Religious Communities for Women
Chapter 14:


The Old People’s Shelter, “Jose Lima” at Good Jesus of Itapoana, whose director is Monsignor Francisco Apoliano, will complete its thirty years of existence on August 22, feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.


The Old People’s Shelter began as the fruit of the generosity of Mr. Jose Lima, of loving memory.  On the border of Itabapoana River, on the grounds of his property, Mr. Jose Lima had built a modest house, where he sheltered seventeen old people keeping them at his own cost with some help from other charitable souls.  Before his death in 1960, Mr. Jose Lima had entrusted the shelter to the care of his wife, and had recommended her to donate it eventually to Father Francisco Apoliano, Parish Priest of Good Jesus (Bon Jesus).  Mrs. Nair Lima made the donation on October 7, 1971.  The shelter was entrusted then to the “Immaculate Heart of Mary Social Center”, whose president was Father Francisco Apoliano.  Monsignor Francisco Apoliano with the other directors, made the decision to extend the house to accommodate a greater number of residents.  On July 9, 1964, Doctor Oliveiro Teieira, then Mayor, donated the grounds at the Pedro Rodrigues do Carmo Street.

The New Building

On May 13, the following year, commenced the construction of the actual shelter building to include one large chapel, for the spiritual assistance of the residents and people from the area.

On August 22, 1970, feast the Immaculate Heart of Mary, it was officially inaugurated as the new old people’s shelter building, with the name of “Shelter Jose Lima for Old People”.  A large crowd and the Mayor, Mr. Jorge Assio de Oliveira, gave great prestige for the ceremony.  The old people were transported in a festive parade by car from the old building to the new one.  Monsignor Uchoa, in loving memory, then celebrated the Holy Mass, substituting for Dom Antonio de Castro Mayer, who was unable to be present.  During the afternoon of the same day, there took place the “Charity Procession”: the images of the Immaculate Heart of Jesus and Mary were brought to be enthroned in the chapel as the Protectors of the Institute.  The “Charity Procession” has now become traditional at the occasion of the Shelter’s anniversary.  Ever since, every year, on August 22, a big crowd brings its alms and offerings for the maintenance of the institution.

How does the shelter work

The old people are received after the recommendation, in accordance with the internal regulation, giving preference to those who are more forlorn.  Beyond the material security, the Shelter aims particularly to assist the old people spiritually with the comfort of religion, to enable them to live their old days in peace and holiness.  The old people help one another and according to their physical strength, they can help to perform household duties, in the garden, and kitchen, etc.  The Shelter also helps families in difficulties, by giving clothes, footwear and medicines.

Maintenance and Administration

Thanks to Divine Providence, the Shelter receives, through the generosity of the Bon Jesus people, enough alms and offerings to be maintained.  It also receives a one yearly offering from the city hall.  To run the house, five young women who longed to serve God in the person of the poor were admitted at the beginning.  In 1976, they were fourteen living in the community and the number was more than that of the old people who solicited admission.  It became necessary to improve the organization to give a greater security in their striving for a more perfect life.

After many prayers, there was founded on August 22, of the same year, “The Association of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and St. Michael”, with the approval and blessing of Dom Antonio Castro Mayer and Father Francisco Apoliano.  The latter was elected General Director.  The Association has presently 45 members professed, juniors, novices, postulants and aspirants.  Besides the Sisters, the Association has a Tertiary group called “St. Joseph’s group” which collaborate in the Association activities; they have 21 members at present.  The Association of Sisters also dedicates itself to the teaching of catechism in Catholic schools and to other types of apostolate in the parish, having in mind the propagation of devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Immaculate Heart of Mary and St. Michael.  The Sisters of the Association are housed beside the Shelter in one big house with its own chapel and cloister.

In 1982, Monsignor Francesco was expelled from his parish because he preserved the traditional Mass and the traditional doctrine of the Church.  Monsignor started to attend to the faithful in the Shelter chapel, which began to be too small for the great number of Catholics from Bon Jesus who wanted to stay faithful to Tradition.  During these eight years in exile, the attendance to the Shelter chapel continued to increase.  On Sundays, there are three Holy Masses.  The people crowd the chapel, the hall of the Shelter and the side corridors.  On First Fridays, there are almost a thousand faithful who make the Communion of reparation to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Rev. Mother Superior
c/o Fr. Fernando Areas Rifan
Rua Miranda Pinto, 26
28040 Campos

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