A Historic Day for Education With Ecumenical Spirituality in the US

My Friends, Brothers, and Sisters of the Two united Humanities, on Earth and in the Spiritual World:

God Is Present!
Jesus Is Arriving!

Hail, March 4th, 2023!

Corrêa Santos

Brazilian journalist and radio broadcaster Alziro Zarur

On this date in 1949—therefore, 74 years ago—our late Brother Alziro Zarur (1914-1979) started the Good Will Hour program on Globo Radio in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. This was the beginning of the Legion of Good Will (LGW), which Zarur founded, also in Rio de Janeiro, on January 1st (Peace and Universal Brotherhood Day), 1950.

This is a Work whose importance we find in this magnificent passage taken from the Gospel of Jesus according to Luke 2:14:

“Glory to God in the Highest, and Peace on Earth to those of Good Will.

This was the Chant of the Angels that announced the Glorious Birth of Jesus, the Ecumenical Christ, the Divine Statesman, and this is also stamped on the LGW's Blue Heart. With this verse, I pay tribute to all those who have collaborated so decisively so that on this special day we could inaugurate the first Legion of Good Will school in the land of Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865). Incidentally, this great American statesman has a quote attributed to him that the founder of the LGW had displayed in his office, in the former Mundial Radio’s building, in Rio de Janeiro, the Good Will Station at that time (from 1956 to 1966). These are Lincoln’s remarks:

Those who decide to stand still until things get better will later realize that those who did not stand still and collaborated with time will be so far ahead that no one will ever reach them.”

This is, precisely, one of the characteristics of the Legionnaires of Good Wil: always persist and never give up. They see Jesus on the horizon! Our most sincere gratitude, therefore, to the businesspeople, journalists, supporters, volunteers, the people of Good Will, and also to the entire teaching staff and employees, regardless of their position.

The Paiva Netto Educational and Social Assistance Center, which is located at 138 Pacific Street, in Newark, New Jersey, will initially benefit more than 1,300 families, helping reduce some of the social problems of this region.

Paiva Netto Educational and Social Assistance Center

By the way, I feel very honored that my name has been chosen for this monument dedicated to Education with Ecumenical Spirituality. But as I have emphasized to those who help me: No one does anything alone!

A Trailblazing Action

It is a task of Herculean proportions, but one we never give up on. If the purpose is to do Good, we will always overcome what is considered impossible. It was Jesus Who asserted the following in His Holy Gospel according to Mark 9:23:

Everything is possible for one who believes.”

The LGW was officially established in the United States on October 30, 1986. I must point out the meritorious dedication of some of our veterans to this endeavor: the Legionary couple Maria Magdalena and Walter Periotto; the late Alcione and Gilberto Bertolin; Cenira Marquiza, Joana Vitorino, Maria da Conceição de Albuquerque, Claudius Emanuel Malaman, Paulo Medeiros; Helena and Amado Vieira . . . The LGW of the United States is now managed by Brother Danilo Parmegiani and his wife, Adriana. I could mention so many other worthy names for their valiant and persevering efforts, but starting with these, I thank all the Legionnaires of Good Will, volunteers, and supporters who have worked and still work in the US—each one of you is a true bastion at the service of God!

Gilberto Bertolin

First building of the LGW of the United States

The LGW at the UN

With everyone’s efforts, we were able to fulfill an old promise I made to Brother Zarur to take the Good Will Ideals to the UN. I have already told you what happened when I was 16 years old. Zarur was on his way to the studio to present one more edition of his famous radio programs Good Will Campaign and Jesus Is Calling! It was 1957. So with my great enthusiasm, which time has not dampened and that will never be extinguished, I respectfully said to him: President Zarur, I think it is absurd that this magnificent Doctrine of the New Commandment of Christ—“Love one another, as I have loved you. . . . There is no greater Love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (the Gospel according to John 13:34 and 15:13)—with its hidden and practical meaning of which have been revealed by you, is still restricted to Brazil. I am going to write to the UN, to governments, religions, political parties, philosophers, associations, universities, youth movements, initiatory institutions, in short, to whomsoever I can. I am going to draw their attention to your remarkable preaching, so they will be heavily touched by the spiritual and social wonders you and the Legion of Good Will are promoting. He drew close to me and, visibly moved, he said: “Paiva, it is not time yet. You are going to do this in the distant future, far ahead! But you will do it!” And he stared at me for a long time, as if to give me indestructible strength and confidence.

Since 1994, we have been working in a solidary partnership with the United Nations, through its Department of Global Communications (DGC), and since 1999 with its Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), in which the Organization has general consultative status—the maximum degree of recognition that an entity can achieve in that body. The LGW has actively participated in the main UN conferences and meetings and contributed with important recommendations by way of documents in several languages, and which are delivered to heads of State, ministerial advisors, international agencies, and representatives of civil society.

LGW's representatives hand over to the UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, a Portuguese edition of the GOOD WILL magazine, documenting the LGW's contribution to the debate on inclusion and equality.

Education Beyond the Intellect

My Sisters and Brothers who have helped us in the past and will continue collaborating with us, since the great undertaking is just beginning: Jesus is summoning you to be Doctors of Education with Ecumenical Spirituality. Our Accomplishing Faith aims to go to the heart of the solution for the world’s problems, because social reform comes from the spiritual realm. That is why it is so remarkable to provide the North American people—with the support of the community of New Jersey—with this new Organization’s teaching unit, in addition to the units maintained by the LGW of Brazil, the LGW of Argentina, the LGW of Uruguay, the LGW of Paraguay, the LGW of Bolivia, and the LGW of Portugal.

One of the rooms of the Paiva Netto Educational and Social Assistance Center, in Newark/NJ.

