Undivided Unity—The Trinity
When are we most aware of the Trinity in our lives? Think about it. When do we invoke Father, Son, and Holy Spirit? What images remind us of the Trinity? At a meeting that I attended this week, the leader began the prayer with the sign of the cross: “In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.” That was the prayer and he proceeded to explain why. Whatever we do next—at the meeting, in the morning when we wake up, at work, before our meals, at Mass, at prayer times—is done in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We acknowledge that we are partners with God in continuing creation, in continuing relatedness. We acknowledge that the Father sent his Son who sent the Holy Spirit. They are so related, so connected, so in sync! No wonder then that so many images of the Trinity somehow display an “undivided unity.”
The life of the Trinity is on-going. It is not self-contained or self-absorbed, but ever flowing outward, touching and embracing all of creation, all of life in unity and communion. Listen this weekend to all the ways God delights in creation. As we continue to be active in God’s continuing acts of creation, do we take delight in God?
We are forming a St. Francis of Assisi Health and Wellness Ministry to foster health and wellness for our parish, and we are asking for your input through a parish-wide survey as we shape this initiative. Our goal is to provide a path to a healthier lifestyle through education and access to healthy food, nutrition awareness, and fun exercise groups. The survey should take about 3-5 minutes to complete. We appreciate your time and valued feedback!
We invite all men of the parish to join us for an extraordinary weekend of spiritual renewal and brotherhood June 27-30 at Omega Retreat Center in Boerne, Texas. This retreat will provide you with the opportunity to focus on your faith and its application to your daily life. You will build purpose in your prayer life, increase your presence at the liturgy, and cultivate friendship among members of our church community.
You can download the registration form by clicking here, or you can register online by clicking here. A completed registration form and a $75 deposit secure your place on the retreat; the total cost is $200. Food and lodging are included in the cost. For more information, please contact Anthony Martinez at 210-623-0098, Keith Phillips at 210-872-9686, or Jaime Piedra at 210-288-2556.
Wind, Love, and Breath
When I last visited Prague in the Czech Republic a few weeks ago, I became aware of my immense inheritance from the culture and language my parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents knew and lived. It was a very emotional time for me. When my great-grandparents (on both sides of family) left their native land, they never returned to visit. They never had the opportunity that I have had to come to understand how language, food, customs, vegetation, and flowers form us and UNITE us. For me, this visit was a new Pentecost—a new way of seeing and understanding the importance of identifying with others—some so much like me and some so very different. Yet the sense of UNITY for me was profound. I was at home in so many ways.
What I left the country with was an aching heart, however, for the loss of faith. I wanted the Holy Spirit to come as a mighty wind and a fiery love to renew the faith I inherited from just such a country.
Pentecost is a good time to reflect on how the Holy Spirit is present, at work in our lives. Like those present in the Upper Room when they received the Holy Spirit, we are regularly gifted with the opportunity to hear other voices and to understand. In the midst of chaos, we are gifted with power to make a difference. At times of fear and despair, when we would rather hide and mind our own business, the Holy Spirit PUSHES us out to engage with the world, to renew the face of the earth. May our houses, our homes, and our hearts be ready to receive many people from different lands, languages, and ways of life. Some are already known to us. Others are not with us YET! Help us to see, touch, and meet Jesus Christ. Send us your Spirit, Lord, as a mighty wind, a fiery love, and gentle breath! Recreate in us a new sense of Unity as the Body of Christ on earth.
Ascensions in Our Lives
Look up! Look out! Receive power! Go out into the world! Preach in Jesus’ name!
These are the messages of the Ascension! They are the messages to us of how we are to ascend out of the depths of whatever binds us in darkness, despair, sadness, and paralysis. They are imperatives guiding us to new life, renewed hope and joy—to ascension.
Those who were present when Jesus took leave of this earth experienced a leave-taking, a despedida like none other. What gave them hope was the promise of the power of the Holy Spirit. They left Jesus’ presence, profoundly and keenly aware of God’s presence with them, a presence that filled them with joy and with enthusiasm for being witnesses who preach in Jesus’ name. May this be true for us this weekend. We pray that we be mindful of the various experiences of “ascension” in our own lives. We pray in gratitude for God’s guiding presence in our lives and God’s nudges to witness new life, new hope, and boundless joy!
