Rita Raboin

Rita Raboin is a Sister of Notre Dame de Namur in northern Brazil:


I am presently Coordinator for the Pastoral Land Commission, which is a support of the Catholic Church for families who work on small plots of land either in the fields or, in our case, along the rivers. We seek to help the people analyze their situation and see what they can do to remain on the land.


The island of Marajó where I live in northern Brasil is the largest navigable archipelago in the world, with 16 counties. We work in 5 counties, which are at great distances from each other. We have spent as much as 72 hours round-trip traveling to the most distant islands. Our county has almost 100,000 people.


Farmers all over Brasil are surrounded by land robbers. People who have been farming for years on the land are threatened by these land grabbers with false documents. There are lawyers who are dedicated to support all these efforts. In the last 20 years or so, more than 700 people have been killed—lay men and women, priests and two Sisters.  


We have teams who travel together to the areas to help the farmers. We are supported by bishops, priests and of course by the people themselves.


Besides what I do in the river communities, I am Facilitator for the Justice and Peace Commission in the city. I also contribute to the Movement for Water, as we do not have quality drinking water. We have been struggling for 6 years to complete the construction, making demands on the state Water Department. 


I live with one other Sister, who is Brazilian. Here in Brasil, we are 16 sisters—9 Brazilians and 7 North Americans, but we are an international order with Sisters on 5 continents. 


I have been here in Brasil for 34 years, having worked in a nearby state with farmers for more than 15 years, and now in the state of Pará for 19 years. I came in 1973 but have returned to the States twice, my last time being for a sabbatical and to study at CIE. A precious time! Tuesday meetings at CIE were great assets in bonding and the sharing of relevant information. [2/17]



Email: rita.raboin@yahoo.com.br



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CIE Graduate