por Orson Peter Carrara

The experience of a young president

Érica Maria Lima Rodrigues (photo), from the Brazilian city of São Paulo, lives in Sumaré, also in São Paulo state. She is a Spiritist since the age of eight. Érica has a degree in Social Communication and specialisation in publicity. She is a volunteer worker and current president of the Amor e Luz (Love and Light) Christian Spiritist Centre (known by its Portuguese initials, Cecal) in Sumaré. Her term ends in December 2019, as she explains in the following interview:

Tell us about your experience with Spiritism, which began in your childhood.

I arrived at Cecal when I was eight. My mother and I came to visit at the invitation of a work colleague of hers. At the time, I was attending Catholic Sunday school. My mother asked if I wanted to carry on or if I would rather attending the courses for children at the Spirtist Centre, and I preferred to carry on at Cecal. I went through all the courses and have carried out different tasks and occupied different post in the Centre.

If you take an inner chronological journey, how important would you say was that earlier phase of your life for the current stage of your existence?

When I look back I know that the choice I made to carry on with Spiritism lessons at a young age was something I brought from a previous existence. What I feel now is that it is natural to go through all these “apprenticeships” in the jobs I carry out in the Spirtist Centre and also in my personal life, and in interpersonal relations. I keep learning, always.

Based on your experience of all these years, what assessment do you make of the Love and Light Chrisitian Spiritist Centre?

There has been significant change since I joined the Centre, and that was 30 years ago. Whenever feasible, we incorporate new resources in order to try to modernise our study groups and activities. On Mondays, for example, after our study group, we have mediumship work with music. We sing to help back up the mediumship activities. With anything new, there is fear of change, but things eventually flow naturally.

Which aspect of Spiritism strikes you the most?

There are so many aspects that I could highlight, but the main point, I believe, is that we have the possibility of learning through the incarnations, thanks to he mercy of the Creator!

How about the activities and services you provide at the Spiritist Centre?

What strikes me the most is our emphasis on studying, our commitment with disseminating and understanding the Teachings. We are seen by other Spiritist Centres in the city as “the Centre where there is a lot of studying going on”. And that is really our main priority.

Who are the people attending the Centre’s activities?

People initially come to us moved by curiosity and looking for miracles for their problems. But as they get the guidance from our volunteers, they are encouraged to join the study group and begin then to understand the principles and aims of Spiritism.

You are still very young. What do you think are the prospects for Spiritism in the future?

Like in everything else in life, every change takes place in small increments. Even being young, I believe more and more that Spiritism fills a “gap” in the anxious, suffering hearts, eager for answers and comforting. The Teachings get more and more followers and people no longer see Spiritism as something that provokes fear, something unknowns. We say now that we are Spiritists in a natural way we did not 20, 25 years ago. I can see, always, the Spiritist Movement growing.

What is your main memory of all these years in Spiritism?

It is quite odd, but what really stayed with me was the memory of the games many teenagers played with glasses and Sprits séances. I was invited to join, but I was already a Spiritist and did not join, as I knew the effects that would have. I had just read the book, Copos que Andam (Glasses that Walk). You imagine what I thought: “You don’t even know what you’re playing with”.

Is there anything you would like to add?

Everything in life is movement. Everything changes and is transformed. We may be able to carry out some activity in the Spiritist Centre today, but we may have to change it tomorrow. And we learn in the process. I have gratitude for all the opportunities that have come up. I have learned a lot, especially in the current job I am doing. May we be able to appreciate the roads we need to go through, as all thing pass very quickly. May we be receptive to the tasks that are offered to us. We must bear in mind that if we get an invitation to carry out a certain task or job, it means we are ready for it. Courage to all of us! May our Master Jesus be our main example, always!

Leonardo Rocha -



O Consolador
 Revista Semanal de Divulgação Espírita