On November 15, 2022, at the age of 91, Maria Teresa Gomez Burgos made her journey home to live the promise made at her baptism-eternal life with God. She was born in 1931 in Cayey, Puerto Rico. In 1951, Mami Tere (as we all knew her), married Horacio Gomez Yon (deceased). Together they had six children: Sally, Awilda, Nancy, Vilma, Doris and Miguel and raised Julio and Mayra as part of our family. Our family grew to have twenty-two grandchildren and nineteen great-grandchildren.
Our father was in the U.S. Army, so we traveled a bit. Mom had very basic English skills, but she managed to travel by herself to Germany by boat with four kids in tow. She was a strong woman fully devoted to her family and her faith. Mom was very creative in finding ways to do work at home to help provide for our family. She ironed medical robes and was often sought out by doctors. She was never afraid of work and taught us to show our pride in what we did no matter how humble it was. Her greatest gift to us was her great faith and her sense of service to others, especially to the poor and the sick. She dreamed of being a nurse. It was not to be in a professional way, but it became her ministry. Mom loved to care for the sick and the elderly.
In time, Mom chose to live in a senior residence run by Sisters of Divine Providence in old San Juan. It had the most spectacular view of the ocean just across the street. There she had the opportunity to attend mass every day, participate in faith-related activities and do what she loved most: visit the sick, pray with them and feed them. Mami Tere’s last act of generosity was to donate her body to science so, it would help in the education of students and doctors. Our family is grateful for all the doctors and nurses who cared for her.
Mom, we pray that your encounter with the God you so loved and faithfully served was even more glorious than you imagined. Continue to guide us, inspire us, and bless us and may perpetual light shine upon you forever. You remain in our hearts!
Thank you, friends, for your love and all your prayers. A Memorial Mass will be offered in San Antonio at the Immaculate Conception Chapel at Oblate School of Theology at 9 am on Saturday, December 3. A reception will follow at the Whitley Theological Center.