Sunday, September 30, 2012

March For the Poor

Every year around the feast of St. Vincent de Paul the March For The Poor is conducted.

 This Saturday about 15 students, 4 teachers,myself and plenty of parents gathered at St.Andrews Catholic Church in Sierra Vista for the annual event. Students collected boxes of food in their classroom for this event.

We filled three shopping carts full of food. We attended the 9:00am Mass and after the Mass joined members of the St. Vincent de Paul Society and parishioners in the march to the St. Vincent de Paul Store. It was about a mile walk crossing the main busy street in Sierra Vista - Fry  Blvd.

 It was a challenge at times to push the heavy shopping carts filled with can and box food. The cracks in the sidewalk, going from concrete to blacktop and at times dirt presented challenges to those taking turns pushing the carts. Only one cart tipped over and that was in the driveway of the St. Vincent de Paul Store.

We made it to the store and all were appreciative to have more food to give out. Once everyone finally ended up at the store we were surprised at how many of us there really were.

Ministry weekend was held at Our Lady of the Mountains Church after all the Masses. Any group that has a church ministry manned a table in hopes for new volunteers.

The Silver Rose was at our parish since Friday's school Mass with the children. The Knights of Columbus sponsor this project. There are four silver roses that travel North America to represent the sacredness of life and not the "culture of death" Special prayer intentions are sent with the rose as it moves from place to place and all the roses will end up on Dec. 12th at the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico.

After the Ministry Fair I went to Fort Huachuca, our Army Fort just 7 minutes from our convent, for the birthday party for one of our 2nd grade boys whose Dad is in Afghanistan for almost a year now. I wish I had my camera to show you this. They had sack races but instead of using sacks they used the green Army duffel bags. It was so funny to see these kids in these tall, slender, dark green canvas bags. They had a blast!

And now as I wind down I have one more critter story to share with you........

This is the year for unique critters. You get use to looking down for snakes and red ants and up for some insect that might fall upon you. One morning I was getting ready to open the school gate when  I looked up and this green critter, that looked the most like a grasshopper, was looking down at me.

 Should I enter and take the chance of getting it stuck in my hair, or shake the gate to make it fall first or go in another way. I chose to just enter quickly and hope it doesn't fall on me. I was in luck this day!
We end this busy weekend with the harvest full moon!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Our Lady of the Mountains Church Picnic- A+


Our Lady of the Mountains Parish held its first church picnic this past Saturday at the Veterans' Memorial Park in Sierra Vista. All of the school families who aren't members of the parish were also invited.  A great time with great food was had by all.

A large water slide was rented that all children of all ages enjoyed all day!! The adults enjoyed watching the children. For some of the little ones they were a little cool when they took the Splash! at the end.

A picnic style meal was held at noon. The parish provided the meat and parishioners brought the rest of the food and there was plenty of it.  A large grill was rented from the Army Fort and the pastor and some experienced grillers barbecued the meat.

After the picnic lunch was enjoyed, the dunk tank, again rented from the Army Fort, was put into action.

 The deacons of the parish were the first to take the seat and get dunk. The children were allowed first to throw the balls to dunk the deacons and they were able to do it.
Then the adults were given a turn and I, Sister Carol, happened to have the ball in my hand when it was the pastor's turn to take the seat in the dunk tank.
 I had the perfect opportunity I had been waiting for. So with only one ball I took a very good aim and threw as hard as this farmer's daughter could and BAM!! It hit the target and to the pastor's surprise he went down. I think many people were shocked that I had such good aim and enjoyed the fact that the principal dunked the pastor, Fr.Ariel.  Fr. Ariel, being the good sport he is, got back up for another dunking as he hardly sat long in the seat the first time.

Pinatas were the next item on the agenda for our first parish picnic. We have a large number of Hispanics in our parish so they were in charge of this part of the picnic. The children got to knock down the first pinata and had great fun doing it. Many of them were still in their swimsuits as the big water slide was still in action.

The 2nd pinata was for the adults to hit and the parish staff was given the first chance to swing at it. The parish secretary was the first up to bat and then the pastor. After that the pastor gave the blindfold to me and this activity I knew I could do.
 I had several good swings and got the pinata down and then hit it again and again to open up the candy.

 I have been to many Hispanic parties when missioned in Mississippi so I knew how it was done. I had several offers afterwards to be on a baseball team with my mighty swing. I said I learned how to swing in baseball from being on a 4H baseball team. When I was in 4H (10 years) we had baseball teams and played other 4H teams in the county. One rule was, you had to have at least one girl on the team as back then there were no such thing as girl baseball teams. So of course, we were considered the handicap back then. Boys put up with you but some of us did learn the game and surprised the boys.

After the pinata it was 2:00pm and time for clean up and there were plenty of helpers.

That evening, Sisters Anna and Mary Ann and myself journeyed over to St. Andrew's Parish for the 5:00pm Mass. They had the Filipino celebration for the first Filipino saint - St. Lorenzo Ruiz. Fr. Greg Adolph, the pastor, invited our pastor, Fr. Ariel Lustan, who is from the Philippines, to be the celebrant and Fr. Greg assisted him. The Filipino choir sang and did several of the songs in their native tongue. It reminded me of Hawaii where there is also a large contingent of Filipinos and every 3rd Sunday of the month the songs at Mass were sung in their native language.

