A Brazilian couple who will speak at the upcoming Synod on the Family at the Vatican said they hope to convey the necessity of realizing God’s essential role in marriage and family life. “When we received the news it was a surprise because this is such an important event. We are thankful for this great blessing. It's an honor and at the same time a great responsibility,” said Arturo and Hermelinda de Sa Zamperline, who come from San Jose de Campos in the state of Sao Paulo, Brazil. The couple directs the Teams of Our Lady Movement in their city, and together with 13 other couples, they have been invited to attend the synod as auditors, which means they will be able to address the bishops but not vote. The synod, scheduled for October 5-19, will bring together bishops from around the country, as well as other members of the Church, to discuss challenges facing the family. In statements to CNA, Arturo and Hermelinda said they are excited and nervous about their role in the upcoming synod, where they will speak on the topic, “Openness to life and educational responsibility.” “We have received a lot of material to read and we are studying quite a bit,” Hermelinda explained. “We were chosen to speak for exactly four minutes about the pastoral challenges and respect for openness to life. Our remarks should reflect our experience as a Christian family and our pastoral experience.” “We are called to testify to love, forgiveness and praise of God. We should have a life that is consistent with the faith we profess. We should be very thankful to God, have a prayer life and participate frequently in the Eucharist. And we should do this with conviction and joy, it should not be a burden,” she added. The couple said marriage involves three people: “Us and God, because where He is, there is charity, there is true love.” “Before, we were Sunday Catholics, and as we began to understand the value of the sacrament of marriage, we experienced a new awakening in our lives,” they explained. That change came while they were living in Rio de Janeiro, during a retreat for parents organized by the school their children were attending. “We felt a fire reignite in us at that event. Our love for Jesus grew as well as the will to give our relationship to God in a greater way.” Hermelinda said the secret to a happy marriage is prayer and dialogue. “We can overcome challenges with greater ease when we know that our best includes God.”
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