#1 MARGARITA AND CARLOS PESQUEDA
St. Mary of Mount Carmel, Long Prairie
In these moments of fear, anguish and pain as a family, we continue to trust and walk with Jesus, living this Easter time as witnesses of peace, especially in our homes since we also take advantage of this time to return to the essential, that is the family.
We have turned our basement into a school for our children. We have been taking advantage of social media in a positive way to call our loved ones and friends, transmitting the necessary peace and hope in these moments. Through these means, we have also had the opportunity to see the daily and Sunday Mass, thanks to our parish priest who has worked hard to make this possible.
As a family, we pray the rosary asking for the intersection of our Blessed Mother, her protection throughout the world and for our Church. In these difficult moments we continue proclaiming, “God, my Lord! I give myself to you.”
# 2 MARIA ROTHSTEIN AND LUZ MADRID
St. Joseph Parish, Waite Park
In these moments of uncertainty, panic and confusion that coronavirus has caused to paralyze our world and subject us to a forced quarantine for our safety, we have adapted. Our Churches have not been the exception, they also closed their doors to protect us from this deadly virus. This has increased our faith and motivates us not to lose it and remain faithful to our Lord.
For this reason we formed a prayer group twice a week where six people participate in FaceTime. We pray the rosary, we pray for immigrants, the sick, doctors, nurses and those most in need, generally for all the world. This started at Easter by praying a rosary every day and reading the Holy Scriptures corresponding to each day. On the last day of our prayer, when we said goodbye and thanked all the participants for having accessed this virtual way of getting together and uniting in prayer, a companion asks us, could we continue to pray together? She had felt full of peace during the days of Holy Week, and had liked it very much. And this is how this small group of prayer was born, where we contributed a grain of sand to gather our petitions towards our Lord.
We are listening to Sunday Mass on YouTube and practice lectio divina as we read our Bible. We are also supporting a non-profit organization, the Civil Rights Assembly, where we are volunteers making calls to confirm if others have already completed the 2020 Census. At the same time we also ask if any family member sick due to COVID-19, offering them telephone numbers of free institutions where they can go.
Luz Madrid is a woman with many talents and one of them is knowing how to use a sewing machine and she has dedicated her free time to making masks for the neediest in our community. Maria Rothstein wrote a Prayer for Immigrants. This was read May 1 in a “Caravan-Vigil” on the Elk River. With this caravan we want to demonstrate to our immigrant brothers that they are not alone in their struggle and that we are there to reinforce their faith with God.
God bless you all and we leave you with this quote from the poem “Esperanza,” by Alexis Valdės, which says: “When the storm passes I ask God, sorry, that you return us better, as You had sounded to us.”
# 3 SANDY GARCIA
St. Boniface Parish, Cold Spring
When this coronavirus appeared and we had to quarantine, the first thing I thought was that there are many homes with children who will have difficulties during this time. My family is very blessed because we all have the essentials to get ahead and thank God my work is making me an essential worker, which means that I can continue with my job.
Note, however, that there were many families struggling to bring food to their tables. The idea of doing something in my neighborhood spawned and would not go away, so I thought what would happen if I gave out free pizzas? I mean, who doesn’t like pizza, right? So I decided to do it. I started with the two families I knew who had some children. I knew one family, but the other I had no idea who were the parents of the children who always played outside.
When the woman opened the door, we started talking and getting to know each other. It was really nice to meet another neighbor. Then I realized that this opened the door to a new perspective because now this family was not just the family three houses down. Now I could put a name to each child and a face and name to the mother of these five children. We both agreed to be good neighbors and to help each other if necessary, which gave me a pleasant feeling.
I learned more about who my neighbors are, what they do, and what they need. It felt great to open this new line of communication. I hope not only to be considered the “Mexican family on the corner.” Now when they pass, they will say hi and maybe stop and we’ll have a little chat.
I plan to continue this as an act of kindness, but more as an act of love for God and for my faith