After Mass the statue of St. Lorenzo Ruiz was carried in procession on the sidewalk around the block and then into Kino Hall where a Filipino dinner was served and the Filipino dancers danced several numbers in costume.

The Filipino dance group are practicing some new numbers that they will perform on Nov. 4th at St. Augustine Cathedral in Tucson when the celebration will be held for the 2nd Filipino saint, Blessed Pedro Calungsod, who will be canonized on October 21st . Fr.Ariel and several Filipino parishioners will be in Rome for the canonization. This will be the culmination of the European pilgrimage that Fr. Ariel will serve as the chaplain.

Monday, it is to school and we hear a presentation from a real cowboy to get the students started for the Cochise County Cowboy Poetry Contest- a very big event. In the afternoon, we will hear from Fr. Silas, a priest from Nepal who will talk about his life. He was Hindu and then became a Catholic and a priest.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Kids Say the Darnest Things!

When you think your students aren't listening to you, you find out they really are. Remember Art Linkletter's show-"Kids Say the Darnest Things"? Sr. Mary Ann found out that one of her students paid close attention to her words. Here's what happened. Sr. Mary Ann fell one morning this week walking over decorative rocks in our parking lot. Needless to say she didn't look too pretty and missed a day of school. When she returned the next day one of her little Kindergarten girls said to her, "Sister, can I tell you something?" Sr. Mary Ann said, "Sure, Mary, you can tell me anything you want. " "Well, Sister, you should have stayed focused, or you wouldn't have fallen."  Sr. Mary Ann just grinned as this is what she has told Mary several times a day since day 1 of school.

Another example of "Kids Say the Darndest Things" - Fr. Ricky, was speaking to Grs. 5-8 about answering God's call to be a priest. He asked for questions and one 5th grade boy raised his hand. Fr. Ricky called upon him and the 5th grader said, " I am going to say something that I have never told anyone. " ( I thought oh no, what deep secret is this?) He then told us all, " I am a Redneck!"  Fr. Ricky handled it well and I am sure some kids had no clue what a "redneck" is.

It was SOS Sunday this weekend at church. This is where the students take up the 2nd collection at each Mass and the money goes to our school. At the 9:30am Mass the school choir sings. Here are some of the choir girls enjoying using tambourines to the song, " I Have Redeemed You" by Sr. Carol Juckem.
The girls helped me put the tambourines away after Mass. They told me they were going to the new 3 D movie of "Finding Nemo". They asked me, " Do you want to come with us? We can ask our parents to see if you can come along?"
I said, "Thanks, but I have two more Masses today because of SOS and I am making dinner for the other Sisters. If a Christmas movie comes out I will gladly go with you." " OK, Sister!" they responded.

Following-------Potpourri from the rest of the Week........

Fr. Ricky, the vocation director for the diocese, came to visit our school on Friday. He celebrated our weekly school Mass. He complimentd the 2nd grade boys who read all the readings for the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross. He had them stand on the church chairs to show how they read like young men not 2nd graders. The boys just beamed.

We have been looking for a 2nd car for us Sisters and at last this Friday, a red 1996 Toyota Corrolla was donated. I took it for a spin in the neighborhood by school and it rumbled a little but for a car to run to and from school, it will do.

 I guess my days of driving the parish's well used 1988 red Dakota Dodge truck are coming to an end. It was an adventure especially when I drove it one night and found out the dashboard did not light up. Thank goodness, there was  a car in front of me. I just paced myself behind it and learned to take a flashlight with me there after.

One day this week a centipede appeared on the outside of my office window. So glad it stayed on the outside. He looks a little fierce!

Insects seem to grow large here-maybe it is all the sunshine. Take a look at this grasshopper outside my office.

Get Ready, Get Set, Go!

This Sunday was Catechetical Sunday. Religion teachers for our school and parish were commissioned and blessed at Mass. 

Our pastor, Fr. Ariel, gave an excellent homily  using the word Hands. Hands can work in two ways.
1) H-healing 2) A-assuring 3) N-nurturing 4) D-developing 5) S-servant  the 2nd way goes like this,
 1) H-hurting 2) A-alienating 3) N-nixing 4) D-destructing 5) S-self-serving .

Our view from our sanctuary window is really green since we had the wettest monsoon season in 50 years! We received over 10" of rain from the 2nd week of June till today and the monsoon season is quickly coming to an end. No one complains here when it rains. It helps keep the fires down in the mountains and canyons.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Monsoon Season Paints The Desert In Vibrant Colors!

I often hear the comment from friends who do not live in AZ, " I thought the desert was just brown. How can you raise cattle and horses?" or "Isn't the desert just lifeless with just sand and no flowers or no color but brown all over?"

The desert indeed has color especially during the monsoon season which lasts from the 2nd week of June to the end of September. This year we have had a high amount of rain during the monsoon season. Just see the vibrant colors of the desert. The desert is alive and paints just a beautiful picture so often.


God painted  a beautiful picture this evening.