Thursday, January 26, 2012

Called to the City Council Meeting by the Mayor

When one gets a call from the diocesan office you know you better listen up. A month ago they called me and said I have a first for the diocese! The Mayor of Sierra Vista will not give me the proclamation for Catholic Schools Week unless I show up at the City Council meeting. The diocese was thrilled to have this media coverage and please take a picture for the diocesan newspaper. This is the first time any school was requested to appear before a City Council for such a proclamation.

I thought, I am not going alone. I invited the pastor and he said he would be my photographer. I invited Student Council and asked the President to tell what we are doing for Catholic Schools Week. I gave information about Catholic Schools as to how we embrace: Faith, Academics and Service.

The parents of the Student Council and the younger brothers and sisters also came to the meeting. All Saints Catholic School was well represented. It was very nice how many of the Council people and others at the meeting came up to talk to us before the meeting started.

Mayor Mueller read the proclamation after we were called up before all. It was very impressive and parents were beaming at their child. (This is the first Student Council at the school.)

When we got done the Mayor did a Proclamation for Cowboy Poetry Weekend. Yes, this is a first for me but I have found out how very important this is in Cochise County. Our students entered this county wide contest and we had three winners. It is a full weekend celebration of cowboys, horses, guitar and harmonica playing, lasso twirling and much more. One of the cowboys who received the proclamation recited by heart one of his cowboy poems- A Cowboy's Prayer at Christmas! They said this is their way of preserving the Cowboy in the Wild West of years gone by. A rich and colorful history and the poems tell it in great detail and expression.

Monday, January 16, 2012


On Sun., Jan 15 our parish had the Santa Nino Fiesta, a major celebration in the Phillippines.
It began in the church's courtyard  with the Sinulog Dance. All those who brought a staute of the boy child Jesus, which looks like the Infant of Prague, only dressed in red and looks like a child, formed a line and did the sinulog dance as they processed into church.

Once in church the statues were placed in front and were blessed. We had exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and the rosary was prayed by all in church.

The Sunday Mass was celebrated and at the end of Mass those who brought the statue once again did the Sinulog Dance out of church into the parish hall for a Filipino potluck. The church was filled as many Filipinos came from Tucson to join the celebration.

And of course, to end the day, we have the beginning of a beautiful sunset over the mountains by our church and school. The beauty of these sunsets never fail to make me stop and pause and wonder how God can paint such colorful and different sunsets all the time.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Diversity--with a little effort!!!

Seeing we are the first Sisters at Our Lady of the Mountains Parish they did not have a convent so a house was rented for us. It is a new experience to have a "land lady". Our South Korean land lady invited Sr.Mary Gabriel, Fr. Ariel, our pastor and myself to dinner this week. As we were driving there our pastor said to me, "They probably will ask you to start the I-20 process." I groaned as I thought this was just going to be a social event. The I-20 is $2,400 and lots of paperwork.

We got to her beautiful home and had to take off our shoes. We sat at this elegant formal dining room table for the dinner which was the following: grilled round steak, rice, potato noodles (in all colors and shape), sliced and deep fried zucchini and sweet potatoes and shrimp, and a pickle dish. The whole meal was served cold. For dessert-good old fashioned blueberry cheesecake. I loved this. At the end of the meal is when they asked me to start the process for the I-20 form so that the students from South Korea could stay at our school till they graduated and not just the three month student visa they are able to get now. They were willing to pay the online filing fee of $1,700 and the $650 site visit fee. The process will take about six months and they want me to start it right away so the students we have now in 6th grade can return in August.  I know I have my work cut out for me along with writing our accreditation self-study book this year.

As we sat talking about how they came to the U.S. and what is North Korea like I was in shock at what they shared.  They told us that no one is allowed into North Korea so they have never crossed the border and they don't want to as they know they won't be allowed back. Also, the people in North Korea aren't allowed out of their country.

The 20 year old student from South Korea attending college in Sierra Vista said that a friend of hers escaped from North Korea via the river but when North Korea discovered he was gone they killed his mother as punishment. We were all in shock to think something like that was happening now in our world. But to think that a country could hold their people captive and keep them from knowing anything besides their country's boundaries. One forgets what communism is like. Perhaps we need to pray the rosary to free them from communism like Our Lady asked of the children at Fatima to defeat communism in Russia.
Our South Korean students celebrating one of their birthdays with their classmates.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Walking the Neighborhood

During the Christmas vacation I had lots of time to walk the neighborhood around our church and school. Here is what you'll find if you come for a walk.
 Starting out I saw 7 deer in the neighbor's yard across from church. My family of 4 I usually see increased by 3. As you can see they aren't too afraid of people. They stood quite still for awhile for me to take several pictures.

How many do you count in the trees?

Continuing up the road one is going uphill and you can feel the higher elevation and very dry humidity. I see now someone is building a new home. This is one of many in our neighborhood. No signs of a poor housing economy around here.
Now I pause from the top of the road to look down at the great view-why so many people build their homes here in the desert amidst the mountains.

I continue on the road which is gravel, rock and dirt by now and I come to the dead end. The road doesn't go through. Most of the roads here are not maintained by the county and are made by those who own the lots here.
I head back down then towards the church and school to continue my walk in another direction. I meet one of our parishioners at her house and she told me Christmas morning she had 10 javelinas in her driveway with the boar at the end of the long line. Javelinas are not my friends. I would like to see them from the car or house not on my walks.
I continue down to Yaqui Street which is in front of the church and school and behold our neighbors are out riding their horses right next to the church. The other day 6 horses with riders walked past school.

I  now decide to go and check some of my other walking friends. I head down Calle Encinas Road that school is located on and right by our playground one finds this sign:

And here is the road from then on:

Many beautiful homes lie beyond and off of this road. It is amazing at night to see all the lights in the desert below the mountains. They had the best Christmas lights too.
I stop and see my friends---
They are always ready for me to pet them and they love to race the fence line with me.
The dogs belong to one of our students. They also had chickens but a bobcat got them.

Here is the end of my walk where I always think of one of my favorite movies-"The Bells of St. Marys". Remember, "Just dial O for Fr. O'Malley-good old Bing Crosby. Sr. Benedict and the Sisters prayed for the donation of their new school and their prayer was answered at last.
Here is a picture of the house on the corner opposite our school. This is the 2nd time it is up for sale this year. I believe it would make a great convent!

There is even a coral and shed for horses so we can give riding lessons as one of our extracurricular activities.

 This is where I say-"Dial G for God's Help".