Arlindo Pereira Dias was born in the city of Cipotânea, state of Minas Gerais, Brazil. This small town of about 5,000 inhabitants, strongly Catholic, has offered about 40 priests and 20 religious to the Church.
His father, Corsino Dias Lopes, who died in 1997, was by profession a farmer and builder. His mother Belmira Pereira Dias is housewife and is currently 79. Arlindo is the second of four children. José Aloisio Dias, the elder brother is married and has two children. He works in the Colegio Arnaldo, an SVD school. The third one, Adilson Dias, who suffered from down syndrome, called by them “the pearl of the family” died on January, 18, 2011 at the age of 45. The last son, Ronaldo, drowned in 1994 at the age of 23.
After completing primary school, at the age of 11 he joined the SVD at the Pre-Juvenato São Geraldo, in the town of Barbacena, (SVD BRN – Northern Brazil). He attended secondary school at the Colegio Arnaldo, in Belo Horizonte (1977/1979); philosophy at the “Jesuit Faculty” in Rio de Janeiro and at the “Catholic University” in Belo Horizonte (1980/1982) and novitiate in Miracatu, in 1983. On February 2, 1984 he professed his first vows.
In 1984 he was sent to the Seminario Verbo Divino in Ponta Grossa for a year of regency. He studied theology at the Instituto Teologico S. Paulo (ITESP – 1985/1988). He professed perpetual vows on March 6, 1988. On December 3, 1988 he was ordained a priest.
After receiving his first assignment for the SVD BRC province, from 1989 to 1996 together with a group of religious and lay people he founded the NGO called Rede Rua (Street Network) dedicated to the homeless in S. Paulo. He was at the same time Mission Secretary of the province. From 1997 to 2001 he was prefect of the SVD theologate in S. Paulo. During this time he did a master degree in Social Communication at the Universidade Metodista de S. Paulo. From 2001 to 2006 he was Provincial of the BRC province and Chairman of the Executive Committee of PANAM Zone. He was elected to the General Council at the 2006 SVD General Chapter.
–Picture and text provided by Sebastian Mattappallil, SVD