Flávio Jose Rocha

Year Joined MKLM: 2003
Country: Brazil
City: São Paulo
Focus: Pastoral Care and Justice and Peace
Project(s): Theater of the Oppressed, Alternative Health (Reiki and Acupuncture), Water Privatization Research
People Served: Immigrants (mostly Bolivians and Peruvians) through CAMI (Center for Pastoral and Support of Immigrants), Public Transplant Hospital Patients, Jandira Community, people interested in water conflicts

Project Goal(s):

CAMI: Prevention of modern slavery and domestic violence, along with collaboration on
social communications and team building

Alternative Health:
Public Transplant Hospital – Provide Reiki to patients, their families and staff
Jandira Community – Provide access to acupuncture to a poor community
Water Privatization Research – Provide news and articles

Current Ministry:

Flávio’s primary ministry is at the Center for Pastoral and Support of Immigrants (CAMI), where he works with Theater of the Oppressed. This popular education technique uses theater to provide participants the opportunity to talk about daily external and internal oppressions. It fosters non-violent options to address social problems. Theater of the Oppressed is a tool to work with impoverished communities, which lack access to basic rights. CAMI works to prevent modern slavery amongst immigrants such as Bolivians, Peruvians, Africans, etc., who immigrated to São Paulo. Most of them work in the textile industry in degrading situations. Theater of the Oppressed has been successful in promoting dialogue about modern slavery among the participants. Flavio also assists CAMI with social communication efforts and facilitating planning and evaluations. He is also on their Board of Directors.

In his Alternative Health ministry, Flavio ministers at the Public Transplant Hospital, where he visits and provides pastoral care and Reiki sessions to patients, their families and staff.  He also does acupuncture and Reiki in a poor neighborhood in the city of Jandira.

Flavio researches, writes and publishes articles on water privatization in Brazil and maintains a page on Facebook about this topic.

Personal Data:

Flávio is a Brazilian native from Duas Estradas-PB, Brazil. He was introduced to the Maryknoll community through a friend in João Pessoa-PB in 1998 and became impressed with their commitment to the poor and marginalized. Prior to becoming a Maryknoll lay missioner, Flavio was a government Education Secretary in Duas Estradas and he was involved in campus ministry. He and his wife, Kathy Bond, met in Brazil when they worked together in a social justice project. After they married, the couple moved to Berkeley, CA, and were active in the Holy Spirit Newman Community. They later relocated to Joao Pessoa, Brazil, and their daughter Maya was born there in 2005. In 2010, they moved to São Paulo.

Flavio has a Master in Creation Spirituality through Naropa University, a Master in Environment and Development through the Federal University of Paraíba and a Doctorate in Social Sciences through the Pontifical Catholic University of São Paulo.

Flavio was inspired to do mission through the Franciscan Sisters, who lived in his hometown when he was a child and by the example of people like Dom Helder Câmara. Liberation Theology and Creation Spirituality have been sources of inspiration on his journey. Working with immigrants in São Paulo has shown him the other side of globalization. Seeing so many Bolivians and Peruvians who are victims of modern slavery calls him to be committed to struggle for justice in our world.