Pastoral da Pessoa Idosa


Office/person in charge:
Irmã Maria Lúcia Rodrigues, FC Pastoral da Pessoa Idosa - CNBB

Rua Dr. Correa Coelho, 305 Curitiba – PR BRASIL80210-350

Email address:

Website/social media:

Pastoral Care for the Elderly was founded in 2004 by Dr. Zilda Arns and is a nation-wide initiative in Brazil. Over 27,000 trained and certified volunteers look after 170,000 elderly people. These volunteers paymonthly home visits to elderly and help to care for their physical, social and spiritual health and life.

What is it?

What is this initiative about?

Pastoral Care for the Elderly was founded in 2004 by Dr. Zilda Arns and is a nation-wide initiative in Brazil. In over one thousand municipalities, there are 27,000 trained and certified volunteers. These volunteers look after 170,000 elderly people, by paying monthly home visits to elderly and by helping to care for their health, social and spiritual life.

What began with one community in one state, has grown to include all 27 Brazilian states. Each year more dioceses and parishes join the Pastoral Care for the Elderly network. In 2019, PPI was present in 214 dioceses, 1,800 parishes, 6,000 communities. 27,000 volunteers look after 170,000 elderly people through monthly home visits and by watching for key indicators of the elderly’s wellbeing.

How does it help?

In what way does this initiative enhance the formation of the laity?

Through their work with the Pastoral Care for the Elderly, the laity are now prepared to be  community leaders on issues relating to the elderly members of their communities. They learn how to care for the elderly and how to support others’ quality of life. Additionally, the laity are inspired to develop their own Christian faith and commitment, as a disciple of Jesus and as a missionary for the elderly.

Why is it important?

Why is this initiative important for the training and advancement of the laity in your country?

Home visits to elderly people, preferably those who are in a situation of social vulnerability, is essential to community and friendship-building. This is putting Jesus’ teachings into action: “What you do to the least of mine you also do for me”.

How did it start

How was this initiative developed?

The Brazilian population is aging at a fast pace. Many of them live in situations of poverty, loneliness, isolation, abandonment, and other risk situations. There is a clear need for the Church to be in solidarity and friendship with them.


Does it benefit the laity on a national or local level?

The basic training consists of 7 sessions, each lasting 4 hours and aimed enhancing one’s own spirituality and thus reawakening their joy in finding  the meaning of human existence. The community leaders discover the “hidden treasure” of which Jesus speaks in the Gospel. This training benefits the community leaders as well all the elderly people they look after.

Means and funding

Who funds the initiative? What is needed to launch this initiative?

All the fieldwork is carried out by volunteers. Expenses for the training, administration, and learning materials, is funded through from public agreements, donations from benefactors, and other means.

Learn more

Where can people learn more about this initiative?

Please consult our website: You may also find on our website the  learning materials used for training. The national office may be reached by:

instagram: @pastoraldapessoaidosanacional
whatsapp: +55 41 30766529

Countries involved

Does this initiative exist in other countries?

Parishes in China and Colombia have also expressed interest in adapting the Pastoral Care for the Elderly’s methodology.

How to start?

How can this initiative be implemented in other countries?

Our advice is to start by researching the daily lives of the elderly in your area – how they live, their needs, their gifts.

It will be easier to begin with a small-scale initiative and then build upon that. It is also essential to train the volunteers who will make the elderly home visits. The Pastoral for the Elderly has a specific methodology to be followed.