Raise to Shave! A fundraiser for FSU Newman Center

My brother Fr. Charles is sporting a beard these days that in my sisterly opinion is OUT. OF. CONTROL! Fortunately he has Padre's Crazy Beard agreed to shave it off if the Newman Center at Ferris State University in Big Rapids MI where he is assigned, can raise $3,000 by THIS Saturday, March 1st!

The Newman Center is raising money for a mission trip to work in inner-city Memphis, several retreats throughout this year, and continued outreach on the campus of Ferris State University.

Not only is this a great opportunity to support Catholic college students grow in their faith and live out the works of mercy but we can shave this crazy beard off the Padre! 😉

Go here to ‘Quick Give’ on the bottom right of the website to DONATE

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Forgiveness, A Gesture Of Love

February is a month when many of us focus on talking about and celebrating love! I always enjoy celebrating St. Valentine’s Day. I get caught up in the celebration of love even though for many years I didn’t have a significant other to celebrate with. Most years I take time to celebrate with other family members or friends who I love the most in my life, like my 93 year old Grandfather. He’s one of my favorite Valentine’s! My other favorite is my autistic sister. I would be in big trouble if I didn’t mention her.

For almost five years before we moved out of Michigan, my sisters and I would spend the weekend closest to Valentine’s Day with our Grandfather. We brought him gifts, cards and nice bottles of wine and he would give us flowers and candy and cook delicious meals for us. It was a beautiful way for us to celebrate love, the gift of life, family, and our relationships.

I think it is very important to celebrate and show gestures of love in big ways on special holidays but I believe it’s even more important to show gestures of love on a daily basis. There are many different ways to express our love to those around us, but one of the most powerful gestures of love is forgiveness.

We have so many opportunities to forgive the people we love the most every day! Forgiving those who leave behind dirty dishes, those with short tempers, undone work, misunderstandings, lights left on, missed deadlines, sticky counters, miscommunication, messy work stations, mean words, gossip, etc., … the list goes on and on. Whether it’s a spouse, significant other, best friend, sibling, child, roommate, teammate or co-worker, we are constantly called to forgive each other for the big and the little things that hurt us and annoy us. Forgiveness doesn’t undo what happened, but it does change our hearts so we can receive the grace and peace to love, unconditionally.

I’m not a natural forgiver, but then, who is? So when I’ve been hurt or annoyed, I pray and ask God to give me the grace to forgive, because I need all the help I can get! Then I’ll say out loud, in a whisper, or as a prayer in my mind, depending on the situation, “I forgive ________ for ________”, and I ask God to bless them. Sometimes I need to do it once and I can move on. Other times, depending on the severity of the action needing forgiveness or my unwillingness to let go, I have to forgive over and over again. But as Christ told us in Matthew 18:22, we’re called to forgive – seventy times seven!

I also find that it can be harder to forgive those who are closest to us. When they hurt us it hurts more because they, of all people, should be the ones to love us most. The problem is that we expect them to love us perfectly – and they can’t. If we can accept that we aren’t perfect and that we can’t love perfectly, why would we expect others to love us perfectly? Only one person can love perfectly and that is Christ Jesus.

This month, as we celebrate the love’s of our lives, let’s show gestures of love in small ways and in big ways and strive to always forgive each other.

My sister and I with our Grandpa

My sister and I with our Grandpa

Copyright © 2014 Rosario Rodriguez. All rights reserved.

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Gotta admit… Not a fan of the Pope on the cover of Rolling Stone

I know some Catholics are excited that Pope Francis made the cover of Rolling Stones Magazine but I can’t say that I am… at all. Why? There are many reasons but the main one being that the article bashes Pope Benedict XVI Emeritus describing him as Freddy Krueger and suggests that Pope Francis is changing Church teaching! I’m sure that many who are excitedly posting the photo have no idea what the article says. Perhaps we should hold back some of our enthusiasm of this ‘super hero’ Pope  constantly grabbing the attention of the mainstream media and learn the content of what the latest journalist has to say about this new celebrity (and his predecessor) before we post our joy of him making  yet another cover of a magazine.
“After the disastrous papacy of Benedict, a staunch traditionalist who looked like he should be wearing a striped shirt with knife-fingered gloves and menacing teenagers in their nightmares, Francis’ basic mastery of skills like smiling in public seemed a small miracle to the average Catholic. But he had far more radical changes in mind. By eschewing the papal palace for a modest two-room apartment, by publicly scolding church leaders for being “obsessed” with divisive social issues like gay marriage, birth control and abortion (“Who am I to judge?” Francis famously replied when asked his views on homosexual priests) and – perhaps most astonishingly of all – by devoting much of his first major written teaching to a scathing critique of unchecked free-market capitalism, the pope revealed his own obsessions to be more in line with the boss’ son.”
PopeFrancis RollingStones

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Feliz día de la Virgen de Guadalupe!

