por Orson Peter Carrara

The experience of leading a Spiritist Centre in Connecticut, USA

Marcelo Backx Cabral (photo), from Rio de Janeiro, in Brazil, is a Mechanical Engineer and plant manager in Trumbull, in the American state of Connecticut. He is also the current president of SER - Sociedade Espírita Renascer (Rebirth Spiritist Society). In this interview, he speaks about his early days in Spiritism and his experience as a volunteer in the Spiritist Movement of the United States. 

How and when did you become a Spiritist?

My grandmother taught me the first ideas about spirituality when I was still a young child. But it was only around the year 2000, shortly after my arrival in the United States, that I began to do the Gospel in the Home every week. In a “chance” meeting with a Spiritist friend, I was invited to attend a Spiritist event and got to know the activities at SER Spiritist Centre, which then worked in the basement of its founders. That’s when I began my serious involvement with Spiritism. 

What has attracted you to Spiritism?

The fact that it explained where the truth was. I always struggled to understand the meaning of the Bible, even having studied in a Catholic school for many years. When I began studying Spiritism, those principles and ideas made sense in my life. To study the parables of Jesus in the light of Spiritism and to be able to associate them with the Divine Laws studied in The Spirits’ Book has brought a great deal of meaning into my life. It was like the dawn lighting up the meaning of my existence. 

How did you move from Brazil to the United States?

I was working with a company in São Paulo in the area of product development and was invited to take part in a joint project with another company from the United States. At the end of the project, I was invited to join that other company, which was based here in Connecticut. 

How did you get involved with the Spiritist Group?

The Group had already been formed. It was a nice group of Brazilians who lived here. My wife and I began attending the public meeting and, as Brazilians in a foreign country, we naturally developed a friendship with the other members. At the same time, I got more and more involved with the activities of the Group. 

Tell us a bit more about the activities at the Renascer Spiritist Society - SER.

The Group has grown steadily throughout the years thanks to the dedication of its volunteer workers. SER offers many courses and study groups and we now own the premises where we hold the meetings. The Group has prioritised not only the intellectual and theoretical aspects of Spiritism, but it has encouraged reflection and thought so we are able to feel the Gospel in our hearts. 

Looking back, what have you learned from your experience in Spiritism?

The current Spiritist Movement in the United States is the result of the work of Spiritists who came from Brazil. It is a lot stronger and more united now, thanks to an effort made by workers in various Spiritist Centres to unite and coordinate actions. But the Spiritist Movement here is nowhere near the size and dimension of the Brazilian Spiritist Movement. We hold yearly events and regional events and there’s a great focus on childrens’ and youth groups. After all, the future of Spiritism in the US lies in the hands of this generation of American citizens born from Brazilian parents.  

What is your best memory from all these years in the Spiritist Movement here?

The defining moment for me was the birth of the TriState Spiritist Federation, which was founded when Spiritist Centres from Connecticut, New Jersey and New York decided to get together to strengthen the local Spiritist movement. 

How has your work and activities at SER changed with the coronavirus pandemic?

The pandemic has had an impact both on the way SER works and also inside us, spiritually. We had to suspend all activities in our rooms and do them online, which also meant that we were also able to reach people in Brazil and other countries. As for the other aspect I mentioned, we have all been invited, though the pandemic, to develop our faith, humility, meekness, positivity and so many other aspects so that we could deal with our social, family and professional lives. That has allowed us to grow and develop, as the immortal beings we are. 

Is there anything else you would like to add?

I would like to thank you for the opportunity to share a bit of what’s going on in the Spiritist Movement in this region and to stress that geographical borders are no barrier for our interaction and our will to help each other. 

I am grateful for all the experiences I’ve had in my life, both the happy ones and all the challenges. I can feel how much I have grown with them. Before joining Spiritism, my goals in life were somehow distorted in the search of happiness. I can now see how they changed and I seek true happiness in my heart with a great deal of love. I thank God, Jesus, the Spiritual Benefactors, my friends and especially my wife, Simone, and my daughters, Isabella and Gabriella, for everything and for providing all the support needed along the way. 



Leonardo Rocha -



O Consolador
 Revista Semanal de Divulgação Espírita