Category Archives: Noteworthy Folks

Meeting Steve Wozniak & What He Really Thinks of the Movie Jobs

As Apple Geeks, the highlight of attending this week’s Dallas Digital Summit 2013 hands down was the closing keynote by Apple co-founder, Steve Wozniak. That, as well as the fact that my Hubby actually snagged a photo with “The Gentle Giant”!

Steve Wozniak Apple

I’ve always found people endearing that possess brilliant minds and are still so personable, nice and down-to-earth: This is definitely how “The Woz” comes across in real life. He’d sit with other conference attendees at tables near the back of the room during sessions and was very gracious to chat and take photos with the masses.

The Hubs scored us front row seats during the closing Steve Wozniak interview done by Brent Herd, the Director of Southeast Twitter. Listening to Woz talk about the early days of Apple, what Steve Jobs was really like, being a jokester, and even Dancing with the Stars — he certainly had the whole room captivated.

I was really interested to hear what he really thinks of the movie Jobs, since Mike and had seen and enjoyed it. Here was his candid response:

Well I didn’t get to meet the Great and Powerful Woz myself, I still got a photo opp with an Apple legend in her own right. I shared a Toblerone and a photo with our friend, Shi Ji, and Susan Bennett, known as the voice of Siri. Yes folks, us Apple Geeks are sitting pretty this week!

voice of siri

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Raising a Saint

Although they are unmentioned in the Bible, the lives of Sts. Joachim and Ann have been gleaned from an apocryphal Christian writing, the Protoevangelium Jacobi, or Gospel of James, written about the year 170. As the story goes, Joachim was a prominent, respected man; yet he and his wife, Ann, for many years had no children. At that time, that was viewed as a punishment from God, so they prayed and asked for a child.  This is why she is the patroness of childless couples, pregnancy, and many more (see below).

God answered their prayer, and an angel appeared to tell the older couple that they would conceive. Anne promised that their child would be dedicated to God, and Mary was born.

annenmary

What was it like to raise not only a Saint, but the Mother of God? I wish there were writings on that. Still, I picture it something like this photo: With Ann teaching Mary her “Catechism”, and how to tend to a household, and little Mary faithfully and sweetly learning and growing. We do know that Joachim and Ann were people of faith, and raised Mary in such a way to be worthy of her calling. They did not waste any time either, as Mary was only about 12 or 13 when Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit.

On the vigil of Sts. Joachim & Ann’s feast last night, the Hispanic and English groups joined together to celebrate our Patroness. About twice a year, our thriving Parish in Texas, St. Ann, combines the English and Spanish choirs to sing for bilingual liturgies. It’s very lively and moving – even us musicians were moved to tears during parts of the Mass.  Since Ann & Joachim were Jesus’ Grandparent, we honored the Grandparents of our community — they joined the procession, carrying white flowers and placing them in vases on the altar.  With 8 priests and deacons celebrating the Mass, and so many choir members to overfill the risers, it was a beautiful liturgy.

Here’s more about Anne & Joachim, from The One Year Book of Saints by Rev. Clifford Stevens:

PATRON
Anne: against poverty; barren; broommakers; cabinetmakers; carpenters; childless couples; equestrians; grandmothers; grandparents; homemakers; housewives; lace makers; lace workers; lost articles; miners; mothers; old-clothes dealers; pregnancy; pregnant women; horse riders; seamstresses; stablemen; sterility; turners; women in labour; Brittany; Canada; France; Quebec; archdiocese of Detroit, Michigan; diocese of Norwich, Connecticut; Santa Ana Indian Pueblo; Taos, New Mexico.

Joachim: fathers, grandfathers, grandparents.

SYMBOLS
Anne: Book, symbol of her careful instruction of Mary; flowering rod; crown; nest of young birds; door; Golden Gate of Jerusalem; book; infant Virgin in crib; Shield has silver border masoned in black, with silver lily on a blue field referring to the girlhood of the Virgin.
Often Portrayed As: Woman holding Mary or Jesus in her arms or lap; Woman at her betrothal to Joachim; Mother teaching Mary to read the Bible; Woman greeting Saint Joachim at Golden Gate; Woman with a book in her hand.

