Moysés Louro de Azevedo Filho, the founder of Shalom, is working to share the Gospel with the world by creatively and boldly giving a “powerful response to secularism.”
The movement, begun in 1982 in Brazil, is based on the apostles’ encounter with the risen Christ in the Gospel of St. John, and the Lord’s greeting to them, “Peace be with you,” in Aramaic, “Shalom.” Through this experience, the apostles were able to live out the peace and love of the Trinity, and the first to experience this was Thomas, who doubted, and eventually spreading the Gospel to the ends of the earth.
Today, the ministry of Shalom is carried out through a Catholic evangelization center that focuses on contemplation, unity and evangelization.
Similarly, the brothers of Shalom have encountered the Holy Spirit and go out to proclaim the truth to those who are spiritually lost, Moysés explained in an interview with Aid to the Church in Need (ACN).
To do this, Shalom reaches out through modern streams of art, music and sports, connecting especially with young people to offer spiritual guidance and support.
“The most important thing is creativity and boldness; they are the keys to evangelizing with courage and attracting those who do not know or don’t want to know about Jesus. It is the most powerful response to secularization,” Moysés told ACN.
In carrying out its mission, Shalom must work to fight the forces of moral relativism, indifference and the search for immediate gratification, all things that lead young people away from God and towards the false happiness found in drugs, alcohol and promiscuity.
“People are looking for God, and the biggest problem is our lack of courage in proclaiming Him,” Moysés said. He went on to relate that he sees this longing for the infinite within young people as an opportunity to reach out, following the words of Pope John Paul II, “Young people are the future of the Church and of the world,” a phrase which Shalom has adopted from the former Pope.
After obtaining approval from the Holy See in 2000 and receiving a welcoming response from young people, the Shalom movement is growing across the globe. Currently present in 15 different countries, the movement continues to expand and is exploring the possibility of creating centers in 12 additional countries.
With the continued support of ACN, Shalom has been able to begin the construction of the general diaconate and complete offices for administrative purposes. Still needed is a building to house priests, consecrated members and the families of the community.