By Orson Peter Carrara

The efforts to help disseminate Spiritism

Marcelo Firmino Dias (photo) has a degree in Business Administration and works in a bank in the city of João Pessoa, the capital of the Brazilian state of Paraíba. He is a public speaker and the current president of ABRADE, the Brazilian Association for the Dissemination of Spiritism. He also works as a volunteer at the state Spiritist Federation and at the União Espírita Deus, Amor e Caridade - UEDAC (God, Love and Charity Spiritist Union) Spiritist Centre, as he explains in the following interview. 

Do you think that coming across Spiritism as a young man helped you change the way you viewed the world? Which aspect of Spiritism attracted you the most initially?

I was only 16 years old when I joined the youth group at UEDAC Spiritist Centre. I was, therefore, fortunate to come in contact with the Spiritist Teachings when I was still young. That is an age when we have the physical capacity of full assimilation of what is around us. It was a refreshing and dynamic experience, which put my soul at boiling point and woke my mind up for new revelations, which came up at every new book I read or at every new meeting at the Spiritist Centre. From the start I felt a great connection with the Spiritist principles, which gave me a peace of mind about the future and put me at ease about the impact of past events on our present life. Those lessons and the charity work that we carried out then showed me how to look after my soul and my body based on the principles of solidarity and love. 

And now, as a mature person with the benefit of hindsight, how do you look back at those experiences?

I was initially taken by an overwhelming urge to learn and live each new lesson as soon as possible. Eventually I understood that to study, to learn and to put those lessons into practice demands time. So the rush of the early years was replaced by hard work and the continuous observation of events around me, as I strived to carry out a process of inner reform. I persevered and fought, day by day, against the fears and impulses that hampered my Spiritual development. I understood that we are destined to be perfect and that our main goal is to continuously work toward Spiritual progress, but with optimism and making the most of the opportunities that come our way through life. 

How did you get involved with the dissemination of Spiritism?

At the UEDAC Spiritist Centre, I soon became editor of the Youth Group newspaper, O Vagalume (The Firefly). I worked to improve the graphic quality of the publication, I boosted production of news and interviews and encouraged the participation of other young people in the process. Since those days, I’ve been involved in groups, events and training courses aimed at encouraging the dissemination of the Spiritist ideas. In 1997 I joined ADEPB, the Association for the Dissemination of Spiritism in the state of Paraíba, which is part of ABRADE and to this day I’m glad to say that I’m part of that effort. 

What do you think are the main qualities required from a person who works in that field?

I think it’s essential that those working on the propagation of Spiritist ideas, be it as a public speaker, a director, a teacher, a medium or those working on Spiritist radio, TV and social media, live according to the principles that they teach. Those working in that area shouldn’t try to project an image of a perfect person, because we all have our flaws. But they must abide by the laws of the country where they live, like any other citizen, and must work endlessly towards their own Spiritual development. To achieve that, they must continue to read and study and to train in the area where they are going to work as volunteers in the Spiritist Movement, so that they can deliver the best results possible. 

What is the best strategy for an efficient project of dissemination of the Spiritist Teachings?

It is essential to make better use of the infrastructure we have in Spiritist Centre in Brazil and across the world. There are thousands of Spiritist organisations that only use their facilities at weekends. Their lecture halls are only used once or twice a week and that is a waste of precious resources that Our Lord has made available to us. We need to increase the use of those facilities and also to encourage interaction between Spiritist Centres and the communities where they are based. We must do all we can to reach those residents in person, to touch their hearts and to enter their homes, rather than relying only on social media and online events. 

Spiritist Centres must multiply in number following the guidelines set up by Kardec, who said that it was better to have many smaller Spiritist Centres than one big one. 

What else would you like to add?

I would like to express my gratitude for this opportunity to interact with you and your readers. And I would like to say that Chico Xavier was the greatest Spiritist communicator of the 20th century, not only for his capacity to communicate with both sides of life, thanks to his amazing mediumship, but also for living an exemplary life and for his work in the media. His participation in a series of live television programmes in the early 1970s in São Paulo led to a big boost in the Spiritist Movement in Brazil and abroad. His work has played an essential part in the growth of Spiritism. The books dictated to him, which he wrote through his mediumship, are still read and studied all over the world. One of them, “Nosso Lar - Our Home,” was adapted into a film that has been watched by 4 million people, one of the biggest blockbusters in Brazilian history. A new film, based on his book, “Os Mensageiros - The Messengers,” is currently in production. 

These are all new ways of helping disseminate the principles of Spiritism, as the Codifier, Allan Kardec, predicted. The message of Spiritism is gaining more and more acceptance in universities and in wider society. 

ABRADE is at your disposal on our YouTube channel and on Facebook and Instagram (ABRADE COMUNICAÇÃO – ABRADE ESPIRITISMO).



Leonardo Rocha -



O Consolador
 Revista Semanal de Divulgação Espírita