Joachim: Basket containing doves; model of Golden Gate of Jerusalem.
Often Portrayed As: Man bringing a lamb to the altar and being turned away by the priest; greeting and/or kissing Saint Anne at the Golden Gate; elderly man carrying a basket of doves and a staff; elderly man with the child Mary.

Sources: catholicculture.org; catholic.org

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White Smoke, Bells, New Pope!

It’s a damp, cold night in Rome. But it is not stopping the thousands gathered, that have been waiting, cheering, praying, the hopeful crowds!

The Dean of Cardinals has recently appeared in the balcony window, and announced:

“I announce to you news of great joy.  We have a Pope! …who takes the name Francisco (Francis)”

He is the 1st Pope from Latin America.  He hails from Argentina, the Archbishop of Buenos Aires. Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio. WOW. (Photo credit: CNS)

Francis I
The well-respected Cardinal Edward Egan (Archbishop Emeritus of New York), says of him, “A man who calmly stands for what is right and just…have immense admiration for him, and I think you are going to like him a lot….He’s a very smart man, who will know how to govern…and appoint people who are capable.”

He stepped to the microphone and says, “Buena sera” and the crowd went wild!

What great humility he showed when he began by saying, “I would like to say a prayer for our Bishop Emeritus Benedict XVI,” and proceeded to lead us in saying the Our Father and Hail Mary in Latin.

His second request, “I’d like to ask you to ask the Lord to bless the Bishop,” beseeching the crowds to pray in silence for him.

In a true moment of humility, he bowed down as we, the Church, asked God to bless him as our new Shepherd.

“I’m here to evangelize the city of Rome,” he told the people. BOOM!

And a great blessing was then imparted by our new Holy Father. It was an electrifying moment to see him in his shiny new Pope garb, beginning his new role of leadership in the Church.

One more time he grabs the microphone before departing.

“I leave, thank you very much for your welcoming, pray for me, and I will see you soon…I will pray to the Virgin Mary so she keeps Rome…”

His first appearance has left me this impression that he has a heart of an evangelizer, passionate about the message of the Gospel, very personable, warm, and humble, a snappy dresser, and had a great Italian accent. A Jesuit, he is sure to be an intellectual.  I heard he was very much a follower of John Paul II, and thought to be “too orthodox by some” with a great love for the poor — ’nuff said. WOOT WOOT.

Was it not to St. Francis that God said many years ago, ‎”Francis, go and repair my house, which as you see is falling into ruin.”

As Catholics, we do not believe in coincidence. It is providential that he bears the name Francis, that he is from Latin America, and possesses an amazingly simple, humble spirit.  As another Franciscan buddy, Chris Stefanick, posted today,

As Cardinal he cooked for himself, took the bus to work, refused to live in a palace but lived in an apartment instead.
He is a STRONG and clear moral teacher, unafraid to tackle issues like gay marriage…yet he embodied a spirit of service and of mercy. He showed up at an AIDS hospice to wash the feet of the patients there.
Folks, I think we’ll have a Canonizable Pope here. Glory be to God.

I did not expect to be so emotional, but it was a great moment. A very exciting time for the Church indeed!

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2012 Year in Review: Annual Christmas Letter

“If a man wishes to be sure of the road he treads on, he must close his eyes and walk in the dark.”

-St. John of the Cross

PROLOGUE

If I don’t send this–our Annual Christmas Letter update–folded up in our Christmas cards every year, then I usually send a note with the card directing folks here for the proverbial dirt on our comings & goings, highlights of the year, and photo fun. Well, if you happen to be a close-knit friend/family member that’s on our card list, if you hadn’t noticed that a card has not arrived from us, you for sure know now. If you sent us a card, know that we are grateful and truly loved it; and this update is written from our heart to yours. We don’t talk, see each other, message each other, etc., nearly enough–so this is my feeble attempt to connect. Pardon the public format, please.

(Violins play in the background of this part of the prologue). Since we moved up our departure date to Florida 1-week earlier, amidst everything else, it may tip you off to the extreme time crunch we’ve been operating under, especially this season, and the great need to re-prioritize our ever elusive friend and foe, TIME. I easily could have been Martha – determined to still send out Christmas cards come what may; but, I’m thankful that Mary took over, choosing the better part. I’ve been spending some desperately needed downtime in a sunny spot, surrounded by a subset of the circle of loving and large family we are blessed with.