Virgencita, ora pro nobis!

Basilica of OLG

“Let not your heart be disturbed. Do not fear sickness, nor any other anguish. Am I not here, who am your Mother? Are you not under my protection? Am I not your health? Are you not happily within my fold? What else do you wish? Do not grieve nor be disturbed by anything.” ~Our Lady of Guadalupe

“Your love for Our Lady should be more lively, more supernatural. Don’t just go to the Virgin Mary to ask her for things. You should also go to give! Give her your affection; give her your love for her divine Son; and show her your affection with deeds of service to others, who are also her children!”
– Saint Josemaria Escriva

Our Lady of Guadalupe

Pope Francis has sent this Message to the Americas to mark the Dec. 12th Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe: “Tomorrow is the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the Patroness of the Americas. I would like to greet all my brothers and sisters on that continent, and I do so thinking of the Virgin of Tepeyac. When Our Lady appeared to Saint Juan Diego, her face was that of a woman of mixed blood, a mestiza, and her garments bore many symbols of the native culture. Like Jesus, Mary is close to all her sons and daughters; as a concerned mother, she accompanies them on their way through life. She shares all the joys and hopes, the sorrows and troubles of God’s People, which is made up of men and women of every race and nation. When the image of the Virgin appeared on the tilma of Juan Diego, it was the prophecy of an embrace: Mary’s embrace of all the peoples of the vast expanses of America – the peoples who already lived there, and those who were yet to come. Mary’s embrace showed what America – North and South – is called to be: a land where different peoples come together; a land prepared to accept human life at every stage, from the mother’s womb to old age; a land which welcomes immigrants, and the poor and the marginalized, in every age. A land of generosity. That is the message of Our Lady of Guadalupe, and it is also my message, the message of the Church. I ask all the people of the Americas to open wide their arms, like the Virgin, with love and tenderness.”
bishop and tilma
Viva Cristo Rey! Viva la Virgen de Guadalupe!
San Juan Diego, ora pro nobis.

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Novena to Our Lady of Guadalupe

Today, Wed Dec. 4th is the first day of the novena to Our Lady of Guadalupe! These nine days of praying this novena lead up to her feast day. There are several beautiful novena prayers but here’s the one that I will be praying. I hope you join me and in bringing your intentions to our beautiful Mother of Guadalupe for her intercession!

I’m including the intentions of all of my Blog, Twitter, FB page, Instagram, and G+ followers as I pray this novena this year so be assured of my prayers for you!

Novena to Our Lady of Guadalupe

Dearest Lady of Guadalupe, fruitful Mother of Holiness, teach me your ways of gentleness and strength. Hear my prayer, offered with deep-felt confidence to beg this favor…(mention your intentions here).

O Mary, conceived without sin, I come to your throne of grace to share the fervent devotion of your faithful Mexican children who call to thee under the glorious Aztec title of “Guadalupe”–the Virgin who crushed the serpent.

Queen of Martyrs, whose Immaculate Heart was pierced by seven swords of grief, help me to walk valiantly amid the sharp thorns strewn across my pathway. Invoke the Holy Spirit of Wisdom to fortify my will to frequent the Sacraments so that, thus enlightened and strengthened, I may prefer God to all creatures and shun every occasion of sin.

Help me, as a living branch of the Vine that is Jesus Christ, to exemplify His divine charity always seeking the good of others. Queen of Apostles, aid me to win souls for the Sacred Heart of my Saviour. Keep my apostolate fearless, dynamic, and articulate, to proclaim the loving solicitude of Our Father in heaven so that the wayward may heed His pleading and obtain pardon, through the merits of your merciful Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

Our Lady of Guadalupe, Ora pro nobis

la-virgen-de-guadalupe

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Give gifts that keep on giving!

