In that work, autobiographical bits are added to the stories of residents of the Light-Communities and collaborators from different regions, forming a lively and striking biography of José Trigueirinho Netto.

A task welcomed with love and gratitude. This was how the photographer and writer Ana Regina Nogueira responded to the request of the Governing Council, when she was invited to write a biography on the spiritual philosopher, José TrigueirinhoNetto, founder of the Work which adds the Figueira Light-Community along with twenty-four other affiliates, together forming the Fraternity – InternationalHumanitarian Federation (FIHF).

Because of Trigueirinho’s vast legacy, his life couldn’t fit into a single book. Thus was born a collection called “Conversations on Trigueirinho”, with two published volumes, the third having been begun, and a fourth to come.

José Trigueirinho Netto

The relationship of the author with “José”, as she affectionately calls him, became deeper when she left Rio de Janeiro to live in Lavras, MG, in order to place herself in service to the Work and be closer to the Figueira Light-Community and the teacher, who lived there until his death in 2018.

Her relationship with José became stronger as Ana Regina, beginning in 2003, developed graphics and editorial projects for his work, as well as related tasks: the production of book covers and insides, graphic design of other media, the authorship of four publications, such as “Viver o Amor aos Cães” (Living with the Love of Dogs). To speak about the affectionate relationship with José and the creation of “Conversations on Trigueirinho”, Ana Regina granted us this interview:

Was the editorial project of Conversations on Trigueirinho born after his death, in 2018?

A year after Trigueirinho left for other planes, I was invited to write his biography. The invitation came through a member of Irdin Editora. I later perceived – because we listen to our inner guidance – that his work, because it was so intense, vast, so grand, deserved to be summarized in a collection of four books. And the Governing Council accepted the proposal.

What is the approach of Book 1?

Book 1 is built around stories. In order to show the diversity of the people he attracted, we invited twenty-one members of the Work created by Trigueirinho – among which were consecrated individuals, residents and collaborators. The selection was made from a beginning list of two hundred and fifty names. The choice was not a rational process; we allowed intuition to define who we would invite. I talked to each at length. Due to the stories, I myself was led more deeply into the universe of the teacher, which helped me write Book 2.

Book 2, which tells about the birth of Trigueirinho in São Paulo, in 1931, and goes up to 1990, was it also built through stories?

Book 2 has autobiographical portions written by Trigueirinho in his first books or told in interviews he had on the radio and with magazines. Added to that are stories of residents of the Light-Communities and collaborators from different Brazilian cities, intertwined with my reflections. It is a very lively biography.

Trigueirinho recognized, believed and prepared himself for his own mission. With limitless courage, absolute faith and love, he gave his life to the Plan of God. He speaks about his own journey only if the situations are of spiritual significance. I chose autobiographical facts about his childhood, adolescence, the period in which he was in Europe to study cinema. He was a very important filmmaker. With the film “Bahia de Todos os Santos”, he became a forerunner of the Cinema Novo, bringing a new awareness to the cinema screen about Brazil and the Brazilian soul. He withdrew from that Hollywoodian vision, that European vision, which up until then Brazilian filmmakers had adopted. If Trigueirinho had done nothing more than make this film, he would have already entered the history of the change of the Brazilian consciousness.

He lived in Europe for years in the 1950s. He returned to Brazil to work as a filmmaker, but he ended up returning to Italy at the beginning of 1960. A cultured being, besides his deep spiritual search, he dedicated himself to studies during his whole life. Always obedient to the inner world, he followed the guidance given by his own dreams and left the cinema, helped by his Italian teacher, who he called “friend” in his books – Book 2 also reveals her name. In the end, as he was transforming, he left the cinema, which brought sadness to the Brazilian film medium because of losing one of the greater talents and hopes of the medium.

His teacher then suggested he study the hotel business, in Rome, because of it being a profession of service to others. The book goes over his success in the hotel business, the tests, the service of prayer and training of the group and of two communities, besides his sixteen first books.

In 1976, he organized the first group of prayer where he lived, in São Paulo, which quickly multiplied in several Brazilian cities, where he also began to lead studies in private homes and promote retreats. In 1977, he developed a group experience in São Paulo, in a vegetarian restaurant. In 1982, he began the building of the Nazaré Paulista community. His lectures began to take place, throughout Brazil and Argentina, in increasingly larger auditoriums. Thousands of listeners followed him with enthusiasm.  He was a great and subtle healer of multitudes.

For 25 years, Trigueirinho was being prepared so that, in 1988, he would be ready for the next stage, the building of the Figueira Light-Community.

The book details all of that.

Can you give us a preview of the subject of Book 3? Does it outline the building of the Figueira Light-Community?