Paul Jacob by Waterside

If you’re friends with me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter, you’ve likely been seeing a surge of posts and pics from me, i.e. playing with our Godson, visiting with my Brother at my Father’s home–during the short days that our trips overlapped in Florida–baking Mom’s beloved Christmas treats, taking time to blog again, photos, making 1st Turkey dinner, working on our business ventures (more to come on that), etc…

If you are a new blog follower, or just-popped-on-your-blog-cause-I-searched-something guest, well then, WELCOME! Glad you are here, and hope you stay awhile, as well as come back for more visits in the future!

This time for me to “retreat and recharge” has mainly been provided by Mike’s kindness and unwavering support, as well as the flexibility provided by his boss to telecommute into work. And my Dad’s kindness in always opening up his home to us. For all these things and more, I am grateful. Without further ado, here’s the 2012 update!

2012: THE ONE-PAGE BULLETED VERSION, in PROSE

(perfect for speed readers, skimmers, SEO optimizers, you know who you are, etc and such)

Some 2012 Great Moments, in random order:

  • Celebrating our 1st Wedding Anniversary on June 24th. Yep, still Newlyweds and loving it!
  • Being asked to be Padrinos, or Godparents, for the first time together for our youngest nephew, Jacob, also on June 24th
  • Seeing our Texas family, and being back where we got married-South Padre Island-before our 1st wedding anniversary
  • Dad coming to visit us in Texas during the summer
  • Finally seeing my 1st Ordination – congrats to our friends in Dallas who have made fine, young Priests
  • Visiting with friends and family coming to or passing through Dallas – always a blast!
  • Having one of our dearest friends, Kelli, get engaged to Marcelo and ask both of us to be in their wedding. This will be my first time as Matron of Honor 🙂 Incidentally, she was our Maid of Honor.
  • Making the 1st part of “Our Big Announcement”. The 2nd part at the end, folks, so hang in there.

Travel-related 2012 Highlights:

  • Began the New Year traveling back from our Christmas trips to be with both sides of the family in South Texas and in Central Florida
  • South Florida in May for Alyssa’s (niece) Quincinera, a great celebration!
  • San Benito in June, a brief visit with Mike’s family, swinging by South Padre beach where we celebrated our marriage the previous year
  • Louisiana in October for Jeff & Erika’s (friends) wedding – we stayed in a lil’ Cabin on the Bayou. Mike got a Gumbo-making lesson, and we enjoyed a short time to see friends and be back in the country
  • Michigan in November. We took a health scare from my Grandma as an opportunity to visit her and stay with my bro & SIL, Chris & Jen, visiting a couple of other friends and family members in between
  • South Texas in late November – we spent Thanksgiving with Mike’s family in San Benito (we made a mighty fine Turkey, I might add), and then to San Antonio with SIL & BIL, Rose & Jesse. Mike & I were honored to be chosen as Padrinos of the Rings for our newlywed cousins, Thomas & Claudia! We also got to have a yummy brunch with our other cousin, Robert
  • Full circle to Central Florida for Christmas

NOTE: Since we’ve gotten several tempting offers, the list of places-we-WANT-to-travel/friends-& family-that-we-want-to-see is always MUCH longer then what we’ve accomplished. Despite working fulltime and laying the groundwork of 2 businesses, we still were able to squeeze out several trips, as you can see, mostly visiting family since we are both Dallas transplants. Looking forward to more adventures in 2013 – and please continue to be patient with us if you’ve been on the “to visit” list! We’ve not forgotten you – it’s all about the right timing though. Praying for us to have an increase of time and money may move you up on that list though, LOL!!

