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Clonlara priest marching for peace in the favela

FOR more than 20 years, Clonlara’s Fr Jim Crowe  has advocated for some of the world’s most marginalised people in the Jardim Ângela favela in Brazil. A well-known human rights activist, Fr Crowe mobilised 300,000 people to demand peace in one of the most violent places on Earth. By bringing people together, Fr Crowe did something no one else could – he helped the local community transform the favela. When Fr Crowe, from the Saint Patrick’s Missionary Society, started work in Jardim Ângela in 1987, it was one of the most dangerous favelas in São Paulo. Located in the south-west outskirts of the city, Fr Crowe was presiding over 35 funerals every day. Many of the dead were victims of the drug-related violence, and Fr Crowe struggled to comfort the sheer numbers of grieving families. The reality of living in the favela was highlighted in 1996, when the UN declared the Jardim Ângela as “one of the most dangerous places …

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