In Portugal, as in Madrid and Rome, Kiko Argüello and Carmen Hernández – initiators of the Neocatechumenal Way – went to live with the poor in a shanty town in Lisbon called ‘Curraleira’. They were accompanied by Fr Francesco Cuppini, an Italian priest.
Fr. João de Brito, missionary of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, invited them to start catechesis in the parish of “Nossa Senhora da Penha de França”; there the first Neocatechumenal community in Portugal was born in 1968.
In the following years the journey begins to take its first steps in Lisbon and in the rest of the dioceses. Over the years it has been under the responsibility of various itinerant teams.
Itinerants responsible for Portugal (chronological order):
- Kiko Argüello and Carmen Hernández
- Fr. Mário Pezzi
- Fr. Vicente Martí
- Fr. Ramón Sevillano
- Fr. Angel Bello (since 1990)
The Neocatechumenal Way in Portugal started in Lisbon, in the central zone of Portugal, and later on teams were formed to take charge of the northern and southern zones of the country, as well as the autonomous regions – Madeira and Azores archipelagos.
After 30 years of evangelization, the initiators of the Neocatechumenal Way return to Portugal for a meeting with the country’s communities held at the Pavilhão Atlântico, Parque das Nações.
In this meeting held on March 7, 1999, the first vocational call was made in Portugal.
On May 2, 2009, the Eucharist of thanksgiving for the 40 years of the Neocatechumenal Way in the Diocese of Lisbon will be celebrated, presided by the Cardinal Patriarch D. José da Cruz Policarpo.
On 14 May 2010, following the visit of Pope Benedict XVI to Portugal, Kiko, Carmen and Mario held a vocation meeting in Fatima with 30,000 young people from Europe in the presence of several Portuguese bishops.
On May 19, 2019, in Nazaré, the 50th anniversary of the Neocatechumenal Way in the Diocese of Lisbon was celebrated,
Seminários Redemptoris Mater in Portugal
The Redemptoris Mater Seminary of Lisbon was founded on September 16, 2000 and was canonically erected by Cardinal Patriarch D. José Policarpo on May 13, 2001, on the 84th anniversary of the first apparition of Our Lady at Fatima.
In 2008 the Redemptoris Mater Seminary of Porto was opened by D. Manuel Clemente (now Cardinal Patriarch of Lisbon)
In the year 2012 the third Redemptoris Mater Seminary was born in Portugal, in the diocese of Évora with Archbishop José Alves
In 2017 the Redemptoris Mater Seminary of Beja was opened, which in 2022 would be united to the seminary of Évora.
In total 31 presbyters were ordained.