I am spending a few days with my sister, Sheila, a Medical Missionary of Mary, who has spent most of her adult life in Brazil and currently lives in Salvador, Bahia, a north-eastern coastal city and the original capital of this amazing country.
My sister’s original plan was to take me to her local parish [San Andre] for a two and a half hour Sunday Mass but, seeing me wilting in the heat and humidity, took mercy and instead drove me to a posh part of town to the air-conditioned splendor of the Redemptorist Parish of the Resurrection. We stopped in at San Andre for a quick look before going on to the Redemptorists.
The parishes are only about ten miles from each other, but the differences between the two are enormous. The thing that surprised me the most, however, was that during the homily, the cell phone of the woman next to me began to ring. Instead of appearing mortified, she calmly answered the phone and held a brief conversation. No one, not even the priest, batted an eyelid!