Having watched her body reverently wrapped in white sheets and being taken away, I came back inside the house. It was after two in the morning, and it was then that I saw my sister, Villa, and our friend and caretaker, Lalis, sitting at the kitchen table. Both of them looked at me with radiant faces. “Now we know why she gave us her birthday gift!” Even as her 95th birthday drew near, Mom never let anyone take her picture. But this year, during Holy Week, she did! As a surprise birthday card for each of her children, my Mother had allowed Lalis to create a birthday card with a beautiful photo. The card was signed by Mom, and revealed her smiling face, with her own words in writing: “On my 95th birthday, all I want... is to tell you HOW MUCH I LOVE YOU.” In the midst of our deep sorrow and grief we saw the deeper meaning behind Mom’s birthday gift to us! I wonder if this is what happened to the disciples in the Easter story, when they reflected back on the Transfiguration.
On another joyous note, every Saturday from 12:00 noon-1:00 p.m. on radio La Misionera 1210 AM, Jossie Ceja, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist, hosts "Little Drops of Wisdom" to strengthen the spirit, a program that promotes faith and addresses mental health issues.
We also experience the grace of the Risen Jesus as we discover the need for reconciliation in our relationships—within ourselves, with others and in community. Family Life Ministry recognizes organizations that are available to help us. For instance, Retrouvaille, a lifeline for marriages, will hold both English and Spanish-speaking programs at St. Anthony’s Retreat Center in Three Rivers for the first time on the weekend of June 8-10, 2012. To help women & men to heal from abortion, El Viñedo de Raquel and Rachel’s Vineyard are holding their retreats on the weekends of June 1-3 & July 6-8, respectively.
We rely on the Spirit of the Risen Jesus to assist us in bringing about systemic change through legislative action on behalf of justice and peace. The left-hand side of the main page of our Diocesan website, www.dioceseoffresno.org
, has links to the California Catholic Conference, the U.S. Catholic Bishops and Legislative Advocacy alerting us to pertinent information on important legislative issues, and how to effectively promote them. You can sign up for Alerts through the California Catholic Conference, California Legislative Network and the USCCB. Monday, April 30, is the final deadline to gather signatures for Parental Rights Initiative. There will be a proposition on California’s November ballot to replace the death penalty with the sentence of Life Without the Possibility of Parole. Much more still needs to be done concerning the Health & Human Services Mandate which threatens Religious Liberty and affects the Conscience Rights of us all.
Sr. Joanne Bauer, C.S.C.
Family Life Coordinator