José Celso Becca

The Risk of Love (1 February 1958 - 24 February 2012)

Fifty-four years of selfless giving. A champion in loving his family, creating bonds of brotherhood everywhere, overcoming barriers and difficulties, working to make the working world new along with the world of economy. He is remembered by all as a pioneer of the new path opened by Chiara Lubich: the Economy of Communion.

José Celso Becca, a Brazilian mechanical engineer from Salto (the State of Sao Paulo) was taken away from us by a sudden illnes in only eight days.

“He who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully”. These words of St Paul had been chosen for José by Chiara Lubich in response to a letter he had once written to her. José did sow bountifully and only now have we begun to gather the fruits of his extraordinary life from the simple events of each day.

During these times of global crisis, we can gather much light and learning from the choices which he made. It was precisely at Mariapolis Ginetta in Brazil, where Becca had lived for more than twenty years, that Chiara Lubich launched the Economy of Communion project and envisioned an entrepreneurial centre that would demonstrate the novelty of this project that is more and more appearing to be an answer to the current crisis. José was present on that day. He wrote to Chiara: “Something great is happening, something capable of changing the world. I live for this economy of communion in Brazil and in the world.”

He was a factory owner, his wife, Maria Aparecida was expecting their fifth child when French François Neveux decided to establish another business in the emerging centre, the Rotogine. He immediately thought of Becca as the director, and Becca did not hesitate. He sold his factory and with his entire family moved to the Mariapolis near to Vargem Grande Paulista. They left their beautiful home, relatives, friends, and secure life. Corrado Martino from the Mariapolis recalls “his unwavering faith in God’s love, in Providence, even when human logic should have bowed before the evidence”.

Becca had known the Ideal of unity in 1981. It was an encounter with God, the discovery of a new life, a Gospel life that responded to his deepest longings. He leaves to us his shining example of faithfulness until the end. Moreover, as the inhabitants of the Mariapolis and Maria Aparecida bear witness, all the pain of his sudden “departure” has turned into a deep communion between Heaven and earth, into love which made them all say: “God’s love for us is truly endless!”



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