Several of the Cool New Things I’ve Learned to Make/Do in 2012:

  • Crochet
  • Movie promotionFor Greater Glory, an inspiring and historic film that premiered in the US in June
  • Decoupage
  • Twitter, @LSanMartini at your service. OK, so…I held out until 2012 to dip my toe into that Social Media pool. I’ve got a whopping 20 followers as of this 3rd day of Christmas, to sporatically try and entertain in 140 characters or less. A challenge for the verbose, truly. Trust me, I’ve got Facebook and Pinterest down pat; but I basically feel like I’m wandering round the Twitter Kiddie Pool with a life jacket, and am just now learning how to use the big girl potty instead of the ol’ catch and release method. Did that just get weird? Sorry.
  • Foodie Progress: Homemade Packzi’s (for Fat Tuesday), Brined Turkey, healthy & hearty meals, (click the recipes tab for a few more – but many haven’t been posted unfortunately!)
  • Graphic design – dabbling in logos, icons, new and old programs
  • WordPress-based website development & design– a blog redo, involved with development new websites from scratch – including working on mine (not live yet)
  • With the help of a great new Doc, learning what and how to fight back my Chronic Neck Pain/Migraine Headaches that’s gone on for far too long
  • Photography – we recently scored our first DSLR during Wolf/Ritz Camera’s Going-out-of-Business Sale, and it’s been a blessing. Have loved learning, getting blu-ray interview of my Grandma, and even doing our first engagement photo shoot! This is a good segue way into a a very brief year-end photo tour, courtesy of the Sony a77 and my Hubby & I.

Jacob & Pilar

Gloria in Excelsis Jacob Santa Letter

Jeff & Erica Wedding

Lisa Molly dancing

Mike

Midday on Bayou

brined thanksgiving turkey

Josie at Thanksgiving

Mia

Dustin

BW Lisa & Jacob

Kelli and Marcelo

St Mary's Austin BETTER

Karla

MJ bunny hat

Birthday Family

Jacob in Suitcase

Paul pushing stroller

OL Guadalupe

2012: The Heart of the Matter

2012 has been quite a teacher, as the virtue I was given to work on was perseverance—aka endurance. Through the highlights, as well as personal and professional trials in a downward-facing dog economy, I’ve learned, adjusted, and grown.

Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. -Romans 5:3-5

The Big Announcement Part II, is something we’ve been building over the years, months, and more so then ever in the past weeks. Honestly, it’s something we feel strongly that God’s been preparing me for, especially through all of the work experiences and skills that I’ve gained over the past 20+ years. Looking back on the doors that have closed and the windows that have opened, it all makes sense. I am moving into being a full-time small business owner , serving as Co-owner/COO of Illuvint as well as Owner of Little With Great Love, Online Boutique.

What is Illuvint? The formal version:

Illuvint LLC, a family-owned and operated company, specializes in custom solutions for small business owners. From online presence to ecommerce, PR to sales, operations to advertising, IT to logos, consulting to implementation, we desire to be involved in what makes you successful! Our diverse, collective expertise provides creative and powerful approaches – from our entrepreneurial experience to yours.

The informal version:

A marriage of the skills, experience, knowledge, talent, resources, outsourcing contacts…that we’ve doubled through our own marriage.

SPECIAL THANKS: I’m very grateful for the diverse and nationwide group of people that have been involved in the preparation of this journeying out into the world in this new way. You are far too many to name, but I pray that you know who you are and how you’ve made a great impact on us. Your support of the work Mike and/or I have already done, mentorship, encouragement, prayers, love, help, yadda yadda yadda, have made us better versions of ourselves. I’m excited to be a full-time Entrepreneur!

Stay tuned for more to come on Illuvint! We will need your continued prayers, encouragement, support, and referrals as this start-up is about to get a kickstart into 2013.

We pray for you, and for us, that 2013 will bring abundance. Abundance of grace, blessings, love, joy, peace, health, wealth, and wisdom!

Love and prayers,

Lisa + Mike

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5 Ways to Beat Breast Cancer

This logo is totally something that would have made my mother laugh, so that’s for you, Mom. But I digress…  I love the beginning of October–there are so many of my favorite Saints to celebrate–St. Therese of Lisieux, St. Francis of Assisi, St. Faustina…etc.  But the one that I think about and talk to the most, especially in asking for help, is my Mom.  Although it has been 20 months since Breast Cancer claimed her life, I can remember like it was yesterday the incredible attitude and faith in which she fought the good fight.  Breast Cancer took her life, yet she did not let it rob her of her joy, her faith, and her pure love for others–Mom did not let Breast Cancer win!

