In 1975, Bishop Antônio Afonso de Miranda of the Diocese of Lorraine (São Paulo, Brazil) was deeply moved by Pope Paul VI's Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Nuntiandi, and so he asked Fr Jonas Abib, a priest who was engaged in pastoral work with young people at that time, to take on the task of new evangelisation of the baptised. The bishop's mandate meant, for Fr Abib, an intensive undertaking of training activities for young people and adults.
On the Solemnity of Christ the King in 1977, Fr Jonas Abib invited those who had become actively engaged in this work to take up the challenge of leaving their homes and living in community in order to evangelise. This first experience of life in common of twelve people began on 2 February 1978. This was the start of the Canção Nova (New Song) Community. From these early days forward, a personal and community encounter with God in Christ Jesus was recognised as the foundation and indispensable factor of this journey.
The Community, born within the Catholic Charismatic Renewal, became part of the Catholic Fraternity of Charismatic Covenant Communities and Fellowships in 1998. On 12 October 2008, the Pontifical Council for the Laity decreed recognition of the Canção Nova Community as an International Association of the Faithful.
The Canção Nova Community identifies its charism as being to foster an experience of a personal encounter with Jesus Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit, as God the Father's response to the urgent needs of the Church and society in our times. This is achieved through evangelisation, which the Community normally, but not exclusively, carries out through the use of social communications, in order to proclaim Jesus and the new life that he came to bring to humanity. The purpose of faith formation is to help men and women to be renewed and transformed to the "measure of the fullness of Christ" (Eph 4: 13). The name of the Community, Canção Nova, is usually followed by ‘House of Mary’. This expresses well the task of the "School of Formation” that the Community considers to be one of the main activities that arise from its charism. It was in Mary’s house that Jesus was raised. Mary was his first educator.
Members of the Canção Nova Community belong to either the Life Community or the Covenant Community. The Life Communities form the Nucleus of CN that guarantees the charism and mission and its continuity. Its members are called upon to live out the charism and mission of the CN with total dedication by sharing all that they are and have for the benefit of the Community. The members of the Covenant Community, while continuing to live in their own homes and freely exercising their profession and other activities in society, remain close to the Nucleus to which they refer, thus giving life to the charism of the CN, to their growth and development, and to the mission. The Nucleus and the Covenant form a single whole.
In order to achieve its aims, and to maintain the Canção Nova Communications System − consisting of a television network, a radio channel, internet communication and a publishing house − the CN set up the João Paulo II Foundation.
Other works supported by the Foundation are the Canção Nova College (recognised by the government of the State of São Paulo with degree courses in administration, philosophy, social communications for journalism and radio and TV), the Padre Pio Medical Centre, the Geração Nova (New Generation) Project which organises training and work placement courses for young people, the Community Support Centre (Community presence in poor neighbourhoods), the Good Samaritan Home (assistance to the homeless), all based in Cachoeira Paulista, São Paulo.
A monthly magazine Canção Nova.
Comunidade Canção Nova
Av. Canção Nova, s/n, Chácara Monte Sião
Alto da Bela Vista – Cachoeira Paulista – SP
Caixa Postal 27
Telephone: +55 12 31862000