By Orson Peter Carrara

From São Paulo to France: another Spiritist experience out of Brazil

Ana Paula Spinelli da Silva Teles (photo) is a geographer from the Brazilian city of Marília, in the state of São Paulo, with a PhD in Oceanography from the University of Southampton in the United Kingdom. She lives in the French city of Cagnes-sur-Mer and is currently doing a Psychology degree at the UCA university in Nice. She is one of the founders of the Yvonne Pereira Spiritist Centre (CESYP - Centre d'Études Spirites Yvonne Pereira) and its director since 2017. In the following interview, she talks about her experiences in the Spiritist Movement in Brazil and France, where she has lived since 2009: 

How did you get to know Spiritism?

When I was a child, I often heard my family talking about relatives, neighbours of people they knew who were Spiritists, as they were special somehow, different from us Catholics. We remained friends. We kept the respect and were curious about them, but didn’t talk about it. My first true contact was during university, in the city of Rio Claro, when a friend of mine introduced me to some Spiritist books and took me along for a couple of talks and lectures. I was interested, but didn’t pursue it. I got closer to Spiritism when I was doing my Masters at the USP university, in the city of São Paulo. I was going through a personal and professional crisis then. And soon after I moved to England for my PhD and brought with me two precious gifts given by another friend: The Gospel According Spiritism and The Spirits’ Book, in the pocket editions translated by the late Herculano Pires. 

What strikes you the most in the Spiritist Teachings?

I honestly love the three aspects of the Teachings: the scientific/practical approach, the philosophical/inquisitive aspect and its religious/ethical/moral side too. I love reading all the core books of Allan Kardec and the works of Léon Denis, those written by the mediums, Francisco Cândido Xavier, Yvonne do Amaral Pereira and Divaldo Franco, as well as the publications by AME-Brasil (Brazil’s Medical Spiritist Association), Herculano Pires, Hermínio Miranda and so many others. I wish the day had 30 hours so I had time to read and re-read all those treasures! A project I have is to read all the 12 volumes of the Spiritist Magazine methodically.

How was your involvement with the Spiritist Movement in France?

I looked for a Spiritist Centre from the moment I moved to France. I initially searched a Spiritist Centre in Marseille, which had ceased its activities but kept a small sign on the door. Then I looked for a couple in Nice, Daniela e Guilherme, who have become very dear friends to this day. We used to meet every fortnight to study the Spiritist books. I joined the Allan Kardec Study Group in Nice, which is now called Centre d'Études Spirites Chico Xavier. It’s still there, with their regular weekly activities. I’m also closely associated with the CEEAK, from Winterthur, in Switzerland, and since the foundation of the CESYP (Yvonne Pereira), we have been affiliated to the USFF (Union Spirite Française Francophone), which is part of CEI, the International Spiritist Council.

The biggest challenge for me has been the differences with my husband, a Frenchman with a materialistic/atheist/agnostic approach to life. We’re separated now and our divorce is almost finalised. He initially accepted my involvement with Spiritism, but eventually developed a strong rejection of it. As much as we tried to make peace and overcome this situation, our different visions of the world made us drift apart and led to divorce, which has been a painful experience. But we are parting on friendly terms, in order to keep the mutual respect and preserve our relationship with our three beloved children. 

Tell us about the Spiritist Centre named after Yvonne Pereira?

The foundation of this group came from the idea of not having to travel to another city in order to continue in Spiritism. It was initially based in my garage, despite the resistance from my former husband, who said at the time that I shouldn’t waste my time with Spiritism and should, instead, live a normal life. The activities were held during periods of the day that minimised the impact on family life. We met on Wednesday evening, we had one or two study groups during the day and we had a monthly talk or lecture on Saturday evening. Not many people attended regularly, something between 3 and 8. I remember that we had 14 people two or three times. We also had a Gospel group for children that we put together with the Spiritist group in Nice. We did it on Saturdays at the Yvonne Pereira, before the monthly talks, and on Sunday mornings at the CESCX, in Nice. 

How is the group doing now? 

Since the coronavirus pandemic, we have been holding the Wednesday study group sessions online. We have now reopened our rooms for the weekly Saturday studies. But a few months ago we began doing our monthly talk online. You can find all the videos on our YouTube channel ("Centre d'Études Spirites Yvonne Pereira"). We also post material on Facebook (click here-1). And you’re welcom to get in touch through our email address:

From the beginning, we’ve held most of our activities in French. It’s a privilege to be able to read Kardec and so many pioneers of Spiritism in the originals, in their language. And many quality books have now been translated into French as well, which is a big boost for the dissemination and study of the Spiritist Teachings. 



Leonardo Rocha -



O Consolador
 Revista Semanal de Divulgação Espírita