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month.  I love seeing pink, from the grocery store to the football field, but if I learned anything from my Mom, it takes more than sporting a pretty color to battle an ugly disease.  Learning from the best, here are 5 ways to not let Breast Cancer win.

1) Be honest. Cancer is not like a Common Cold, where one could perhaps carry on a type of normalcy in the day-to-day while addressing it.  Honestly, Breast Cancer is a serious disease with serious forms of treatment.  A gambit of emotions will roll over you and your loved ones throughout the course of dealing with it, and avoiding the feelings is not going to cure or help anyone.  Now that’s not a license to say or do anything, or dwell in what could become a negativity that could suck you into depression; rather, its acknowledging whatever feelings arise — fear, anxiety, loss of functionality, etc — talking about it, praying through it, and moving along in due time.  There were times when Mom was feeling ok with things, and there were times when she was not — and we were able to talk about it either way.  But if someone with Cancer needs to talk, remember to try not to fix everything – listening to someone be honest is what is really important.  And trust me, they will talk about some topics that you would rather not discuss – like being afraid of dying.  Let them. They obviously need to.  And guess what, you probably need to as well.   

2) Surround yourself with love. We all need each other to help us to carry on, but when you are battling for your life, it’s even more important.  Cards, emails, Facebook, phone calls, visits, text messages – there are so many ways to connect with people.  Having the love and support of the people that mean the most to you during this time makes the journey easier – you can share the load.  Note to the loved ones: I encourage you to continue to reach out over the course of treatment – a card, a call, a visit can really lift the spirits of someone who may feel completely awful that day and do more than you know.  My Mom kept all her cards on her bedroom door during her 1st bout with Cancer, and they were a cheerful reminder (especially on a hard day) of just some of the people whose love and prayers were behind her.

The first time Mike met my Mom – a few months after she was diagnosed with Bone Cancer, when the Breast Cancer returned in her bones.

3) Have a sense of humor.  Going through Chemo, Radiation, surgery, or whatever kind of treatment it is, probably will not put you in a joking mood.  Find reasons to laugh anyway.  Besides the fact that laughing and smiling actually lift your mood, losing all ability to laugh or even joke about the situation will contribute to the tendency to want to cry and sink into self-pity.  My Mom had a great sense of humor, and that made a huge difference.  I remember one time, a side effect from the Chemo made her voice sound super strange for about a month.  They finally figured out that in losing all her hair – yes, even in her nose – it was causing a post-nasal drip that ended up making her sound kinda-like that little Poltergeist lady.  We were talking on the phone, and I was trying not to laugh to avoid hurting her feelings, but I couldn’t help it.  My laughing made her laugh, and we just laughed for a few minutes straight on the phone.  I told her I was sorry as my laughter dissipated, but she told me that it was good – she hadn’t laughed that hard in awhile, and it was what she needed.

Attitude is what changes up the game.

4) A good attitude is crucial. The TV host Brian Lacy said, You cannot control what happens to you, but you can control your attitude toward what happens to you, and in that, you will be mastering change rather than allowing it to master you. How true that is. At the beginning of my Mom’s second bout with Cancer, the majority of her kids and grandkids went to be with her.  She planned a “surprise” for us not long after we all arrived, telling us to meet by the side of the house in our swimsuits at 1:00 pm.  There were bottles of whipped cream for everyone to squirt on each other, dozens of eggs for an egg toss, and coolers full of water balloons to pelt – it was time to get dirty and have some fun!  For whatever reason, she had always wanted to smash a pie in my Dad’s face – so that’s where the whipped cream became especially fun for her.  Afterwards we swam in their pool, and she shared that she wanted to show us that we could laugh and have fun, even during hard times.  

