I was born into a Catholic family in Fortaleza, Brazil. I grew up in a happy family, which gave me all the good values I carry to this day. Despite being born and raised in a Catholic environment, I have never been interested in church activities. I thought I did not fit in and could not find the motivation to participate in anything in the church.
It was then that in 2005, when we were already married, Amanda was already 3 years old, and we thought that we had found happiness, we were invited by a very special couple who today are Isabella’s godparents to participate in a “Life in Spirit Seminar” at Shalom Catholic Community. Until this moment we had never heard of the Community.
I did not know why but there was something very strong that made me want to go. And when we got there, our life really changed, we had a beautiful experience with God, with his love, with forgiveness, with mercy, an immense joy that we had never felt.
I understood that God gives a specific little seed to everyone. Some people may be called to live a consecrated life in Shalom Catholic Community or other church movements, some in a parish or some music ministry, a priesthood, etc. But one thing is certain, the moment you have contact with Him, you feel a strong inclination to approach, to know more, you go to sleep thinking, wake up thinking of that, the way of talking, of praying, of praising, of having fun. That’s what I felt. It was as if my old life became black and white and the things of God and of the community were colored in vivid colors.
We began to participate in a prayer group, walk a path of intimacy with God, grow in knowledge and spirituality, made good friends. We began to feel the desire to serve, so we began to help and guide other couples. And we discovered that there was even greater joy than we felt in that seminar.
The joy of serving, giving for free what we received for free! Give the opportunity for other people, other couples, families, to also experience what we had discovered.
We then discovered that a concrete way of living this experience in a constant and growing way would be through consecration. So we made the vocational path and joined the community in 2009, the same year Higor Filho was born.
Already members of the community, knowing better the charism, was born in us a missionary desire, a call to take this charism further, so in 2011 we put ourselves at the disposal of the community to go wherever the Lord sends us.
In prayer, God showed us a map of the world and thousands of flashing lights in every country. He gave us the understanding that He had distributed the seeds of the Shalom Charism throughout the world, and in every place, there were many people who are Shalom and will never find out unless one goes to that country and lives as Shalom there.
A year later we received an invitation to come to Cambridge in the United States, along with another family to begin a Shalom Mission in Boston area. We met Fr. Walter in 2012 in Fortaleza, during the Halleluya Festival, the priest who made the invitation, and since then began a beautiful friendship and affection between him and our family.
Then we arrived in Boston in December 2013, coming out of a temperature of 90 degrees to 20 degrees. The priority, besides surviving the cold, was to enculturate, find a job, make friends, learn English and open the way for new missionaries. Until then there was nothing of what you are seeing today, we dreamed every day until this day when we would see the Shalom’s House full of people.
I can not deny that it was difficult, that many times we thought about giving up, we often thought that it was not going to work, we suffered a hard adaptation, until today we miss the family and everyone in Brazil.
But on the other hand, we lived unforgettable experiences, grow as human beings, as a family, mature in faith, we could be touched literally by the God’s providence, by his love in various situations.
We can say that we were gifted with a new beautiful family that we love very much and which is everyone who is part of Shalom Boston today. I’m so glad for the friendships, for the support and the affection, we all have been receiving.
The fruits of this mission are the God’s answer for us.