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Advent 2023 newsletter


Kathy Bond and Flávio Rocha, Brazil

MKLM Classes of 1993 and 2003

Kathy and Flávio’s MKLM Classes of 1993 (left) and 2003 (above)

Warm greetings from Brazil. We invite you to celebrate our 50 years of mission with Maryknoll Lay Missioners! This month Kathy marks 30 years and Flavio 20. In 1993 Kathy arrived in Brazil at the age of 27, we married in 2000 and Maya arrived in 2005.

It has been a privilege to live and serve in two distinct regions of the country — João Pessoa on the northeast coast and São Paulo, the mega-city in the southeast. Additionally, we were blessed to have two stints in the Bay area focused on recruiting and fundraising for Maryknoll Lay Missioners.

Thank you for walking with us!

Left: Chair yoga (2023). Right: Women’s leadership course (2007)

From Kathy:
Looking back, it has been a blessing to be involved in many types of ministries with Brazilians and Maryknoll partners over the past three decades. Highlights include facilitating women’s circles focused on health, spirituality and human rights, advocacy work with the Brazilian Catholic Church’s Landless Commission, prison ministry in the largest female detention center in South America and training courses for men and women community leaders on decreasing intimate partner violence.

Currently, I love my work at AFYA Women’s Holistic Health Cooperative, where I teach accessible yoga classes and holistic therapy courses, facilitate ecology and healing retreats with Flávio and Maryknoll Sister Efu Nyaki and promote social media and marketing efforts.

A project on the horizon for 2024 includes expanded work in public middle schools with a project to help teens to deal better with anxiety. I also just received an invitation to facilitate foot reflexology and shantala courses in an income-generating project in the historical center of João Pessoa.


Left: Theater of the Oppressed (2007). Right: Eco-retreat at AFYA (2023).

From Flávio:
It has been a beautiful and challenging journey for the past 20 years. I have so much to thank you all for your support and the Maryknoll family for all the learning. Here are some of the things that I want to highlight about these years.

  • Living in the U.S. gave me the opportunity to open myself to a new culture(s) and learn another language. Additionally I acquired new resources and techniques that I was able to bring back to my ministries in Brazil.
  • Living in São Paulo helped me appreciate more the diversity in the world through the lens of a multi-cultural megacity.
  • Having the opportunity to raise Maya in a community with people with a lot of diversity.
  • Being able to work with so many different people — not only in Brazil, but also in the United States and Mexico.
  • Working in things that I really love to make this a better world.
  • Combining all of this with my faith.

The journey continues, and I ask for your prayers and all different ways of support.


From both of us:

In the brokenness and splendor of the world, we hold you in our prayers and ask that you keep us in yours.

Merry Christmas and many blessings in 2024!
Flávio and Kathy

Please consider supporting our mission work in João Pessoa with a donation through the link below.

We invite you to walk with us as our “COMPANIONS IN MISSION.” Companions in Mission are friends and generous donors who give financial gifts on a regular (usually monthly) basis. For more information, visit Become a Companion in MissionThank you so much for your generosity! 


Kathy Bond and Flávio José Rocha
Kathy Bond and Flávio José Rocha are Maryknoll lay missioners based in João Pessoa in northeastern Brazil.