RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil — He’s had a No. 1 record, won a Latin Grammy and now has a hit movie — all aimed at revitalizing the Roman Catholic Church in Brazil.
He is the Rev. Marcelo Rossi, Brazil’s pop star priest, a leader of the Brazilian church’s efforts to bolster its waning appeal in the world’s largest Catholic country.
“The majority of Catholics are estranged from the church. So — this was the promise I made to the pope — I promised to use all means of communication available to bring them back to the Church,” Rossi said.
Rossi’s latest foray into mass media evangelism is a Portuguese-language feature film, “Mary, Mother of the Son of God.”
The film tells the story of Mary, with Rossi as parish priest recounting the role of Jesus’ mother in biblical events to a little girl in Brazil’s poor northeast; the child imagines her townspeople as scriptural characters (Rossi is also the angel Gabriel).
The movie has been seen by 2.5 million viewers — an impressive figure for a Brazilian film.