We Are Church Intl.


Remembering Maria João Sande Lemos RIP

Born 17 June 1938 - died 4 June 2024

Ashik Naz

As I read comments of you people, it's realises me that she was a very great lady having good heart for humanity and favor to reform the church.  She helped us during COVID-19 in Pakistan and won our hearts.  As she left us, we know she is at good place, where she will be watching us, praying for us and at a fix time we all will join her in the lawn of God.  Sometimes it is difficult to understand death but it's also encourages us that our earthly time is going over soon but eternity is in heaven.  Dear Maria Joao, you did your part in a good way, wish we also follow you to Serve the humanity and God. 

Didier Vanhoutte

My deepest and personal condolences... She was one of the first friends I met when I got involved in European organisations more than 20 years ago.

C h r i s t i a n   W e i s n e r

for the national team of We are Church Germany

On behalf of We are Church Germany, I would like to express our heartfelt condolences to Maria João's family and the Portuguese We are Church group. With her long experience of church and political commitment, Maria João was a strong pillar of the reform movement in Portugal and of We are Church International from the very beginning. We will miss her very much and remember her with gratitude. I hope that the seed she planted will flourish.

Gert Heizer

Why did she have to go?
A question with no answer. Only He has it.
I’ll miss this friendly and lovely women from Portugal whom I have known for so long.
The Lord tends on and cares for her, I’m sure.

Martha Heizer

I am very sad about the death of Maria Joao. She was a loyal supporter and a good fighter from the very beginning. I liked her very much and we often laughed together. I remember her in Rome in 1996 at the founding of IMWAC and on many other occasions. I'll look for all the photos I have of her and send them to you in small quantities.
So far away and yet so close
are the people for whom we weep.
They are far away from all sadness,
far from all darkness,
far from all suffering
and so far from our world.
They are completely in joy,
all in the light,
all in love
and very close to our hearts

Valerie Stroud

I am so sad to hear the news and offer my deepest sympathy and condolences.
I first met Maria João in 1996 with Ana Vincente.   We met many times at WAC and EN-RE conferences and events over the years and she always brought joy to my heart.   Maria João was an example of what the Church should be: welcoming, caring, interested, enthusiastic and resolute.   As I read Margarida's message I remembered arriving at Schiphol airport on one occasion and, coming out of Arrivals, being greeted with a beaming smile and big hug by Maria João.  It was good to travel onwards with a good friend.  May God's radiance shine upon her and may she rest in peace and rise to glory.

Pedro Freitas

I was as taken by surprise (and shock) as you were today when I heard about the passing of Maria João. She was my companion on so many WAC meetings, a very experienced companion, and our conversations both at the meetings and on travel ended up shaping both my views and my actions in this wonderful group. If we all owe her for her tireless work on behalf of Church reform, I have a very personal debt to her. 

Colm Holmes

I am shocked and saddened to hear that Maria Joāo Sande Lemos has died. She was indeed a fiery fighter for reforms in the Catholic Church.  I remember meeting her in Lisbon and a group of us enjoying a wonderful dinner with Maria Joāo and her sister! The first time I met Maria João was at a WAC International meeting in Dublin in November 2013 (see photos).
May she rest in peace.

Raquel Mallavibarrena

Dear Margarida, thanks for sharing this very sad information with us. I am very very sorry, Both, she and Ana, were really very good friends of mine and I agree that they both, jointly with Leonor and Mariana, were essential in the development of WAC Portugal and in the fight for a better world and a better Church. 
Please send my condolences to all of you in WAC Portugal and to her relatives. 

M. Margarida Pereira-Müller

I am very sorry to inform that this morning our dear friend Maria João Sande Lemos died.
She was a force of nature and a fiery fighter for reforms in the Catholic church. Together with Ana Vicente, Leonor Xavier and Mariana Mendes Pereira, who died last week,  she brought the We Are Church movement to Portugal and was since them the faced of the movement in our country.
Let’s pray for her and that she rests in peace.