Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Wednesday 20 October |
Saint of the Day: St. Paul of the Cross
Aleteia logo
home iconChurch
line break icon

Father Pedro, the Polish priest who boats his way to serve the indigenous people of the Amazon

Dolors Massot - published on 11/29/19

This priest serves 35 communities living in the Amazon, facing two major threats.

As he moved to Brazil, the Polish priest Piotr Szewior became “Father Pedro.” Speaking fluent Portuguese, he is the pastor of a parish in the city of Tefé, in the middle of the Amazon rainforest, west of the country.

But Father Pedro does not only serve this parish. He is also responsible for 35 indigenous communities living in the broader Tefé area. Due to the geographical conditions of the region, touring this area to serve all these communities can take as long as three months. 

These are communities who have preserved their customs, their culture, and their traditions, but have at the same time discovered the Catholic faith, passing it from generation to generation in their families.

Father Pedro is the one bringing the Word of God to these regions, and who administers the sacraments to these communities. His arrival to each of these villages is always a social event: babies are baptized, couples are married, the sick are anointed… The Eucharist, thus, reaches every single village, no matter how remote or how small.

The life of those living in these villages is already hard but, as Pope Francis pointed out, they are also victims of the injustice of major landowners who are abusing the natural resources of the Amazon.

Indigenous communities are virtually defenceless against those who destroy the forest. But another danger threatens them: that of losing the true faith, as Pentecostal preachers “who promise a better and easier life” —Father Pedro explains— are constantly approaching them. 

To keep the flame of faith alive in these communities, Father Pedro needs to boat his way through the river. Now, he visits his communities in a boat that got to Tefé thanks to Aid to the Church in Need (ACN).

The boat with which Father Pedro can now travel to serve these parishioners is a Gift of Faith, a donation made by people from all over the world to collaborate with the work of the Church, even in the most remote corners of the world.

This Christmas, the Gift of Faith each one of us can give will help bringing God into the hearts and families of many. Is there a gift greater than faith?

Aid to the Church in NeedCatholic Church
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
difficult people
Zoe Romanowsky
How to love people you don’t really like
saint teresa of Avila
Zelda Caldwell
Now there’s a computer font based on St. Teresa of Avila’s handwr...
Agnès Pinard Legry
Three brothers ordained priests on the same day in the Philippine...
Philip Kosloski
How the violence in ‘Squid Game’ can impact your soul
Philip Kosloski
A scientist describes the Miracle of the Sun at Fatima
Kathleen N. Hattrup
A martyr’s last letter to his mother
Theresa Civantos Barber
How following Christ is like falling in love
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.