Família da Esperança
ALSO KNOWN AS
Fazenda da Esperança
The Family of Hope was founded in Brazil in the parish of Nossa Senhora da Gloria in the archdiocese of Aparecida, through the initiative of Fr Hans Stapel, OFM. He was moved by a desire to live according to the Word of God in a concrete way, and so decided to dedicate himself totally to others. He began by helping those most in need in his diocese. One of the parishioners, Nelson Giovanelli Rosendo dos Santos, shared the desire of the Franciscan Father to spend his life in the service of others, and he joined him and committed himself to drawing closer to the many street youth of the neighbourhood. In a short time, a large number of other lay people decided to commit themselves to the same mission. Homes were opened for single mothers, AIDS patients and homeless families, as well as rehabilitation centres for disadvantaged young people and drug addicts. With the establishment of these works, which would take the name Fazendas da Esperança, it was not the intention of the members of the Community to merely offer a public utility service, but rather to make possible − through hospitality, care and recovery from alcohol and drug addiction − an encounter with the Lord. With the arrival in the parish of Lucilene Rosendo and Iraci Leite, the female branch of the Community came to life, also under the guidance of Fr Hans Stapel. The number of people who adhered to the project of the Fazendas began to grow and many of them felt the call to give themselves completely to God in this service. There was growing awareness that work in the Fazenda is not just an occupation, but is a true vocation and that the Lord is giving a charism which is one of Hope. In 1999 the association Family of Hope was founded in order to welcome, develop and nurture these vocations.
On 12 May 2010 the Pontifical Council for the Laity issued the decree of recognition of the Família da Esperança as an international association of the faithful.
Through a lifestyle marked by the Gospel, communion, and the sharing of spiritual and material goods obtained through work and Divine Providence, the members of the Família da Esperança pursue holiness. They seek to answer their call to be “ambassadors of hope”, especially in the places where the poorest and most marginalised live, and in particular where those who suffer from drug addiction are located. The work of rehabilitating young drug addicts takes place in communities called Fazendas da Esperança or in support groups (Esperança Viva groups). The Família da Esperança also works in evangelisation through the media (TV, publishing, etc.) and by making its communities and works true centres of spirituality that aim to respond to the needs of the Church and society.
There are two complementary ways of belonging to the association: as members living in community life and as “volunteers of hope”. The former live in communities and serve the association full-time. Volunteers collaborate to the extent of their availability, especially during events and when they are called upon by their leaders.
Entry into the association takes place in stages until the final promise of membership. All states of life can receive the call to be ambassadors of hope: married, single, priests, etc.
The governing bodies of the association are the General Assembly which is the highest level, the General Council which is elected by the Assembly, and the President who is also elected by the Assembly.
Seventy-nine communities (Fazendas da Esperança), located in eleven different countries, host over 2,500 young drug addicts.
Over the course of time, three “Casas de Apoio Sol Nascente” in the Brazilian state of São Paulo have been created to receive men and women affected by the HIV virus in its terminal phase. We also attend to the needs of children and we have day care centres for them.
Monthly newsletter Embaixador da Esperança
Rua Nina Ferreira Leite, 403,
Bairro São Manoel,
GUARATINGUETÁ / SP, Brazil
Tel. e Fax. +55 12 31222074