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Papers that help people be better

Maria Denisse Fanianos de Capriles

Tags: truth, Communication, Venezuela
If there is one phrase that has marked the path of our marriage in these twenty years of happy union, it is St Josemaria’s words, “Dream, and your dreams will fall short.” Going back thirty years, I remember, on the first day of my journalism degree course, writing an essay on “Why do I want to study journalism?” My great passion and also my great concern, was educating people in my country, Venezuela, in values. I knew that it was urgent to teach my countrymen human and family values. At that point I didn’t talk about Christian or Catholic values, because I didn’t know what Christ or the Catholic Church signified.

Joyful, no matter what
Soon after graduating I met my future husband. He had joined Opus Dei when still a teenager, and he was the first person who ever talked to me about God. I was struck by the fact that he was always joyful, no matter what happened, and I wandered what he had that I didn’t. After a very few months, I discovered that what I didn’t have was God, and I began going to the means of Christian formation offered by Opus Dei – and have continued going without fail ever since. Six months later we got married, our first son was born nine months after that, and when we had been married for a year and a half I decided to join Opus Dei too.

A very special “child”
As for my career, I decided to become a full-time mother. My husband had a publishing firm, and always brought me work to do from home like editing, proof-reading, and so on. We often talked about how when we first met, we had dreamed of bringing out a magazine for Venezuelan families, to educate people in values. When our third child was born in 1995, we put this dream into action, and published the first number of a monthly magazine called Leer Entre Lineas – “Reading Between the Lines”. We started with a print-run of 400 copies and it received such a welcome that the project grew rapidly, just like my children – both in age and in number, as we had six children in eight years. The magazine Entre Lineas became yet another child; I took charge of writing and production, and my husband looked after the printing and distribution. It was very hard work for me, looking after my house and my family, and bringing out a new issue of the magazine every month, and on top of that I developed severe arthritis four years after we were married and had to have several operations. Every time I started to think I just couldn’t cope, faxes or calls would come in from people in different parts of the country requesting more copies, because, they said, they were doing so much good in their neighbourhoods with our magazine. The print-run went up steadily from the original 400 copies to over fifty thousand at the present time.

María Denisse Fanianos de Capriles giving a conference presentation in 2012
María Denisse Fanianos de Capriles giving a conference presentation in 2012
A great tool
The magazine Leer Entre Lineas has become a great tool in helping teachers, parish priests, lay-people, missionaries and others throughout the country to pass on human, Christian and Catholic education that is of interest to the whole family. Eighty per cent of the copies are distributed free, and readers like its handy, stylish design. The articles talk about current issues simply and dynamically. Entre Lineas is distributed in several meetings of the clergy at a national level, and the priests take the packets to share out the copies among their parishioners. It is also distributed at state and private schools, doctors’ surgeries, lawyers’ practices, law-courts, etc.

When we see how involved we are in the needs of our country, we think of how St Josemaria used to say “We are going at God’s pace.” We would like to be able to help much more, but in the face of difficulties we abandon ourselves into God’s hands with great faith and hope. He will look after everything.

Website www.venezuelaentrelineas
Website www.venezuelaentrelineas
To serve the Church
Once the magazine was established, we set up the “Entre Lineas Foundation” (which was awarded the Msgr. Pellin Prize in 2005) to produce religious educational material and distribute it free at the national level, because the Venezuelan public is massively thirsty for substantial input in the areas of values and faith. There is a crying need for the teaching of Catholic doctrine at all levels. For the past six years we have been running Rosary campaigns throughout the country and nurturing devotion to Our Lady of Coromoto, Patron of Venezuela. We have distributed booklets on Confession the Ten Commandments, lives of saints, Catechisms, etc. Many of our Bishops and priests have told us that the Entre Lineas Foundation has become a great support for the Church in Caracas and Venezuela. We always think about what St Josemaria taught us about loving and serving the Church. Some of our publications are available online in Spanish at www.venezuelaentrelineas.

As St Josemaria used to say, God shows us with deeds that however ambitious our dreams are, they always fall short of the marvels he can achieve with our little bit of help. Blessed John Paul II was given some of our publications, and sent us a letter encouraging us to keep on “bearing witness as an evangelizing married couple among our brothers and sisters”.

Immense happiness
In 2011 we had the immense happiness of going to the beatification of John Paul II, to bring out a special edition of Entre Lineas, and we met journalists from all over the world. After so many years, I was back with my camera and computer again, covering, with my husband, a major event in the Catholic Church. I could never have imagined such a thing!

So we will keep on dreaming and working, with God’s help and that of Our Lady of Coromoto, so that our project in the field of public opinion may reach more and more people and we may, as St Josemaria said, “cover the world in papers that help people to be better.” We are sure that God will make our dreams come true and much more!