“People I Met on the Way” explores the life of Padre José Dillon who became a Divine Word Missionary and went to Brazil in 1973. As a Liberation Theology missionary, he helped to empower communities in the remotest areas of the Amazon River to have access to better health and educational opportunities. In the favelas of Sao Paulo, he witnessed senseless murders and merciless crimes, and yet he set up health clinics in parishes, bringing herbal remedies and hope to the thousands of people who lived in these lawless communities who longed for a peaceful life.
His Passion Plays, that he scripted by candle-light on his riverboat in Santarém in the Amazon basin in the 1980s, are re-enacted today on each Good Friday. Thousands of people from the river communities come to watch this play and José, now living and working in St Marcos in Sao Paulo, receives photos by What’s App of the event. The most recent Jesus was played by the son of Jose’s original Jesus. The costumes, lighting and stage sets are all created by the parishioners and this play is much more than a performance, it has become an annual event for the people of Santarém. The most recent director wrote:
'Padre José you were very important to our theatre lives. Many of your teachings are passed on to the younger people. We continue to talk about the importance of your direction and how we learned from you.'
“People I Met on the Way” was launched in May 2023 when Father Joe was visiting from Brazil. He held author talks at Gavin’s Mill in Milngavie and presented at St Andrew’s RC church in Bearsden
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