Câmara, (Dom) Hélder Pessoa, “Brother of the poor” and Roman Catholic Archbishop of Linda and Recife, Brazil, born Fortaleza, Ceará, Brazil, 7 February 1909, died 1999.
Ordained priest in 1931, Câmara became archbishop in 1964 until his retirement in 1985. He was secretary of the National Conference of Brazilian Bishops for 12 years from 1952 and helped the formation of the Latin American Conference of Bishops. He put world development on the Church’s agenda at Vatican II, brought clergy and laity into the administration of his diocese and reformed the education of priests.
Although restricted by the military government between 1968 and 1977, he defended human rights, acted out a “preferential option for the poor” and traveled as a prophetic voice for Third World peoples. His simplicity, charity, clarity of vision, and saintliness won international respect. His writings were widely translated.