Lêda Maria Bocchi de Souza

Born 1955, gynecologist, lives in Campinas/ SP-Brazil, belongs to the League of Professional Women in the Schoenstatt Movement

What experiences have formed you as a woman?

An experience that has shaped my life as a woman: to experience everything in every situation, in my whole life story, both professionally and in my family, always and everything with a woman’s perspective. This feminine, sensitive, understanding and loving gaze towards life and people has grown in me through the example and teachings of my mother and through the example, silence and gaze of the Blessed Mother. The gaze of Our Lady enables me to look at life with her and as she looks at it; this is how I learned it from my childhood on. It is an experience worth having, an experience that comes from God, a constant experience.

Where have you experienced God in your life?

I had a rich experience of God at home in my family, in our domestic church. The first place of evangelization for me and my brothers and sisters was in the daily life of our family, with the guidance of my mother and father. Yes, we learned from the words of our parents, but even more from their example, from the experience of their actions, their appreciation of life and people, their gratitude for everything, and how they saw God behind all daily events. My parents taught us to attribute everything that happens: our success in our studies, in our work, in our personal lives, not only to our efforts, but always to God who is active in our lives. They taught us how important God is in the fulfillment of our daily tasks. At issue is our interaction with God: “Nothing without you, nothing without us!

All this strengthened our faith. As we grew, these teachings in practical life also took on greater dimensions, based on responsibility, received and lived with a certain ease, because they were always practiced in our life history. It was a school of life in which we matured and which formed us so that our life became a unified whole. This wealth of love is my constant companion. I experience God anew every day through my work within the family, society in general, as a Catholic and as a doctor.

What do you see as THE challenge for women today?

The great challenge for women today is the education of their family, firmly grounded in the message of the Gospel, and living from the Gospel at work, in the family and in society, day after day.

What do you want to change in this world through your life?

It is my dream that through my daily activities, people will realize how important it is to follow the Gospel with the help of the Blessed Mother, in joyful and difficult times, without ever losing faith and trust in Jesus and Mary.

From the bottom of my heart I wish to be able to show people through my daily life that this path of love is worthwhile, that it fills our whole being with a great inner joy and with the certainty of eternal salvation, the only really important thing. This is possible because we have a mother who accompanies us on the path to Jesus with incomparable kindness, love and understanding.