When I was a child visiting my grandparents, Grandpa would come out to the car with us, watch all 9 of us pile in and then he would lean over the open window of my father’s side and just stay there talking and talking and talking. Most of the time, the children all fell asleep, but Mom and Dad would continue to indulge Grandpa in conversation. It was too hard for them to say “goodbye.”
I know this from my Benedictine aunties who frequently told me about how homesick my grandparents were after the second group of daughters left to go to the convent in Illinois. My parents would “haul us” over to lessen the grief.
Jesus had to say “goodbye” to those he loved immensely too! Goodbye really is a prayer and a blessing that says “God be with you.” And Jesus made that promise to his beloved. He told them that the Father would send his Advocate, the Holy Spirit to be with them, to teach them and to guide them in all they do. If they forgot, the Spirit would remind them. What does it feel like to be Spirit-filled? For me, these are times of passionate energy as well as calming silence. I feel the Spirit urging me to speak on behalf of others, a compelling nudge to not let my silence mean complicitness. I feel the Spirit giving me the patience I never knew that I had. I can’t explain where it came from because I resisted. I feel the Spirit in recognizing the goodness that is in me from those who helped to form me to be the person I am today—my family, my friends, the people I have come to know through my years of ministry in many different places. It is always hard to say “goodbye.” I keep hanging on to the door of the car too! I wish I could stay in that mood, in that place, with those people. I pray that God will fill my heart with peace, even in times of anxiety. I pray the blessing prayer—“God be with you” and God be with me.
December 3, 1927-May 10, 2019
Lydia Elizondo Oviedo entered eternal rest on May 10, 2019 in San Antonio, Texas, at age 91. She was born on December 3, 1927 in San Antonio to Amador Elizondo and Maria del Refugio Marquez. Lydia was preceded in death by her beloved husband of 55 years, Rodolfo Arturo Oviedo; son-in-law, Elton Jackson; 3 sisters; and 3 brothers.
Lydia will be remembered for her enduring spiritual strength and selfless dedication to her family. In her later years, she relished her reign as a bingo and domino champ at the Bob Ross Senior Center. She was a “comadre” to all she met!
The family would like to thank the staff at Joy Memory and Grace Hospice for their loving kindness and care.
She is survived by her children, Ralph Oviedo (Wendy), Nina Oviedo (Bryan Collins), Margot Oviedo, Sonia Oviedo (Ryan Fletcher) and Noemi Oviedo Wade (Jeff), Art Oviedo (Liza Aguirre-Oviedo); grandchildren, Noah Oviedo (J.R.), Dominic Oviedo (Denie), Randi Krawczyk (Jeff), Brodie Collins (Katie), Kit Collins, Nicolette Oviedo; and great-grandchildren, Jordan Krawczyk, Skylar Krawczyk, Townes Oviedo, Casey Oviedo, Kenzie Oviedo, Jacob Oviedo and Kennedy Oviedo; her sister, Esperanza Felan, and many nieces and nephews, including her cherished family in Monterrey, Mexico. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to The Bob Ross Senior Center, 2219
Babcock Rd., San Antonio, TX 78229.
Visitation will be held on Monday, May 27, 2019 from 6:00 pm-9:00 pm,
with a Rosary at 7:00 pm at Mission Park Funeral Chapels North. The funeral Mass will be celebrated on Tuesday, May 28, 2019 at 10:00 am at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church. Interment will follow at Ft. Sam Houston National Cemetery.
“Behold, I make all things new.”
For me, it is very important to think of creation as ongoing. God isn’t finished creating. As Sisters of Divine Providence, we believe that Providence is God’s act of continuing creation, leading and guiding all of creation in recognizing the bounteous love of God.
Notice that the verb “make” is in the present tense. That means that God’s new creative action is happening now, in our time. And we are all participants in that creativity. New creation happens when a community of believers perseveres in loving as Christ loved. We are challenged to love as Jesus loved in the midst of violence, hatred, war, genocide, disasters and all the forces in life that threaten our capacity to hope for something new. To love generously and freely isn’t always easy; sometimes there is a cost and fear sets in. May we always trust that what God has planted in us as hope continues to bear fruit—continues God’s creation of the new.