The international Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need is in close contact with its local partners in Rio Grande do Sul and Santa Catarina, the areas worst affected by the floods, and is committed to helping with recovery efforts.

Torrential rain has already led to the deaths of around 150 people and has affected over two million in the Brazilian states of Rio Grande do Sul and Santa Catarina, with many needing immediate and long-term aid, after losing all their livelihoods to the floods, which are the largest in the history of Rio Grande do Sul.

Regina Lynch, executive president of Aid to the Church in Need (ACN), has sent a message of solidarity to the organisation’s project partners to express the charity’s “spiritual closeness” and willingness to help at such a difficult time.

“As members of the same mystical body of Christ, which is the Church, ACN wants to support – through prayer and material assistance,” said Lynch. “We are in constant prayer for all the people and remain available to help the local Church with the needs that will arise, whether emergency or structural.”

She goes on to express her hope that global solidarity might “stem the consequences of the tragedy”, adding: “may there be no lack of encouragement for the shepherds of this hard-hit flock. Let us pray together for the intercession of Our Lady of Aparecida”, the patroness of Brazil. 

On the other hand, in a letter sent to ACN, Bishop Jaime Pedro Kohl of Osório, in Rio Grande do Sul, explains that “all our parishes are involved in donating food, water, hygiene products, mattresses, clothes and other essential goods. We have already managed to send hundreds of tonnes of donated goods”, in what he describes as a “Pentecost of charity”. 

The bishop also expressed his gratitude to ACN for its constant aid to the local Church institutions. “Amidst all the suffering and pain, the solidarity and charity of the local community, the Brazilian people, and the whole world shines through. Thank you!”