What experiences have shaped you as a woman?
- being my parents’ first daughter and both my maternal and paternal grandparents’ granddaughter
- having lived for a whole school year with my maternal grandparents; my grandmother was my model and inspiration as a woman (she was the one who taught me to take care of myself, to pray, to sew, to organize my time)
- the fact that I was a teacher’s daughter and that my mother was thus able to spend a lot of time with us during the holidays; I believe that my mother’s profession also inspired mine (psychology, education, parental coaching)
- being a mother – the maternity of my 3 children has deeply transformed me as a person and as a woman: I discovered my limits, but also that I could overcome myself; I learnt that my children aren’t mine and that my mission is to support them to develop themselves, sharing what I believe in. being their mother has been a profound walk in my self-education. with them, with what they say and do, I am also invited to develop myself, to think, to pray more…
- creating my own project – Family Coaching – during a time that my family was falling apart. I felt that, as a mother and as a woman, with my profession, I had a mission in this world – to support fathers and mothers to live in a happier, more balanced and full way, in a way that is more adjusted to their family values.
Where in your life have you experienced God?
- The first memory I have is being 9 years old and, after living a year with my grandparents, starting to go to catechism (my mother used to tell that I was the one who asked to do so). This also led my mother to return to her spiritual life.
- when I finished catechism, I stayed in youth group. from my time at university to the birth of my first daughter, I was a catechist.
- Whilst dating my ex-husband, I discovered Schoenstatt through a priest that was at my church. I participated in a couples’ group in Santuário de Lisboa and later on, my ex-husband and I supported another one of these groups. it was during my relationship and the arrival of the movement that I “re-activited” my relationship with God and that I found Our Lady, in her essence and as a way to reach God and Jesus. I think that, with my maternity, I delved even more into my relationship with Mary.
- in 2007, I went to live in England with my small children (at the time, 6, 4 and 2 years old) and my ex-husband. I did my Aliança de Amor on 6 January 2007 and left Portugal on 12 March. Today I know that by chance I didn’t celebrate my Aliança de Amor on the day of the Magi Epiphany and from that day I also started to travel a new path. I am profoundly sure that, in a special way, since 6 January, Mary has always been with me (that day allowed me to have an even bigger conscience that God loves me deeply and that he guides my life, always present, ready to take me in).
- On 8 December 2010 our Santuário Lar was born. It was a hard path to get there. I was already divorced but I felt it made sense. At the time, I did all the preparation in a couples’ group. I felt like it was important to be my home’s soul and, just like that, I incentivated my kids and together we brought to life the Hapiness and Welcome Santuário.
- I currently belong to a group of the Mothers’ League.
What do you see as the challenge for women today?
Being loyal to my BEING A WOMAN e responding actively to the challenges of this world (I believe that everyone will know in their being what they want to give the world in terms of work, how they want to be a signal of God and an example of Mary in their family). Finding a balance that makes sense to oneself (and not to others), respecting oneself and accepting oneself as God imagines. Maintaining an interior freedom, in order to be able to discern what God asks in each moment. Being able to live with interior peace, in order to be able to participate in the construction of a better world – one where there is peace, freedom, joy, respect… LOVE
What do you want to change through your life in this world?
Ever since my youth, I bring in me a sense of mission.
This prayer that I wrote in the summer of 2016 in Santuário de Aveiro and that I pray on a daily basis guides my life and it shows how I hope to leave my mark in the world
That in every day I live, I be a mirror of you next to others
That I respect the freedom of everyone who crosses my path
That I know how to welcome all that approach me, respecting their originality
That I take care of myself, of others and of the planet that our Father gave me/us
That I live in joy and that others see me as a sign of hope
That I be coherent in what I say and do
That I know how to be persistent and patient when facing each challenge that life poses
That I learn to trust You, Our Holy Father and others
That I am united with the Founding Father in his Aliança de Amor and that I bring daily contributions to the thanks capital
My personal ideal is “Receive and give, live with joy”. I know that it’s in the places I circulate that I can put all this into practice: in my work with thousands of parents and and professionals that work with families; in my nuclear family, with my children; in my wider family (parents, sister, nephews and nieces and brother-in-law); with my friends; in my mothers’ group; with my neighbors; in my relationship…