In light of all the gift giving moments this month and next month what with St. Nicholas’s feast day, Christmas, and Epiphany I thought I would share some gift ideas! While times have been tough for all of us there are many who are struggling significantly more than most of us could ever imagine. Many of them are right here next to us in the USA. So perhaps as we’re giving gifts to celebrate these wonderful feast days and holidays we can give a gift of time, material or a financial donation to help those who are struggling in concrete and very helpful ways. You can give on your behalf or perhaps on behalf of a family member or friend. Here are five of my favorite organizations who are all doing incredible work and are looking for donations so that they can continue to help those who desperately need it:

Charity Orgs

1. Dig Deep – You may recognize the name from the organization that hosted the 4 liters of water a day campaign that I participated  in. They bring clean water and education on how to use and live with clean water to those who do not have access. Today they launched THE NAVAJO WATER PROJECT. They are raising money to build a well in Smith Lake, New Mexico. Smith Lake is a Navajo Indian Reservation that suffers from water poverty. Learn more from this video and at their website.

2. The Burrito Project – They meet every third Thursday of the month where they make burritos and then pass them and water out to the homeless on skid row in downtown Los Angeles. For the months of December and January they are having a blanket drive so that they can pass out blankets as well since it’s so cold out now. To donate blankets  contact Alan at BurritoProject1 [at] gmail [dot] com for when/where/how you can drop them off.  Or you can make a financial donation here at The Burrito Project website

3. Manto de Guadalupe – This organization has several different ways that they reach out to the poor and homeless (like leading mission trips and building homes around the world) but in 2010 they opened a new clinic: The Guadalupe Medical Center that provides medical assistance to low – income pregnant women. They provide medical consultations, ultrasounds, analyses, vitamins, medicines, treatments for infertility and high-risk pregnancies among many other services. I was able to take a tour of the medical center a couple of years ago and it’s beautiful to see many photos of the happy women and their babies who have benefited from this wonderful clinic. You can donate here at their website. 

4. Mary’s Meals – They provide meals for children living in impoverished places all around the world so that these kids can attend school and have nourishment. They feed about 822,142 hungry children a day! Watch this moving documentary about Mary’s Meals Child 31 to learn more about the work the are doing! You can donate to Mary’s Meals here.

5. Los Angeles Pregnancy Services (LAPS) – They provide help to women struggling with an unexpected/crisis pregnancy in one of the poorest neighborhood in Los Angeles. They offer pregnancy support through medical referrals and parenting classes.  They also provide information on adoption for clients who want to carry their child, but aren’t ready to parent. They give out diapers, baby clothes, formula, etc… to help these mothers in need. You can sign up to volunteer or you can give a financial donation.

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Giving the gift of food to the homeless for my Birthday

This year as I turn 36 (I know, I know… I can’t believe I’m going to be that old! jaja) on December 3rd I decided that instead of receiving gifts I wanted to give to those  less fortunate than I.  As many of you readers know, every third Thursday of the month I participate in The Burrito Project where we make burritos and then pass them and water out to the homeless on skid row in downtown Los Angeles. Well the third Thursday this month is a couple of weeks away from my birthday and I figured that that would be the perfect way to celebrate my birthday!

If you’re in the Los Angeles area please join me in celebrating my birthday = Thursday November 21st at The Burrito Project!

We ask that if you can, please bring a case of bottled water. Also, this month since the weather is getting colder we’re hoping to hand out socks, blankets, scarfs, and toiletry kits too. So if you have any to donate please bring brand new socks, clean blankets, scarfs, and travel size toiletries (shampoo, toothpaste, toothbrush, etc…) that would be GREAT!!!

Be sure to dress simple = jeans/sneakers. (You’ll definitely want to wear closed toe shoes when walking around downtown.) And completely covered. Ladies, please no low cut tops.

We meet at 7:30pm  at La Iglesia de la Epifania/Church of the Epiphany – 2808 Altura Street Los Angeles, California 90031 to make the burritos and then head downtown around 9pm -ish and pass out burritos until around 11pm – ish.

If you can’t attend but would like to donate the above listed items to The Burrito Project please contact Alan at BurritoProject1 [at] gmail [dot] com for when/where/how you can drop them off.  Or you can make a financial donation here at The Burrito Project website

For the time and place here’s the Facebook event for my birthday and the Facebook event for The Burrito Project this month

Passing out Burritos to the homeless in downtown Los Angels in September 2013

Passing out Burritos to the homeless in downtown Los Angeles in September 2013

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