Author Archives: Rosario Rodriguez

About Rosario Rodriguez

Survivor of a violent crime, working on a full recovery by intense therapy, counseling & nutrition. Catholic missionary, speaker & dancer.

Do Something Beautiful with Leah Darrow

I had the pleasure of sharing my story with Leah Darrow for her podcast. It was a very fun conversation where we also chat about Lord of the Rings, growing up in big families, having brothers who go out of their way to annoy us and A LOT more! LOL You can listen to it here: “Do Something Beautiful Podcast”

Enjoy!

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Filed under Catholicism, Forgiveness, General, Recovery, Reflections, Speaking

The Catholic Feminist Podcast

I recently shared my story with Claire Swinarski and had a wonderful conversation about the healing power of Forgiveness! You can listen to it here at: The Catholic Feminist Podcast

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6 years of carrying a bullet in my shoulder

This past Monday, June 29th, marked the sixth year anniversary of when I was shot. Past years I’ve gathered with family and friends to celebrate and thank God for the incredible miracles He performed that night. Some years I have a dinner or a party and I usually go Mass.

It’s amazing to think back to that night and the days following and see how far I’ve come thanks to the Grace of God and the many, many prayers from friends, family, and even strangers all over the world!

Words cannot even begin to describe how grateful I am to all those who’ve prayed for me, supported me, and have been by my side throughout these past six years as I stumbled my way to recovery. I’ve made mistakes and at times haven’t been the easiest patient. Through all of it, I’ve learned what true friendship looks like and am thankful to those who stuck by me and loved me during the darkest moments of my recovery.

The day I was released from the hospital

The day I was released from the hospital

Six years later I still have some incision pain from the surgery and little issues with swallowing every once in awhile. My energy level still isn’t what it used to be and I’m still pretty jumpy. But I’m incredibly grateful that for the most part I’m fully recovered. I’m also grateful for all the opportunities to share my story and reach out to others who are hurting more than I could possibly imagine.

For the past two years I’ve been speaking to gangsters with the LAPD at Operation Cease Fire and last year I addressed 300 prisoners. If you would have told me that I would be speaking to those who’ve hurt people the way I’ve been victimized I would have thought you were crazy! Yet, with the grace of God and many friends and family praying for me and for them I’ve been able to reach out to them. While I stand in front of them as a victim, I strive to share with them a message of healing and forgiveness.

 

I’m still on my journey of healing and living a life of love and forgiveness and I do that carrying a bullet in my right shoulder. My prayer is that what was meant for death can be used for life!

 

“The God of all grace who called you to His eternal glory through Christ Jesus will himself restore , confirm, strengthen , and establish you after you have suffered a little.” 1Peter 5:10

“Cast all your worries upon Him because He cares for you.” 1Peter 5:7

Speaking to prisoners of a high max security prison.

Speaking to prisoners at a high max security prison.

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Speaking to Prisoners

Happy Advent friends!

I was invited to speak in November at a California State Prison at an event hosted by the program Victim & Offender – HOPE: Helping Others’ Pain through Empathy. It was my first time speaking to prisoners. I was pretty nervous, but I knew that many friends and family were praying for me and that brought me the peace and strength I needed. It turned out to be an incredibly powerful experience.

The day before I was to speak at the prison, I met with my friend Brian, who had been a guard at the prison for many years before retiring shortly after the event. He shared with me the reality of prison life and the types of brutal and heinous crimes that many of these men committed (without sharing specific details, of course!). He also told me that many of the prisoners were repeat offenders who will spend the rest of their lives in prison.

On the day of the event, I was accompanied to the prison by Brian and my boyfriend, Sebastian, which helped me feel very protected and safe. Brian introduced me before I spoke to the over 300 prisoners who were in attendance. It was the most humbling and moving introduction I’ve ever heard. I was practically in tears as I walked up to the microphone. Thankfully, I was able to pull myself together. I even made a comment about not being a fan of podiums, much like the other speaker Dionne who spoke before me, whose husband was a police officer killed in the line of duty. Anyway, my comment had all the guys laughing which was a good start.

I went on to describe the pain, physical and emotional, that I have suffered from being victimized twice, as well as the impact both incidences had on my daily life and the lives of my family and friends. I told them how both times my survival was miraculous. I saw many heads nodding excitedly when I said that I was only alive because of divine intervention.

I also spoke to them about the message of forgiveness I shared in court with the woman who shot me. I extended forgiveness to them, telling them that it came from me as a victim and from God. As I was saying this, I saw many men with tears in their eyes. I also saw pain and brokenness through the men’s body language. I told them that I believe each one of them can experience healing with God’s love, mercy, and grace, which would lead to peace and joy.

