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Interview Portuguese Spanish    
Year 6 - N° 297 – February 3, 2013
Londres, Inglaterra (Reino Unido)
Leonardo Rocha - l.rocha1989@gmail.com

Stevan Bertozzo: 

“Spiritism to me is a
way of life”

The coordinator of the Spiritist Society of Ireland talks about Spiritism in Dublin, where he lives 

Stevan Laroca Bertozzo (photo) was born in a Spiritist family in the city of São Bernardo do Campo, in São Paulo state. He was brought up with Spiritism, but it was only when he came to live in Dublin, the Irish capital, that he began to see another aspect of Spiritism. In Brazil, the Teachings codified  by  Allan  Kardec  are dominated by their

religious aspect. In Ireland, Stevan Bertozzo came to realise how much difference can the philosophical and scientific approaches of Spiritism make, especially among atheists and agnostic people of all nationalities. 

What made you move to Dublin? 

I came to Dublin to improve my English and get some professional experience abroad. I am a Business Administrator with a degree in Brazil. A temporary experience ended up becoming a permanent one. 

What is your job at the moment? 

I work in a company specialised in financial data assessment. And I am studying to become a certified accountant. 

Were you engaged in Spiritism in Brazil? 

I was, but I never had any formal position within the Brazilian Spiritist Movement. I used to attend the weekly meetings at the Spiritist Centre Lírio Branco, in São Bernardo do Campo. 

Of the three aspects of Spiritism – science, philosophy and religion – which one means the most to you? 

That is an interesting question. In Brazil, at least where I was, religion came first. After moving to Ireland, I began to realise that the scientific and religious aspects of Spiritism are equally important. Our speeches and lectures are 90% about science and philosophy and 10% about religion. I had to learn it all again through a new prism. I had to explain Spiritism through Quantum Physics, to understand the books written by Oscar Wilde, James Joyce and other Irish authors and show how Spiritism is present in their work, in the way the characters think, act and behave… I had to explain Spiritism to a country that suffered a great deal with sexual abuse cases coming from the Catholic Church, a country with a high number of suicides and a great number of atheists. I had to get out of my comfort zone and I can say that science and philosophy are now a greater part of my daily life. 

Which Spiritist book you would say is unforgettable to you and why?

The book that is the base of everything, The Spirits’ Book. I keep learning with that book to be more rational every day and to keep may faith alive. 

What is the name of the Spiritist group you coordinate in Dublin?

It is the Spiritist Society of Ireland. Its website is http://www.freewebs.com/spiritismireland/. If you want to contact us, write to our email, spiritismireland@gmail.com.  

How did your group begin and what are the main activities and services you provide? 

The group began its activities in 2007, set up by four people: Michelli McCarthy, Tennessee Jackson, Gustavo and Juliana Lazzari. They had a few meetings, but the group ended up dispersing due to the commitments of the members and the fact that they lived far apart. In July 2009, our friend Maria Tostes decide to open the group again and it has not stopped since. As the group began to grow stronger, we set up a coordinating board, and that is when they asked me to be in charge. The great medium, Divaldo Franco, came to Dublin in 2010 and sealed our commitment. English became the official language of our meetings, which attracted non-Brazilians. We used to meet in the homes of the group’s members, but then we went out to look for a permanent base. In 2011, after another visit by Divaldo, we managed to rent our own meeting room, with capacity for 50 people. We are now going from strength to strength and, judging by the number of children that have been coming to our meetings, we will soon open our evangelisation course in a separate room. As I mentioned, our meetings are in English and, when necessary, we have simultaneous translation, English/Portuguese or Portuguese/English. 

How do the Irish view Spiritism? Do you have many Irish at your meetings? 

Ireland is a country where Catholicism is very widespread, but the abuse against children and other problems drove many people away from the Church and, unfortunately, away from God too. The number of atheists has grown fast in Ireland. For that reason we had to adapt and, thankfully, Spiritism is just what is needed in such circumstances. The Teachings are ready. The scientific and philosophical aspects are put to the test and we learn every day to adapt. As a result, some of our regulars are going back to God. 

What does Spiritism mean to you and what is its importance in your life? 

In a nutshell, Spiritism to me is a way of life, which I use to keep an eye on me every day, to fix my mistakes and fix again, to learn to listen, to get a bit better as a person, acknowledging the fact that I have a long way to go.



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