New Day in Brazil


About this Item

'New Day in Brazil' was the first documentary about liberation theology in South America.

  • Title
    New Day in Brazil
  • 1st Broadcast
  • Contributor
    Brian O'Reilly (Camera and Editing)
    Daithi Connaughton (Sound)
    Tom Stack (Script)
    James Greeley (Narration)
    Dermod McCarthy (Director)
  • Clip Duration
  • Material Type
  • Series title
    Radharc in Brazil
  • Clip title
    New Day in Brazil
  • Extended description

    'New Day in Brazil' was the first television documentary about liberation theology in South America.

    The film takes a look at the new and experimental ways that Irish missionaries in Sao Paulo are bringing the Gospel to some of the city's poorest people.

    Irish nuns and priests talk about living and working in the shanty towns of the city. Sister Phil Sheeran describes working with abandoned children and helping young people develop their own sense of self worth.

    Sister Anne Coleman talks about developing basic communities - work in which Father Paddy Dundon is also engaged. These basic communities work as a type of Christian co-operative, sharing expenses and pooling resources among members. Father Pat Coughlan runs training courses for group leaders. This is just one part of a new type of missionary work being carried out in Sao Paulo. For the members of these groups the Gospel is seen as a powerful tool which can be used to critique the unjust economic structures imposed by the military government.

    With too few priests available, the Catholic church in Brazil look for other ways to serve the people. Milton a local factory worker is one of a number of people providing a weekly church service. There is discussion among bishops in Brazil that married men be ordained as priests in areas where there are shortages of priests.

    Sister Anne Coleman talks about how much more involved lay people are in the Church in Brazil than at home in Ireland. Father Ciarnan Needham describes a part time study programme where young people who are becoming priests or nuns will stay working at their day jobs while studying for their religious work.

    Cardinal Paulo Arns, Archbishop of Sao Paulo, discusses the importance of the work of foreign missionaries in helping the formation of local leaders and fostering vocations.

    Father Paudie Moloughney celebrates a festive and joyous outdoor youth mass. 

    Narrator Jimmy Greeley sums up the work of Irish missionaries in Brazil,

    "The Church in Brazil is on the move. What had once been a church for the rich and powerful has become a church for the poor and suffering. The Irish priests and sisters have not brought Christ here so much as discovered him among a delightful and generous people. They know that they themselves gain as much as they give in their missionary lives."

  • Information

    'Radharc in Brazil' was a series of programmes broadcast in 1977 looking at the world's largest Catholic country. New Day in Brazil was the second programme in the series. Father Tom Stack writing about the series said,

    "With a huge multiracial population of a hundred and eight millions that is increasing rapidly each year, many consider Brazil is on the way to becoming one of the world's super powers. A land of rich national resources, many of which are still untapped, its territory makes up half the entire land-mass of the Latin American subcontinent; but today the people of Brazil live under a military government which denies them the most basic of rights we take for granted in Ireland."

    (RTÉ Guide September 30, 1977 p6)

    'Radharc', a series specialising in religious programming, was produced for RTÉ by Radharc, an independent production company run by Catholic priests and lay staff. 'Radharc' can be translated to English as 'view' or 'panorama'.

    Co-founders Fr Joe Dunn and Fr Desmond Forristal who had received training in television production in New York in 1959 gathered around them a team of like minded priests with creative talent.

    The 'Radharc' team made their first production in 1960 in Donegal, a short film about customs relating to St Brigid's Day. The first programme in the 'Radharc' series for RTÉ was broadcast on 12 January 1962.

    Between 1961 and 1996 the Radharc team would produce over 400 films in Ireland and 75 countries worldwide. The films dealt with human rights, injustice, faith, religion, persecution, struggles against oppressive regimes, famine, and Christian heritage.

    The popular series ended production in 1996 after the death of Fr Joe Dunn.

  • Local keywords
    Radharc, Religion, Catholic, RTÉ, Poverty, Children, Jimmy Greeley, Liberation Theology, Catholic Church, Children, Poverty
  • Geographical coverage
    Sao Paulo, Brazil
  • Topic
    Religion and Belief
  • Publisher Broadcaster
  • First broadcast channel
  • Production year
  • Country of production
  • Original identifier
  • IPR restrictions
    Rights Reserved - Free Access
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  • Item type
  • Item colour
  • Item sound
  • Aspect ratio
  • Language used
    English (eng)