São Leopoldo – Casa Matriz de Diaconisas
The Deaconess Mother House "Casa Matriz de Diaconisas" in São Leopoldo is the only mother house of the Protestant Church of the Lutheran Confession in Brazil and was founded in 1939. The first deaconesses came in the year 1913 from the Katharinenstift in Wittenberg and they did important pioneering work. There were already Brazilians among them.
The down-to-earth sisterhood grew slowly and had up to 80 deaconesses. They contributed greatly to the development of the health care system of the country and to the education of female leaders within the Church. Since the Church leadership took over responsibility for the different offices in our church in the year 2000, and they all have the same rights, female pastors and woman catechists can now also become members of the sisterhood. This happened after 2011.
The community currently has 53 sisters and 11 aspirants. The rules have changed over time: Sisters who have joined after 1993, were allowed self-support only, marriage was permitted and other professions were also approved under the condition of continued identification with the Diakonia. The 28 sisters, who are still on active duty today, work in different professions all over Brazil. Only a few of them still work in classic nursing care.