5) Keep the faith.  Never, never, NEVER let go of hope!  If there is nothing to believe in, to hope for, to me, the battle would seem futile.  The miracle we all pray for is healing, but for whatever reason, a physical healing may not be part of God’s plan.  Not having faith, a bigger purpose, would have made this journey 100% more difficult on my Mother.  Mom was a woman of faith throughout everything that life brought her, so Cancer was nothing different.  Her journey brought some very hard times, definitely; but despite it all, I did not see her waiver.  I never heard her curse God for allowing her to get Cancer twice, never saw her walk away from the Church (when she couldn’t leave the house, she would watch Mass on EWTN and have a Eucharistic Minister bring her Communion), never witnessed her stop living her faith, never did she turn away from the Bible or stop praying, never watched her let go of a bigger purpose that her suffering could serve.  She eventually came to be at peace with whatever would happen, and kept the Faith to the very end. And in my heart I know that the Angels carried her home to a Father who said, “Well done, good and faithful servant. Come, and live in my Love.” 

I saw the impact that these 5 things had–not only on my Mother, but on those around her–and can say most undoubtedly that Breast Cancer did not win.  People were inspired by her, they loved her, they wanted to be near her.  The Doctors told her that she could come back to the office anytime to talk to patients during their Chemo, because her way made people feel at ease.  She taught me all of this, so I thank her and dedicate this post, during Breast Cancer Awareness Month, in memory of Eve Sanchez.

Now, go and do your part to “Save the Ta Tas”!

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Joy in the Everday: An Inspiring Story

When I was living in Louisiana several years ago, I had the opportunity to make a pilgrimage to Puerto Rico with a group of about 40 people and 2 priests.  A big part of that amazing spiritual journey involved getting to know Carlos M. Rodriguez, “Charlie”, who is the is the first Puerto Rican to be declared “Blessed” by the Church.

In November of 1918, Carlos Manuel Cecilio Rodriguez was born in Caguas, Puerto Rico – a large town in a valley encircled by mountains.  He was the second of five children in a tight-knit Catholic family.  He endured a great hardship already by the age of six, when a fire destroyed not only his father’s small-goods store but also their family home.  Yet, that fire that took nearly all the family’s earthly possessions is credited with helping Charlie discover his love for spiritual things.  He would often say, “The Lord shall provide…we’ll see.”  I love that he “played Mass” with his sisters, just like my brother and did I when we were young.

At the age of thirteen, he attempted to protect his infant cousin from a neighbor’s vicious dog — the stress of which is believed to have triggered his lifelong affliction with Ulcerative Colitis.  Suffering continuously with an “upset stomach”(as he would call it) it often interfered with his schooling and his desire to serve God as a priest; still, he never lost his good-natured disposition and was a brillant student. Not allowing his health issues to hold him back, he educated himself in all subjects, including music – even learning to play sacred music on the piano and organ.

Traveling in his hometown of Caguas, this Servant of God came to life for me and my fellow Pilgrims as we heard stories about him–even from his sister.  There were many things about Blessed Charlie that I really admire and connect with, most especially that he is considered the “Joyful Lay Apostle”. He was an ordinary lay person who loved to make people happy, had a deep love for God and His Church, and spent everyday doing Christ’s work with joy.

Visiting the Cathedral where he was baptized and his remains are now kept, Cathedral Dulce Nombre de Jesús (Sweet Name of Jesus), I discovered his love for Christ and His Resurrection through his celebratory approach to the Easter vigil. “VIVIMOS PARA ESA NOCHE ” or “we live for this night” he would say.

“To approach Carlos Manuel and to getting to know him was as if to approach a light that illuminated one’s perspective of life and its meaning. His glance and smile revealed the certain joy of Easter. An enormous spiritual strength transcended his fragile physical constitution. The firm conviction of his faith allowed him to overcome his natural shyness, and he spoke with assurance resembling Saint Peter’s on Pentecost. Despite his failing health for so many years, no complaints ever clouded the joy with which he faced life. He reminded us that the Christian must be joyful because he or she lives the joy and hope that Christ gave with His Resurrection,” according to The Vatican.

With a deep love for the Liturgy, Charlie wanted to encourage a better and fuller participation in what he felt were the treasures of the Church.  Knowing that many students can lose their faith during the latter part of their schooling, he spent most of his short life focused on that mission. He taught CCD, led discussion clubs and Liturgical Circles, and published “Liturgical and Christian Culture” — spending much of his own money to fund these efforts.

