Brazilian Catholic Community | Office of Multicultural Ministry

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Brazilian Catholic Community

Our mission is to bring our varied cultural gifts to the larger Catholic community and help grow the Kingdom of God.


Mass Times & Locations

Mon-Friday 7pm
Our Lady of Aparecida Parish
42 Vail Road, Bethel

Sat 5pm
Our Lady of Aparecida Parish
42 Vail Road, Bethel

Sat 7:30pm
St. Peters Church Danbury

Sun 9am
Our Lady of Aparecida Parish
42 Vail Road, Bethel

Sun 11am (ENGLISH)
Our Lady of Aparecida Parish
42 Vail Road, Bethel

Sun 730
St. Peters Church, Danbury


  • Family Retreat (March)
  • Young Adults Retreat (September)
  • Pentecost Retreat (May)
  • Festa Junina (Parish Festival June)
  • Youth Retreat (June)
  • Our Lady Of Aparecida Retreat (October)
  • Men's Retreat (April)
  • Women's Retreat (April)

Groups & Activities

Mothers Who Pray for Their Children
(Meets every Thursday at 8pm at Our Lady of Aparecida Parish)

Mens Rosary Group
(Meets every Monday at 8pm at Our Lady of Aparecida Parish)

Charismatic Renewal Group
(Meets every Tuesday at 8pm at Our Lady of Aparecida Parish)

Family Group

Young Adults Group 18-35
(Meets every other Friday at 8pm at Our Lady of Aparecida Parish)

Youth Group 12-17
(Meets every First Friday of the month at 8pm at Our Lady of Aparecida Parish)

Play Ministry
(Easter, Christmas plays)

Youth Choir / Adult Choir / Youth Altar Servers

Extraordinary Eucharist minister

Our Lady of Aparecida Parish in Danbury/Bethel, Connecticut

Role of Episcopal Vicars

The role of Episcopal Vicars is defined in the Code of Canon Law, can. 476.
Following its spirit, in the Diocese of Bridgeport Episcopal Vicars are the Diocesan Bishop’s appointed personal representatives, each overseeing a diocese-wide initiative or serving the pastoral needs of an ethnic community or another specific group of persons. As such an Episcopal Vicar enters a two-way line of communication with the Diocesan Bishop and his office so the proper flow of information is maintained, and the Vicar’s positions are taken into consideration before any major decision is made regarding his entrusted ministry and his pertinent duties.

Episcopal Vicar for Brazilian Catholics

Today, Father Leonel Medeiros is the appointed Episcopal Vicar for Brazilian Catholics in the diocese. He is directly responsible for the sacramental life and ministry of the Brazilian-American Catholic Community Our Lady Aparecida Parish in Danbury, CT, and oversees the priests and laity ministering to the needs of the Brazilian Catholic Community in Bridgeport, CT. Since he also administers Our Lady of Aparecida Catholic Community Center, unde this responsibility he be also the Community Center Director.

Community Description

The Brazilian-American Catholic Community Our Lady Aparecida has more than 1100 families officially registered, and many other families and individuals not yet registered but who help populate many exceptionally well-attended religious, social, and cultural events. It has many children, adolescents, and youth, and most of its adults are under 45 years of age.

The community is sustainable, solvent, and thriving, meets its obligations, and fulfills its responsibilities; it has the human talents it needs, eager to serve.

Background & Opportunity

Established on January 25, 2020, Our Lady of Aparecida Parish community has been a cornerstone of faith and love in the Brazilian Catholic community for over 27 years. This vibrant community is dedicated to serving the Lord through its 28 pastoral ministries and service groups. Focused on meeting sacramental needs, Our Lady of Aparecida encourages faith development through various activities including social gatherings, retreats, bible studies, and lay leadership development.

The parish, initially a part of St. Peter’s Parish as a Quasi-Parish for over 17 year, has celebrated weekend Masses at St. Peter’s Church and has now acquired a new facility at 42 Vail Rd. Bethel, CT 06801. This expansion addresses the need for more space to foster fraternity, welcome, and Christian coexistence among the faithful. It also enables the parish to offer religious formation courses and services to the needy, while gaining administrative and financial autonomy.

