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Mar 15, 2009

It is spring time!
Finally we are having our spring season, and you can feel it and see it in Florida. Flowers are blooming and everything is beautiful, including the weather. Also everyone is heading to Florida. We are having days already on the 70’s and 80’s. We hope to enjoy this weather for quite sometimes because it is just perfect. After our interview at EWTN we have been bombarded by calls and requests for people to come to our Community. The bad part is that we do not have much space because our houses are full. We need to pray that the Lord will enlighten us to find the answer to that, maybe even with something here in St. Augustine that guys can move into right away. Also, we are still looking for the right place in Alabama, too. Providence will respond for what God knows is right at the right time. He knows; we don’t.
In the meantime, here in Florida we are busy with many things. It is such a joy to see many of our young guys working and smiling. I will say that in these days there are a lot of smiles going around. We also have a few guys, Tom G., Lyle, Anthony, and Stefano, and a girl Nora preparing to receive the sacraments. Three will be confirmed and two of them are entering the Church at the Easter Vigil. They are really working hard. They meet three times a week for two hours at a time with Joyce, and they are very happy to do it. These are good fruits of the Community. All of them have already been in Community for at least two years.
At OLOH of Hope, we also are working on raising the tent and finishing the stage, plus it’s time to plant in the garden. We have a big team working on it! We had another guy, Andrew, from Canada who entered. Jason W. from Florida re-entered at Mary Immaculate. He was in community 4 years ago and left early, after only a year. Now he asked to come back because he was a not in a good shape. It is sad, but God uses it for good; it is always a ringing bell for our guys to see someone come back because it makes them understand that the Community tells them the truth. It is a reminder of the evil that is always there trying to get us! Also we had another guy, Michael A., (TX) who left early and just re-entered in Lourdes after almost a year that he was out. He left after a year in Community also—and it was a good year where he really tried to do everything he was asked and work very hard on himself, but it was not enough. He had gotten a very good job, but the pressure from the world got him, and he relapsed. We always get confirmation that the lessons the Community learned through the years, and pass on to us for our good, for some reason sooner or later, they happen so please do not put any pressure on your son or daughter to get out quickly from the Community. Let them and us make the right decision because a lot of wrong decisions have already been made in their life.
Dan L. went home on verifica and was happy to go back to the Community in Italy. We are very proud of him for his choices. Also Blake and Jonathan will go on verifica soon. Please pray for them for their time with their families.
The girls are busy working on preparation for items for the retreat plus their little crafts sale in a parish in the Tampa area the last weekend of this month.
Time is getting close for the Lent Parents and Family Retreat on the weekend of Palm Sunday. We hope and pray that you will come because it is very important for you to understand better what the Community is all about. It does not matter if your son or daughter is here or not. Please come! We feel bad for the guy and girl whose family never comes to anything. They feel bad about this, very bad. Their families feel that their own activities are more important. When the son/daughter gets out and the parents make choices that hurt their journey, they only will blame the son/daughter instead of themselves. Lots of pride.
We encourage you to keep helping us because, as you can see, the Community keeps on growing and so are our expenses. Remember that our gardens are not enough. Feeding almost 50 people three meals a day every day takes a lot, and sometimes our pantries are pretty empty. The beautiful thing is that the guys and the girls never complain or request anything!
We hope and pray that all of you are spiritually living this Lent in a good way. It will serve for you as a time to grow in your journey of faith!

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