Inauguration of the Saint Augustine Hope Estate, facility for chemical dependents in Labrea, Amazonas

It is a specialized center that will avoid transfers outside of the municipality of so many people who ask for a second chance at life. It will have the characteristics of the hundreds of projects of this type that exist in Brazil.
News | 2023 May 19

On May 6, the Prelature of Labrea inaugurated the Hope Estate of Labrea, a center specialized in the recovery of chemical dependents. has been treated actually the fulfillment of an old dream, once although there came to be a project similar in operation, years ago it had to close due to various problems.

The Hope Estate (Fazenda da Esperança in Portuguese) is a therapeutic community that has been operating since 1983 in the recovery of people who seek to get rid of their dependencies, especially alcohol or drugs. It was founded by the German Francis Hans Stapel (Geseke, North Rhine-Westfalia, 1945) and several members of the Focolare movement in Brazil.

The method used in these Estates is based on three pillars: work, coexistence and spirituality. It welcomes men and women between the ages of 18 and 59 and the therapy process lasts a year. Currently there are around 150 Hope Estate in 24 countries; in Brazil there are 105; and in the State of Amazonas, the Hope Estate Saint Augustine is number 12 and is added to the eleven already existing.

It currently has agreements with the Episcopal Youth Ministry Commission of the Conference Brazilian Episcopalian for the performance of volunteers who help in the therapeutic process and in the maintenance of the various Estates.

Labrea urgently needed a therapeutic space of this type, given the large number of people who do not have any support when it comes to fighting their dependencies. Until now, the most urgent cases of people who requested this type of help were sent to the neighboring municipality of Humaitá.

For a year now, the Prelature of Labrea has been in contact with members of the Hope Estate began the preparations to make this therapeutic unit in Labrea a reality.

Once the legal aspects have been considered and decided, from the beginning of 2023 a team of Hope Estate has stayed in the facilities of the seminary of the Prelature in Labrea to launch the project.

They began an awareness task to encourage and motivate potential candidates, while the facilities were being prepared in the old house of the grounds watchman who has the Prelature of Labrea at kilometer 4 of the Transamazonica, about eight kilometers from the Labrea center. These facilities can accommodate up to 12 people, which includes the care staff and beneficiaries.

One of the tasks of the first beneficiaries will be precisely to continue with the construction of facilities to allow the project to grow, including a new shelter, a bakery, a meeting room, a chapel...

Various representatives of Hope Estate were present at the inauguration, both management teams and volunteers and recovered patients, authorities civil and religious. It began with a Eucharist at 10 in the morning in a chapel impromptu.

Thus, the priests Vinicius Golveira, coordinator of the Hope Estates from the North of Brazil and Father Lázaro Antonio Rodrigues, President of the Hope Estate of Manaus. The Bishop of the Prelature of Labrea, the Augustinian Recollect Santiago Sánchez, presided over the Eucharist.

The bishop spoke about the mission of Christ and the mission of a Church "going out" to the peripheries, one of them care for those who live with dependencies that ruin their lives. He also made a parallel between the conversion of Saint Augustine and the personal liberation process staff of a dependent, thanking that this name has been chosen.

At the offertory, symbols of the habitual work carried out by the beneficiaries were presented from the Hope Estates, a painting of Saint Augustine and bread and wine. in the action of thanksgiving moment it  intervened the parish priest of the town, the Augustinian Recollect Luis Amílcar Reyes;  Father Vinícius, coordinator of the Hope Estates in the North of Brazil; the coordinator of the Humaitá Treasury, Julio José de Jesús Silva; Pastoral Coordinator of the Sobriety of the Parish of Our Lady of Nazareth of Labrea, Antonio Cavalcante; a representative of the Labrea City Council, Mabí Canizo, and another from the Chamber of Deputies of the State of Amazonas, Deputy Afonso.

As a final act, the authorities removed the tape from entering the house and a party followed with charity raffle, sale of various products and food and attention to the Media.

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