This week our nation will celebrate Thanksgiving Day. Next Sunday will begin a new liturgical year with the First Sunday of Advent. As this current liturgical year draws to a close and as we offer to God our thanks for blessings received, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for
- supporting the Centennial Campaign with your sacrificial offerings and your patience with the construction process.
- increasing your offertory giving in response to our call for help in meeting our offertory budget.
- helping the parish to achieve its 2014 Diocesan Services Fund (DSF) Goal and for helping thousands of people throughout the archdiocese by means of that fund.
- giving so many hours of your time by participating in the parish’s ministries and organizations.
- participating in the pastoral planning process as the pastoral council works on refining our pastoral plan.
- offering us, the Dominican Friars, your friendship, prayers, and support.
- expressing your condolences to me earlier this year when I lost my father to death.
- striving to live an exemplary Christian life.
Please join Father Juan and me at the 10 a.m. Mass on Thanksgiving Day as we give God thanks and praise for the many blessings he has bestowed on us.
This is the story that my mother, Dr. Norma Torres, shared with me when I was about ten years old.
When she was about eight months pregnant with me, she went with her mother and sisters to the airport to see my father, a young professor of dentistry, off as he left for a week of conferences in Santiago, Chile. My mother felt so sad that dad was leaving, even for that short time that she cried inconsolably. As she and her relatives were returning from the airport, she started to feel abdominal pain. Since the pain continued to increase, instead of going home they decided to head to the clinic.
Unexpectedly and earlier than anyone would have imagined, she had gone into labor. Soon after the delivery, mom’s doctor, Dr. Armand Stricker, began to worry because the new born wasn’t able to breathe and was turning blue. In the waiting room, my grandmother and aunts were notified that the child may not make it due to respiratory complications. In the midst of these circumstances, they all began to pray. Meanwhile, after performing CPR on me and after quite a scare, Dr. Stricker was able to get me breathing. He then gave the good news to all in the waiting room.
My mother always reminds me that, during those moments of uncertainty, my grandmother had quietly asked for the intercession of St. Martin de Porres and made a promise to him if the baby survived. Since that day Martin is my middle name and my grandmother, Esmeralda, fulfilled her promise on the day mom and I were released from the clinic.
To be continued on November 30.
fr. Juan, OP