Our proposal is to offer more than instruction, but a re-education that goes beyond the intellect. This is an opportune moment to consider the notable point of view of the illustrious North American educator Booker T. Washington (1856-1915), who was the first president of the legendary Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute (now Tuskegee University), in Alabama (USA). He dedicated his life to creating better conditions for the individual growth of former slaves and their descendants and of the indigenous people. He wrote:

“There is no defense or security for any of us except in the highest intelligence and development of all.”

The relevance of these words from this former adviser to presidents of the United States speaks for itself by virtue of his tireless efforts and courage. It is no wonder that he became one of the greatest and most influential speakers in his country’s black community.

It is evident that this reflection now applies to the entire human race—God’s Capital—as the untiring Dr. Booker undoubtedly wanted; his Soul envisioned a future where racism, which I consider to be a social cancer, no longer exists.

The Pedagogy of Affection and the Ecumenical Citizen Pedagogy

From Brazil, we have taken the Pedagogy of Affection (aimed at children up to 10 years old) and the Ecumenical Citizen Pedagogy (from the age of 11 onwards) to the United States. They comprise the Good Will Pedagogy, which I created and is supervised by Ph.D. in Education, pedagogue Suelí Periotto, who is also representing us at this opening ceremony.

Our work philosophy is the same all over the world. In my book É urgente reeducar! [It Is Urgent to Re-educate!] (2010), I stressed:

Here one studies—brain and heart are formed. This is the Pedagogy of God, that of Fraternal Love, which prepares individuals to experience Ecumenical Citizenship, grounded in the full exercise of Spiritual, Human, and Social Solidarity. That is why I have been saying for such a long time that we need to urgently spread the Pedagogy of Love, of Kindness, of Affection, of Mercy, of Justice, and the Ecumenical Citizen Pedagogy. They are supplementary and essential for sustaining the Soul. Powerful medicines for healing illnesses, starting with mental illness, which make it difficult to absorb the lessons necessary for the moral and intellectual development of students, who are not just those who attend schools, because living is a constant lesson. The beauty of life is endless learning.

Generous Words and my Appreciation

I take this opportunity to thank Danilo Parmegiani for the letter he sent me, with his generous words, on the occasion of my birthday, on March 2nd. Below are a few of the paragraphs from his letter:

“What a joy and how proud all Legionnaires of the Good Will of God in the US are to celebrate your 82 years of life this week, with the opening of the Paiva Netto Educational and Social Assistance Center—the first LGW’s school in North America—this Saturday (March 4th, 2023).

"It is exciting to hear the children from the neighborhood, each one with their own accent, which is typical of this multicultural community in Newark, NJ, proudly saying, 'I study at the Paiva Netto school.' This magnificent school, which was built with a lot of Love and dedication by the local community, could not have been given a more appropriate name, as it pays just tribute to a visionary Brazilian educator who pioneered the Education with Ecumenical Spirituality, fostering essential values for building a more just, peaceful, and solidary society.

"In a world that suffers from so many global ills, nothing has greater priority than strengthening the new generations through the learning of Fraternal Love, fulfilling the determination of the Ecumenical Christ in His Divine Commandment, ‘Love one another, as I have loved you.’ Congratulations, Brother Paiva, for your perseverance in fighting for Peace with the weapons of Education, Complete Charity, and Ecumenical Spiritualization of peoples. Future generations applaud you and thank you."

Thank you, Danilo! I am just a servant of the Friends of God.

Today is truly a day of immense joy for all of us!

Support From the Highest

Finally, I present an excerpt from a message I sent to the esteemed Legionnaires of Good Will in the United States on Saturday, July 4, 1998, American Independence Day. At the time, I was in Santa Maria do Arnoso, Lugar de Lages, Portugal:

May God protect the Brothers and Sisters of the LGW of the United States! May they never fear the struggle, may they not allow the spirit of meanness to enter their minds, may they mobilize in search of the urgent means of sustaining the Sacred Work, because it is Jesus Who walks at the head of our movement, as revealed by Dr. André Luiz (Spirit).

As the LGW’s Brothers and Sisters from the Spiritual World, such as Yvonne do Amaral Pereira, Osmar Carvalho e Silva, and Flexa Dourada, say:

Summon us! We do not want to be mere companions, but active participants; we wish to bring you our cooperation, our ideas, and our visible support.”

In other words, they are our Guardian Angels making themselves available to help us. They are the Blessed Souls who are always ready to help those in need.

May the Divine Peace be in everyone’s hearts now and forever!

And may God bless the LGW of the United States of America!

Jesus Lives in Our Hearts Forever!

From the one who loves you,
José de Paiva Netto
 A Servant of the Friends of God

José de Paiva Netto is a writer, journalist, radio broadcaster, composer, and poet. He is the President of the Legion of Good Will (LGW), effective member of the Brazilian Press Association (ABI) and of the Brazilian International Press Association (ABI-Inter). Affiliated to the National Federation of Journalists (FENAJ), the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), the Union of Professional Journalists of the State of Rio de Janeiro, the Union of Writers of Rio de Janeiro, the Union of Radio Broadcasters of Rio de Janeiro, and the Brazilian Union of Composers (UBC). He is also a member of the Academy of Letters of Central Brazil. He is an author of international reference in the concept and defense of the cause of Ecumenical Citizenship and Spirituality which, according to him, constitute “the cradle of the most generous values that are born of the Soul, the dwelling of the emotions and of the reasoning enlightened by intuition, the atmosphere that embraces everything that transcends the ordinary field of matter and comes from the elevated human sensitivity, such as Truth, Justice, Mercy, Ethics, Honesty, Generosity, and Fraternal Love.”