Our parish, Our Lady Help of Christians, started in 1945 by American priests of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate Order who had come to Brazil to serve the poor. Because the priests were English-speaking, Americans in São Paulo asked them to form an English-speaking parish and, later, an English-language school. The year 1995 was a second special year for the Oblate Fathers because it marked 50 years of service in Brazil and the canonization of their founder, Bishop Eugene de Mazenod of France.
The parish was originally located at Alameda Franca, just south of Avenida Paulista. In the beginning parishioners were predominantly American Catholics. A small chapel was dedicated to Our Lady Help of Christians and was built in a Colonial New England style, and thus the English-speaking parish was given its nickname, “Chapel.”
In 1947 the nickname, Chapel, was extended to the very small school started in the parish. In 1962, it accompanied both the parish and the school (now serving over 700 students from 25 countries) to their present location in Chácara Flora. “Chapel” or Our Lady Help of Christians is still the only English-speaking Catholic parish in the whole São Paulo area.
Over the years, the Oblates were assisted in the school, first, by Franciscan nuns from Pittsburgh and later by Felician nuns from several U.S. cities.
The Oblates continue their dual mission, serving the poor in missions around the country and the English-speaking Catholic in São Paulo.
We hope that you will join us and become part of our history as parishioners here at Chapel, Our Lady Help of Christians Parish.