

Every three years, the LEMIC group meets in a General Assembly. Such a meeting took place November 10 to 12th held at the retreat house of São José in the Santarem region.. Nine Province groups of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Province, Belem were present as well as 9 members from the Holy Cross Province came to be accompanied by Sr. Olivia. In total, there were 90 participants. As 2017 was the Marian Jubilee Year, a significant theme for the Church of Brazil, this same theme was used at the Assembly: "With Mary in defense of Life"

The purpose of the Assembly was to evaluate the past three years and to plan for the next5 three years until 2020.

Besides the monthly meetings LEMIC members are engaged in various pastoral ministries in the Parishes: catechetics, home visits to the sick, vists to the hospitals, extraordinary ministers of Communion, liturgies, Christmas novenas and novenas of the parish patron saint, lenten theme, organized missionary weekend activities, annual retreat and the adoration of the Blessed Sacrament on the first Thursdays of each month, they pray the rosary in the neighborhood along with other activities.

Meeting with group representatives

Theme: Revitalization of the life and Mission of LEMIC

Objective: Prepare the Triennial Plan and practice of the Norms of Life

Location: Belém

Cultural night among the LEMICs–always a fun way to be together

St. Anthony Hospital, Alenquer, Brazil

For many years the Missionary Sisters have been the only hospital health care providers for the Region that is based in Alenquer, Brazil. This river Community has depended on the Missionary Sisters to work with the municipal, state and federal government system to provide care for the poor. St. Anthony Hospital provides services for all with about 98% of its patients living in low income status and without health insurance .

Recently, the Sisters were able to negotiate a contract with the government to build a 10 bed Intensive Care Unit, and to rebuild the hospital’s laundry, sterilization unit, kitchen facility and morgue. This is a major gift to this non profit hospital that, through the intercession of St. Anthony has been able to keep its doors open through the year and to provide excellent care to those seeking care.

Salvador Province begins transition as a Congregational Unit

We Are All Sisters

"We are one in the love of God"

From the 16th to the 21st of 2018, we SMIC Sisters met with hope and joy at Dom Amando convent to carry out our last Provincial Assembly and the Installation of the Unit of Holy Cross with the theme "We are all Sisters". Between dreams and filled with trust, we embarqued in search of a new road. To help us on this journey, a transition ritual divided into three stages: 1. To administer 2. To administer a neutral zone (passage) 3. Administer a new beginning

The mixture of feelings was visible in each lived moment of the Assembly, including those of longing, loss, joy, concern, hope, trust…above all, in the moment in which our Minister General, Sr. Maria do Livramento read the letter of dissolution of the Province calling it a Unit.

After participating in the discernment process, a choice of a new leadership team was undertaken. The following were selected: Sr. Sivia Corado do Amaral- Unit Coordinator, Sr.Vânia Maria Marques Branco- Coordinator of Institutions and Sr. Helena de Carvalho- Coordinator of Mission and Charism.

Certain that God leads us to the present moment and certain that He will continue to do so, we place our life in Him in this new history that is beginning, seeking to live true UNITY.

Sr. Marta Helena de Carvalho

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