Change of Seasons

September 22nd is the first day of Fall. The change of seasons often goes unnoticed in this day and age. But the changing of the season can be a good time for us to reflect on where we are in our lives and where we want to go spiritually. The image that comes to mind when thinking of the changing of the season from Summer to Fall is the packing away of our Summer stuff and taking out our Winter gear. For many of us it’s a time to revisit our closet and see what’s in there and do some sort of cleaning.
I live now in an area where the change of season is not as dramatic. The ritual of putting away Summer clothes or taking out Winter apparel does not apply here in the Bay Area as much. But I remember as a child growing up in Arizona where season change was very dramatic. We may not have had the harsh winters of the northeast but we had the Summers that resembled an inferno. In our part of Arizona we did have freezing Winters where the temperature often got to into the 20’s. So we did have winter clothes that definitely needed to be put away for the 100 plus temperatures of Summer. Of course the tank tops and shorts that were pretty mandatory for Summer had to be exchanged in the Fall for the coats, long pants, and sweaters. I always preferred the Winter to the Summer and even to this day I prefer it to be colder rather than hot. I run into people now days that say to me when they find out I am from Arizona—-oh it’s hot but it is a dry heat. As if the dry heat of Summer is a consolation when it is 110 degrees. My response in often, an oven is dry heat but I am not going to stick my head in there because it feels good!
The church also invites us to a change of season in our heart. While outside we are putting things away and taking out stuff that was stored, our hearts can also have a change. This change as the church teaches us is a conversion. Our hearts can be converted in many ways but specifically the church offers us the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation as a way to cleanse our hearts. This is not an easy Sacrament for many of us. We have to sit down with the actions or inactions that we have not done right. Just like the closet during the change of season we have to confront the clutter and the mess and look for ways to make it better. But we have all been through a moment of reconciliation where the priest counsels us and gives us that absolution and we feel freed, a sense of relief from what was holding us down. Similar to the first time you walk into your closet after you have cleaned and donated our old clothes; there is a sense of openness and organization that makes you feel good.
This change of season consider not only cleaning out your physical closet in your home or apartment but also looking into your heart and cleansing it of the sin that ties you down.

para espanol/for spanish click here:
creemosycompartimos.com

The Assumption of Mary- August 15, 2012

My mother belonged to the Legion of Mary. She was very faithful to all the gatherings. I often thought that the Legion of Mary gave my mother a sense of belonging and purpose. It was an affiliation with the Church that she really cherished. I am coming up on the 1st anniversary of my mother’s death. She entered into eternal life on September 29, 2011. That was a day that is forever seared in my heart, an emptiness that I cannot explain and probably will never fill. But like Mary the Mother of God, my mom was so many things to me and left me with so many treasures that I feel she is still here with me.
August 15 we celebrate the feast of the Assumption of Mary. This day, along with all Marian feast days helps me remember of all the good things my mother did for me. My mother taught me to be kind, considerate, patient and educated. Which are similar to the Corporal Works of Mercy which the Legion of Mary teaches us about.
I have so many beautiful memories of my mother. It is hard to choose just one. But one that stands out for me is when I was in my pre-communion classes and trying to learn my basic prayers so that I could make my first holy communion. I think all children that age have problems memorizing things but for me it was especially difficult to memorize the Our Father and the Hail Mary. The catechist at our parish told my mother that time was running out and unless I learned my prayers I would not be making my first communion. My mother was a single mother who worked as a nurse at the local hospital. Between raising two children and working those long hospital hours my mom rarely had time left over for much of anything. I definitely can appreciate the struggle she underwent to raise my brother and me. When she got the notice about my prayers my mother dropped everything she was doing and she sat with me at the kitchen table and helped me memorize my prayers. It took us several hours but eventually I got them and I was able to make my first communion. It may not seem like much but the fact that she dedicated that time with me has always been very special for me.
The Assumption is the moment that Mary completed her life and mission here on earth. A life that was marked by her clear choice to say “Yes” to God’s will. This is why it is so fitting for me to remember the one year anniversary of my mother’s death with this special feast. I feel my mother said “YES” many times in her life. She said yes to motherhood, yes to the struggle of being a single parent, yes to her life in the church and yes to all her family and friends. While my mother was not perfect, she was everything to me.
One of the Legion of Mary’s main prayers is the Magificat. There is one line that really sums up my feelings, “ The Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is His name.” This year on the feast of the Assumption I recognize that in my mother; truly he has done great things for me. And the Blessed Virgin Mary is my connection to my mother and to all women who have done great things for our church.

Mi mama pertenecía a la legión de Maria. Era muy comprometida a todas las reuniones. Yo siempre pensaba que la legión de Maria le dio a mi mama un sentido de estar enlazada con la iglesia. Siento que la participación con esta organización era algo que mi mama apreciaba muchísimo. En unas semanas voy a marcar el primer aniversario del fallecimiento de mi mama. Ella entro a la vida eterna el 29 de septiembre del 2011. Ese día está grabado en mi corazón por siempre, y sigue siento una soledad que no puedo explicar y jamás pienso que voy a poder llenar. Pero como Maria la madre de Dios, mi mama fue muchas cosas para mí y me dejo con muchos tesoros que a veces pienso que está aquí conmigo todavía.