I remember seeing the only pair of (worn out) shoes he owned as an adult, and it was evident that he did not care about possessions or making money. As was the custom, we left notes with our petitions by his shoes, asking Charlie for prayers.

In July of 1963, at the age of 44, he lost his battle to intestinal Cancer.  “It rains when a saint dies,” the old saying goes.  On that Saturday when his brother, a Benedictine Priest, celebrated his funeral Mass, the sun was bright and clear.  “Its heat beat down on the little Puerto Rican church where the hope of the Resurrection was preached for one who lived the joy of Easter.  The funeral of Carlos Rodriguez closed with a sudden rainstorm that almost halted the burial.” (Source: Faces of Holiness: Modern Saints in Photos and Words by Ann Ball).

In these times, it brings hope to see what people may have simply considered a shy, sickly man do so much good.  Blessed Charlie, pray for us! 

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Happy Birthday Blessed Mother Teresa

An inspiring example to us in word and in deed, Mother Teresa would have celebrated her 100th birthday today.  Glad to know such an inspiring Saint shares the same birthday as my brother Jeff – there’s hope for him yet – LOL! 🙂

Here’s a beautiful tribute to her.  Mother Teresa always had a simple way of saying something so profound, so I hope the words will resonate with you.

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Support a Catholic Speaker Month: Fr. Clement Machado

Fr. Clement Machado

Fr. Clement Machado, modern Missionary

At the ripe old age of 11, Clement Machado was visited by the Blessed Mother.  Revealing two visions to him, she showed him both heaven and hell. Profoundly affected, he knew then that he had a calling to be a Roman Catholic Priest.  Later, during his ordination in the grand Montreal Cathedral, St. Patrick also appeared to him. “I felt I had been taken out of all reality, as St.Patrick told me, ‘Go and free my people.'”  the Priest shared. Now known for promoting healing for the whole person – body, mind, heart, and soul – one would think that he has taken those words to heart.  The methods he uses to obtain that healing is through intercessory prayer, the ministry of Sacramentals and the Sacraments, and most poignantly through the Sacraments of Communion and Reconciliation.

Fr. Machado is not only a missionary of the Society of our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity (SOLT), he is a Exorcist trained by Rome.  An accomplished preacher and evangelist, he has brought the message of the gospel to five continents, as well as been featured on radio and TV programming for EWTN.  His impact is felt through his outreach in the forms of preaching, teaching, retreats, parish missions, conferences, days of recollection, Bible study and healing of the family lineage.  But I imagine that this priest would rather think of himself as leaving an impression in a more humble way.  “People are searching for their spiritual needs to be met and I try to connect them,” as he was quoted in the Toledo Blade.

Count this missionary among those who do not water it down, but present the message in a clear cut manner.  In August, he preached to a crowd on the “Year for Priests” as declared by Pope Benedict.  He challenged the people to contemplate the nature of the priesthood, which is supernatural, urging them on to truly realize what exactly that meant. In doing so, he felt that it would change the way they think and act around priests.  “A priest is a sign to remind people of God, of the Sacred,” he said, “not to be used or consumed and then not thought about until you need the priest or church.”

Fr. Clement Machado’s life and works include some extraordinary events. Yet, it all really boils down something as simple and profound as this:

“The Lord wants to heal people and heal relationships and help people overcome the pressures of society,” Father Machado said during an interview from Washington. “God is really there close to them, and you can discover God working through the sacraments, the liturgy, and communal prayer as well as individual prayer. Sometimes people have forgotten, and it helps to hear it again from a fresh perspective.”

Support-Catholic-Speaker-Mo

The remaining list of 100+ Catholic speakers can be viewed at Fallible Blogma.  I’d like to not only recognize Matthew Warner for his efforts in raising awareness on the messengers for our Faith currently at work, but also thank him for the opportunity to participate in this worthwhile and necessary cause. Matthew, to show my appreciation, I just might even bake you a cake!

UPDATED 2014: Since a number of folks have asked, please note: Unfortunately I am not personally in touch with Fr. Clement Machado, neither do I have access to his schedule or contact information, nor have I been able to ever successfully discover it while searching for it. As he is a SOLT missionary and priest, perhaps if you contact them, you can get the information you are seeking.

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