Paulo Roberto Silva e Souza
Padrinho of the Céu do Mar Church in Rio de Janeiro
Paulo Roberto Silva e Souza is one of the foremost English speaking authorities on the psycho-spiritual work of Amazonian communities. He comes from a family of Spiritists in the line of Allen Kardec. He began developing his skills as a medium when he was a teenager and worked with the Guides of Umbanda to channel incorporating spirits.
After receiving a degree in psychology from the University Gama Filho in Rio de Janeiro; at the age of twenty-five he worked as a psychologist for the Brazilian government in Amazonia. There he began his lifelong study of the psychological and spiritual effects plants of the rainforest have on communities of native people. In 1985 Paulo Roberto organized and led the scientific commission that convinced the Brazilian government to legalize ayahuasca for religious uses. As a psychologist in Rio de Janeiro, he worked at the suicide prevention center of Pinel Hospital, with psychotic patients at the Pedro II Psychiatric Hospital and the Anna Freud Clinic, and with psychopathic children at the Santa Tereza Hospital.
At the same time he continued to develop his work integrating the science of the mind with theology. Since his first lecture at Harvard University 15 years ago, Padrinho Paulo Roberto has been invited to universities and conferences around the world to share his knowledge of Amazonian spirituality and the use of sacramental plants by indigenous tribes and Santo Daime communities.
He and his wife, Madrinha Nonata, daughter of Padrinho Sebastião, continue her father’s mission to illuminate suffering spirits with their Illumination and Ascension Santo Daime works. He is the director of the natural patrimony private reserve Céu do Mar, in Rio de Janeiro. The President of Guananshe Co. in South Bahia, and the manager of Jungle Clinic projects in Rio, Bahia and Amazonia at Mutum, Yawanawa village.