Este 15 de Agosto celebramos la fiesta de la asunción de Maria. Este día, igual que todos los días en que festejamos a Maria me ayudan a recordar todas las cosas buenas que mi mama hizo por mi. Mi mama me enseño a ser amable, atento, paciente y educado. Estas cualidades son similares a las obras de misericordia corporales que son unas de las enseñanzas principales de la legión de Maria.

Tengo muy bonitos recuerdos de mi mama. Es difícil escoger solo uno. Pero si hay uno que sobre sale para mi y es cuando me estaba preparando para la primera comunión. Como todos niños a esa edad tenía que memorizar las oraciones básicas como el Padre Nuestro y el Ave Maria. Todos los niños a esa edad tienen dificultad en memorizar estas oraciones. Creo que para mí era más difícil. La catequista de nuestra parroquia le aviso a mi mama que el tiempo se estaba agotando y si no me aprendía las oraciones no iba a poder completar mi primera comunión. Mi mama tenía poco tiempo siendo que era madre soltera que trabajaba como enfermera en un hospital local. Entre sus dos hijos pequeños y las horas largas del trabajo en un hospital, casi no le restaba tiempo extra. Yo siempre le agradezco a mi mama la lucha que ella tuvo que aguantar para sacar adelante a sus dos hijos. Así que cuando ella recibió la nota de que yo necesitaba aprender mis oraciones, ella dejo todo lo que estaba haciendo y se sentó conmigo en la mesa de la comedor hasta que yo me memoricé las oraciones. Nos tomo varias horas pero al final yo pude hacer mi primera comunión con todos mis compañeros de clase. Quiza no sea mucho el esfuerzo pero para mí el tiempo que mi mama dedico se me quedo grabado no solo en mi mente pero en mi corazón.
La asunción es el momento que Maria completo su vida y misión aquí en la tierra. Una vida que fue marcada por su decisión de decir “si” a la voluntad de Dios padre. Mi mama también ya casi cumple un año que completo su vida y misión en esta tierra. Siento yo que mi mama también dijo “si” en muchas ocasiones en su vida. Ella dijo si a ser madre, dijo si a la lucha de ser madre soltera, dijo si a la iglesia y si a su familia y sus amistades. Mi mama no era perfecta pero era todo para mi.
Una de las oraciones principales de la legión de Maria es el Magníficat. Hay una frase dentro de esa oración que resume mis sentimientos, “el Poderoso ha hecho obras grandes por mí su nombre es santo.” Este año en la fiesta de la ascensión de Maria yo reconozco que mi madre deberás ha hecho obras grandes por mí. Y la Santa Virgen Maria es mi conexión a mi mama y a todas las mujeres que han hecho obras grandes por nuestra iglesia.

Creemos y Compartimos

Starting this August, I will be writing a Spanish blog with my two co-workers Dulce Jimenez-Abreu and Sr. Rosa Monique Pena. As of today, August 10th the blog is not up because of some minor technical glitches. But it will be up shortly. The URL for the Spanish blog is http://www.creemosycompartimos.com. The entries in that blog will be completely in Spanish. I will be proving you my English translations to those entries here on this blog. I hope you enjoy reading these as I am enjoying writing them.

I will post the first entry in a separate posting.

Latino Education Network-NCCHM

Here is the rough draft of Dr. Frank Lucido’s position paper. This document talks about the urgent need for a change in current educational structures to allow the advancement of Latinos in our educational systems. This call is being made for both Catholic and Public schools.

Click here for the NCCHM position paper:
The Future is Now

If you would like a copy of a pdf of the powerpoint presentation click here:
NCCHM 2012

NCEA- Cultural Competency

Thursday, April 12, 2012 I presented at NCEA in Boston. The topic of the presentation was on Cultural Fluency or competency. The main theme of the presentation is that we need to move from understanding a culture to being fluent or competent in that culture. While there is a small but modest movement among Catholic Schools in the US to recruit Latinos into the system, there is very little being done to retain them once they are in. This workshop gives a few suggestions on how we can go about that endeavor.

Click here to download the presentation:
Chimichanga Theology

Click here to download the handout:
Cultural Competency hand out

San Francisco, Marzo 31- Haciendo Discípulos

Gracias por colaborar con nosotros en Sadlier este dia tan especial. Les prometi las hojas de la presentación. Aquí están en este link. Solo haz click aquí: El Discipulado-Haciendo Discípulos

Si quieres dejar un comentario lo puedes hacer aquí en este sitio web.

Si buscas información sobre Sadlier y nuestros recursos bilingües puedes ir a: Creemos de Sadlier

Gracias—siguen en mis oraciones.