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Nov 7, 2008

Mother Elvira visit!
It’s been a week since our Festival, and it seems like a beautiful eternity spending this time with Mother Elvira in Florida around the Community. It has been so precious to see the guys and girls interact with her and how much love she was able to transmit to everybody. It has been a rich event and completely direct from the Holy Spirit. I do not know even where to start. I think one of the best things that I can say is the guys are still all here, and no one left. A few of them had the deadline of the Festival as the time they wanted to leave, but they changed their minds because they found that their parents were strong, no longer the ones from before, and they are journeying with the Community. Without a doubt, being around Mother Elvira has been a big impact, too. Anyway, this is why it is so critical for the parents to learn about the Community and to follow directions for the sake of their sons and daughters in the community.
We spent a day at St. Maria Goretti and welcomed some of the friends of the Community. Mother Elvira spoke with them and thanked them for their support and encouraged them to continue to support and help our Community to grow. Then she made everybody smile and pray our joyful “Jesus loves me.” It was great!
We also spent a full day at Mary Immaculate. Mother Elvira pretty much spoke with everyone individually, and we prayed together. It was just a great Community day, and the guys were so happy. It was the first time she spent any length of time there. She really likes the wide open, green area, the big trees, and the quiet atmosphere.
Then we went for a couple of days to Birmingham to visit our dear friend Bishop Baker who arranged for us to visit the monastery of Mother Angelica in Hanceville, Alabama. We went to see a couple of properties to see if they could be the right place for a Community house. So far, no decision has been made, and we are waiting for a concrete sign to see where the Lord wants us to be! After a dinner at the monastery with the extern sisters, she was able to speak to all the sisters about the community and answer their questions. The next morning we went to Mass in Latin at the monastery.
Then we headed to Birmingham because Mother Elvira was scheduled for an interview on EWTN with Father Mitch Pacwa. Mother Elvira did a great job. We were going back and forth with translations, but she gave a great message. When it will be air on the network, we will let you know for sure. All the staff from the TV came over to greet Mother Elvira, and they said that she reminded them of Mother Angelica because of her freedom and wisdom. They even share the same first name (Rita).
We got back late on Friday night late. We had a full day on Saturday, All Saints day, spending part of it at the girls house. Mother Elvira spoke a lot to them about what it means to be a woman. In the evening we went to OLOH where all the formers members and their families prepared dinner for everyone. Their children were all dressed like saints for the special day. Mother Elvira really liked to see the children dressed like saints to counter the pagan Halloween. The guys did a slide show with old photos of the Community, but it needs a lot of work still. After they did the mask dance, the same one we did the first night of the retreat, and we ended the evening with a very nice Adoration all together. So it has been a pretty intense and busy week, but for us who were able to be so close to our Mother Elvira, there is nothing that can replace our joy in our hearts. I would not change this time with her for anything else. It has been just so special. I feel worn out and drained because of all the emotions over the last two weeks, but I am full of joy and hope for the future!
Now in a short time we will go to Mexico to visit our Mission and there. Who knows what the Lord is preparing for us there. It seems that we live the Festival of Life every day.

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