Maria Emmir Oquendo Nogueira is the co-founder and is responsible for all of the formation in the Shalom Catholic Community.
Emmir is married and has four children. She was born in Fortaleza, Brazil. She lived in Rio de Janeiro from when she was five years old until her twenties. She received her education from Lourdes and Ursuline sisters, as well as from Jesuit priests while at University. When she returned to Fortaleza, she graduated with an undergraduate degree in Literature and Linguistics and specialized in the teaching of English for foreigner students, linguistics and phonetics, as an “extension student” at the University of Michigan.
She belongs to a Catholic family and never left the Church. Nevertheless, right after her marriage in 1973, she only lived her faith on Sundays. This changed in 1976 when she was invited by her husband, Sérgio Nogueira, to take a short course on Christianity. In 1977 they attended together a Life in the Spirit Seminar, and from then on they started to support the young people in the Diocese of Fortaleza.
Emmir’s personal experience with God led her to love prayer, the Word of God and the poor. She got to know a Jesuit priest, Fr. Felipe Prévost, who became her spiritual director. She also got to know Fr. Caetano Minette de Tilesse, a theologian of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal. He was well known due to his work among the poor in the Cristo Redentor neighborhood in Fortaleza. In that neighborhood, Emmir worked with the poor and learned to open herself to the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
In 1978 she met Moysés Azevedo in the youth ministry apostolate. They became close friends, united by the love of God. Later they would be inspired by God to establish the Shalom Catholic Community. They had the dream of evangelizing young people for the Glory of God. In 1986, she joined the Shalom Life Community and made her final promises in 2012.
Emmir is the author of many spiritual articles, books, biblical studies and human formation programs. A large portion of her time is dedicated to teaching through media, talks and conferences in Brazil and other countries. She lives in Aquiraz, at the Diaconia, where she works on all of the formation programs for members of the Community.