Yes. Book 3 begins in 1987 and continues until the disincarnation of José, in 2018. It tells about the Figueira Light-Community – him in the Light-Community, the building of the community, the creation of its sectors and the transformations of the group. I have already begun the research, the reading, the order of the chapters.

How did your professional involvement with José occur?

During the first ten years of the Work, as from 1992, I had sporadic personal contact with him; we exchange a few letters, he would send me books as a gift. My two small children also participated in the Figueira Light-Community activities. We had a spiritual study group for children and youths in Lavras, and we took them in a bus, as a work group, to spend a day at Vida Criativa. They worked in the planting and the garden and José received them in the lecture room, where they did a circle.

We wove our relationship, our connection until, in 2003, I offered to work in IrdinEditora, which had just moved to Carmo da Cachoeira, coming from São Paulo. The first time I went to the publisher, Trigueirinho was there. In that unexpected meeting, he commissioned me for a cover for a book of Clemente’s. I have been a photographer for 50 years, and when I told him I was creating an audiovisual for the Figueira Light-Community on bamboo, with music by Vivaldi, he quickly crossed the room where we were. He came up to me. Looking closely into my eyes, he said I had Beethovian energy and that I should study Beethoven. I started listening to Beethoven. After a year, I created an audiovisual with the choir of Symphony #5. He never left off offering me work, and together we would analyze each in detail. He taught me a lot, on all planes of consciousness. He is my master.

As from 2013, he started to commission me to write books and to call me. We always spoke on the phone. When he disincarnated, he was revising my fourth book, Fraternity – International Humanitarian Missions. The last time he contacted me, on Saturday in the evening, five days before leaving, he let me know that during that week, he would work with a book channeled by Sister Lucía and then we’d continue. In the following days, I felt strange, overcome by an inexplicable emptiness.

Tell us about your creative process in the art and the production of the books.

José offered me one challenge after another. I knew how to photograph, but he was asking me for what was not familiar to me: graphic design of CDs, posters, the creation of his site and that of Irdin, a new project of “Sinais de Figueira” (Signs of Figueira). Also book covers published by Editora Pensamento, until one day, with his hand, he pointed to the bookcase of his books and tells me to change all the covers. I also created logos, like those of Casa Luz da Colina (Lighted House on the Hill) and Casa Redención, folders. Until he asked me to redesign the insides of his books. So I had to learn to work with yet another digital program.

In 2013, more knowledgeable in creating graphic projects and to diagram, he invited me to write. I never said no to him. I was always certain that, if he asked, I would take on the work. And he asked me for four books. For almost all of them, I created graphic projects. I do the layout for them and get the inspiration for images while I write directly with Design. When I write the last chapter, the book is ready to be revised for Irdin, reviewed and printed.

In the end, to write and diagram a book is a dynamic process. Nothing is repeated ever. The signals arrive. I sit before the computer like a blank page. I let it happen. The paths of the books are clearly marked, subtly so. I am greatly assisted by the invisible and by the group. I write group books, with the participation of many people. That’s how it is.

Your relationship with Trigueirinho was (is) deep and loving. Is it deeply missed?

My relationship with José is one of deep love, respect. It was a joy to work with him. I learned a lot, a lot! He was super-detail oriented. I once worked with him for ten days straight, revising the book “Ensolarar Vidas” (Light Up Lives), from morning to night, side by side, shoulder to shoulder. It was in F3, where he lived.

I gave him rides in the car. I remained more silent, waiting for him to speak. Then I would respond. I was always surprised! On one of the rides, he unexpectedly asked me: “You don’t like to cook, right?” I said that I didn’t. And he said: “The other day I was at home, thinking about what you like to eat.” “Olive oil!” lol… And I started to speak to him about a gallon of olive oil coming from a farm in Portugal. Some time went by. I was giving a lecture on death at Casa Luz da Colina, when I was interrupted, because he was on the phone asking if I would go to the talk that afternoon. So when I entered the room, he called me over. Imagine, he handed me a package with jars of olive oil, honey, olives – Essene food, the people who lived before Christ and whose consciousness inspires this Work. José always gave to us!

Our relationship was natural and gentle, in general related to the work I was developing. One of the things that I learned was to maintain spontaneity and speed in responding to what was asked of me. Now, if something wasn’t right, he had a cutting and powerful sincerity. It shocked me a few times. It shook me from head to toe. He never let us stand still, and that was wonderful, a constant challenge that caused us to grow. How I admire him! Loving, demanding, a perfectionist, wonderful companion, fun. Sometimes he laughed, he would tell me every little detail…and he laughed, laughed… I was dumbfounded by the unexpected….

He would call me at any time, early in the morning, at 10:30 pm, always by landline. Now the phone is silent. I greatly feel the loss of  Trigueirinho. And I love the group and the work he left us.