When I was finished speaking, every single one of the prisoners jumped to their feet clapping with great enthusiasm. Several of them were even wiping tears! I saw vulnerability and hope in the men standing before me, which brought me so much joy! It was the longest standing ovation I’ve ever received. I was surprised and humbled by it. After they sat down, the MC took over. He encouraged them to thank me once again, and I received yet another standing ovation from all 300 prisoners.

There were a few others from different outreach programs who spoke after me. And when the event ended, Dionne and I received two more standing ovations from the prisoners. I was (and still am) incredibly humbled by their reaction to my story and my offer of forgiveness and healing.

After the event, we took a picture with the men who are in the victim awareness program. As everyone was getting situated for the photo, one of the men thanked me for giving them their humanity and dignity back. His words moved me to tears. It was a beautiful moment, and I was able to see how far I’ve come with my own healing to be able to stand in front of them and offer the gift of forgiveness and hope.

It’s important for me not to get caught up in the power and romance, so to speak, of the night and forget that there are very good reasons why these men are in prison. But I also realize, as a victim, that it is also important to remember that no matter how grave their crimes they too are men who are hurting deeply who need healing and salvation. This doesn’t excuse their crimes; they should still suffer the consequences of their actions by being in prison, but it was powerful and healing for me to realize that Christ loves them, that He would die for them.

I am honored that God chose to use me in the lives of these men. I have already been asked to return and speak to more men at this prison.

Please let me know if you would be interested in praying for me when I return to the prison (or join my intercessors group, Mantle of Roses, that prays for me every time I speak) because I know that I cannot do this without the power of prayer! I also ask that you join me in continuing to pray for these men that they may experience Christ’s love, mercy and healing.

With the prisoners, the other speaker Dionne (she's standing next to me), Brian (on the left) and those who help run the program and other programs at the prison.

With the prisoners, the other speaker Dionne (she’s standing next to me on my left), Brian (is on the far left) and those who help run the program and other programs at the prison.

The certificate that the prisoners made and presented to me after I spoke.

The certificate that the prisoners made and presented to me after I spoke.

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My 4 Liters Water Challenge

Last week I did the 4 Liters water challenge where I used 4 Liters of water within a 24 hour period for three days for everything! Drinking, cooking, cleaning, bathing, etc… It was a busy week so sadly I haven’t posted about my experience until now. Here’s how I managed to use only 4 Liters of water through photos: Measured out liter by liter

4L - meausring cup

I used  hand sanitizer to keep clean even when I was out and about

4L - sink

I dampened a cloth and used that to clean my dishes

4L - Wiping Clean

All clean! (Perhaps a little hard to tell because of the darkness but I promise it was clean.)

4L- Wiped all clean

Since I was out and about and speaking I wore makeup. How does one take off eye makeup with little to no use of water? I used what I normally use… coconut oil! I applied it on top of the makeup all over my eye, rubbing off the eyeliner and mascara and then used a tissue and wiped it all off. I’ll try to post photos of this later!

The morning after day 2… my greasy hair! 😉

4L- greasy hair

4L- Greasy Hairs

Once again this was a powerful experience and reminder of those who suffer from water poverty and how spoiled most of us are to turn on every facet in the house and have a stream of water at our disposal at any time of day for all the amount we desire!

It’s not too late to donate and bring clean water to those who don’t have any! Please donate here at my 4 Liter water challenge profile!  

I also encourage you to take the 4 Liter water challenge and experience it for yourself!  4 Liter Challenge  For more information go to Dig Deep

Here’s a great article by Dig Deep’s founder George McGraw “When Water Poverty Hits Home”

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The 2nd Annual 4 Liter Water Challenge is Here!

Tomorrow (Thursday, Oct 9th) I begin the 2nd annual 4 liter water challenge! I’m going to use only 4 liters of water for one day for everything! Cooking, cleaning, bathing, drinking, etc… Around the world many people live in water poverty and live on only 4 liters of water a day. And many times that water isn’t even clean! Please help me bring awareness to water poverty and HELP bring clean water to those who don’t have it around the world and even here in the United States! You can help by donating to my challenge at my profile and/or join the challenge yourself!

Keep track of my 4 liter water challenge

4L_A Mile in their shoes

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Podcast Interview with This Feels One Sided

Have you ever wondered how my parents met or why I’m an Ohio State University fan despite growing up in Michigan? If so you hear all about that and details about my recovery that I’ve never shared before on this podcast interview with ‘This Feels One Sided”!  Despite some technical difficulties I had a blast being interviewed by Matt and Casey. It was great to share more details about myself, my family, and my story than I normally have time for and the guys are a lot of fun!  Check it out here at This Feels One Sided, I’m episode #40! I hope you enjoy listening to it!!!!

 

thisfeelsonesided

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