The Harvest Festival in Piquiá, Brazil
Monday, September 11, 2017
Recently, the Harvest Festival was held in the community of San José of the settlement of João do Vale part of the parish of Santa Luzía de Piquiá, Brazil. It was attended by more than a thousand people from the various parishes of the city of Açailândia and by Bishop Vilson Basso of Emperatriz. The goal of this celebration, already in its 10th edition, is to celebrate the gift of the harvest and to reflect on the earth as the venue of work and means of subsistence for the family, to remember the struggles and demand justice in the right to own land and in respecting creation.
This year’s theme was “Family agriculture in defense of life” and the motto was “Cultivation and the care of creation” as per Genesis 2:15.
The celebration opened with a welcome in the local sports center and with a breakfast prepared with the local products of the earth (manioc, pumpkin and a variety of fruit) coming from the sharing of the various communities in attendance.
The Eucharist followed, during wich Bishop Vilson Basso spoke of the importance of family agriculture and of the duty to fight for ownership of the land and to denounce the oppressors. He stressed the importance of not giving up, because it is a just struggle, and also of the need for unity. He also remembered the 10 farmers who were murdered in a ranch in the State of Pará and all those who are persecuted or coerced to leave their land.
At the offertory, the various communities presented at the Lord’s altar some of their agricultural products as a sign of gratitude and of hope in a more respectful relationship between humankind and creation.
After lunch, there were many cultural shows in the form of theatre, dances and games, ending with the handing over to each community of a sapling of Ipê and with the announcement of the community that will hold the festival next year.
Liliana Ferreira and Flávio Smitch, CLM in Brazil