The Brazilian Community Center Our Lady of Aparecida, then located at 61 Liberty Street, Danbury, stood as a testament to the parish's commitment to seizing opportunities. There, the community hosted daily and weekend Masses, meetings, and activities for its pastoral ministries. The center, a cherished asset bought through diligent efforts, caters to the Brazilian-American Catholic Community.

The Diocesan Capital Campaign played a pivotal role in the evolution of Our Lady of Aparecida. It facilitated the transformation of the Brazilian Community Center into an instituted Our Lady of Aparecida Quasi-Parish and supported the acquisition and repurposing of the new property at 42 Vail Rd. The parish oversees the conversion of the former Michael’s At The Grove reception hall into a new worship space, along with offices and classrooms. This development marks the realization of 27 years of dedicated service to the Brazilian-American Catholics.

Our Lady of Aparecida Parish extends immense gratitude to St. Peter’s Parish for its 20 years of partnership, aiding in the mission of preaching the Gospel and the salvation of souls. The Parish continues to strive towards meeting the evolving needs of its community while cherishing the legacy of its past.

Combined Duties: Diocesan Bishop’s Vicar for Brazilian Catholics/Our Lady Aparecida Parish - Director

  • Provide for the sacramental life and ministry of Brazilian Catholics in the diocese, currently in Danbury/Bethel and in Bridgeport communities, and advocate for them with the diocesan leadership.
  • Assist in the pastoral planning for the Brazilian Ministry in the Diocese (especially the Our Lady of Aparecida Parish pastoral plan, which is submitted every two years along with those of parishes with the Bishop’s approval).
  • Oversee the process of identifying and choosing new priests to serve in the Brazilian Ministry in the Diocese.
  • Oversee and advise all priests involved in the Brazilian Ministry in the Diocese, maintaining regular contact with them, and sharing concerns and challenges that arise, with the Diocesan leadership.
  • Write official invitation letters to clergy or lay persons to participate in any event in the Brazilian Ministry in the Diocese, ensuring that diocesan regulations and immigration laws are enforced and followed.
  • Plan community-wide events with lay leaders of Pastoral Ministries. There are 28 such ministries responsible for activities that include: Six(6) retreats every year, special occasion Masses, Ethnic celebration/gatherings, such as the Brazilian Festival in July and the New Years’s celebration; Formation of Lectors; Psalmists and Choirs; Permanent Formation of Extraordinary Ministers of the Holy Communion; Formation of Pastoral Ministry Lay Leaders and Catechists; RCIA; Religious education and faith formation of the parents whose children are in religious education; Adolescents’ Encounter with Christ (EAC); Catholic Charismatic Renewal Prayer Group (GOVES); African Missionary Initiative ( NAMPULA, MOZAMBIQUE), Young Adults Youth Group ( JOVENS SEM FROTEIRA); Altar Servers; Mother’s Prayer Group ( Mães que Oram pelos Filhos); Family Pastoral Ministry ( Marriage Encounter with 12 active groups)
  • Represent the Brazilian Community in the Council of Vicars and in any meetings in the surrounding areas and Northeast Region
  • Organize the community for pilgrimages and other proper religious events.
  • Celebrate six (6) daily Masses and five (5) weekend Masses.
  • Celebrates Baptisms, weddings, funerals, and other liturgical services in both English and Brazilian Portuguese.
  • Visits homebound and sick of the Brazilian-American Catholic community.
  • Advise, counsel, teach and guide the spiritual formation of all Pastoral Ministries.
  • Oversee all Our Lady of Aparecida’s administrative and financial matters
  • Prepare and maintain Our Lady of Aparecida’s budget, overseeing its bank account, accountable to the Diocese of Bridgeport.
  • Oversee Brazilian Community entries in the official parochial and Diocesan calendar to avoid conflicts
  • Assist in parish-wide liturgical, social, and fundraising activities.
  • Provide time for spiritual guidance and emergency situations as needed.
  • Our lady of Aparecida Parish is always available to help families or individuals who need any letters for specific situations such as Court and immigration.
  • Perform other ministry-related tasks deemed necessary and/or assigned by the diocese.
  • Contact Us

    Our Lady of Aparecida Parish
    42 Vail Road, Bethel CT 06801
    Office Hours
    Secretary Maruska (bilingual)
    Mon-Friday 3-7pm
    Sat 8am-1pm

    Parish of Saint Charles Borromeo Catholic Church