Tag Archives: Grandpa

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.


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:

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.

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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Dancing Machine

As you await with bated breath Part 2 of my annual Christmas update, I’m giving you a little something extra.  In Louisiana, they call that Lagniappe (lan YAP; and not with the nasal Michigan ‘a’ either).

I love this video, so I had to edit it, then share it.  It features my cutie-patootie nephew, Jacob, at 6 months, and my Dad.  This was taken right before my wedding, so it was June, at my house.  Next week Jacob turns ONE – I can’t believe it has been a year already…

In this rare footage, you will see how we do it in the Sanchez family:  We start the love affair with music and dancing young.

Enjoy watching Jacob, breaking it down to Chaka Khan. Choreographed by Grandpa.

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More Turkey, Tony?

As the golden brown bird – carved up like last month’s jack-o-lantern – would take a rest from all the first helping activity, my family would await what had become a family tradition.  You see, my Grandfather was not a man of many words, so thankfully fate had stepped in as my Grandmother and the consequent Perlaki women have not suffered from that impediment.  Aunts and Uncles were spread around the main table, and myself with the cousins in the overflow room,  but our ears would remain perked to catch wind of that million dollar question.  I’ll set the scene…

Grandpa would have reached the point where he had finished everything on his plate, including the Turkey Neck as was the status quo.  Grandma would look over trying to evaluate if he had enough, because that belly that he would laughingly point at and claim he was pregnant had to be maintained, don’t you know. A hush would come over the table as she surveyed the plate that had inevitably been stroked clean by a dinner roll.  A stirring from deep within would produce the annual Thanksgiving inquiry, at a vigorous decibel since he was hard of hearing, “More Turkey, Tony?”

Once we heard the familiar ring of those words and saw his acquiescing nod while another serving with the fixin’s was being shoveled onto his plate, we knew that all was right in the world.  Some things never change, and indeed some things should not.  Time with family is a precious commodity, and I am grateful for all the Thanksgiving memories of yesteryear.

I join with Americans today in giving thanks.  There is so much to be grateful for, even way too many to blog.  Suffice it to say, I thank you for all things, Lord, my cup overflows.

Another one of the traditions that my brother, Paul, and I partake in annually is found below.  I hope you will enjoy Adam Sandler’s Turkey Song as much as we do!

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