Mommy’s here!

by | Dec 14, 2015 | Daughters of Charity, Formation, Reflections

Future charityMommy’s here!
So writes Sr. Amanda Kern DC in the blog The future of charity.

From my office desk, at any given time between 3:30 to 6pm, I can hear it shouted from the next room, sometimes even from the hallway. It’s an almost daily occurrence with my office sharing a wall with the young preschool classroom. You can hear the joy and even the thinking behind the child’s voice – Mommy’s here, Love is here, everything will be okay because she’s here now.

amanda 2My ministry is to work with those “mommies” (and “daddies” too!). I work at DePaul Children’s Center (part of Daughters of Charity Services of San Antonio) as the Family Care Coordinator, a ministry created when employees here saw there was a need for a special caseworker for our parents, who are majority low-income. In my year here, I have quickly learned the high cost of diapers, the technicalities of sliding-scale tuition requirements, and how to file for child support.

The truth is, while the child can joyfully shout out “MOMMY’S HERE!” when they see her walk through the classroom or appear on the playground, most of these parents can’t do the same. They can’t reach for their own mother for support when they’re stressed, when they’re about to break down, when life seems to be falling apart. Some have no support system whatsoever for one reason or another. Some were disowned from their family because of the father of the child; some just don’t have family in the area; others haven’t shared with me why.

I live and work in San Antonio. If you know anything about San Antonio, you know that San Antonio is not quite all-Texan, but not quite all-Mexican either. It’s this great blended mix of both – a city that names its celebration of the Battle of the Alamo“Fiesta”, a city that hosts the famous San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo but also is known for its amazing breakfast tacos, etc.

Of course, with all of that, comes Our Lady of Guadalupe. And hey, San Antonio – let’s admit, Catholic or not, pretty much everyone has a framed picture of Our Lady of Guadalupe.  What’s important to remember is that Our Lady of Guadalupe is more than just culture; it’s more than just some apparition in Mexico. The story of Our Lady of Guadalupe is one of hope.  Our Lady more than just appeared to Juan Diego. She spoke to him, just as a mother would speak to a child. Just as the mothers I serve here speak to their children, just as I wish some of their mothers still spoke to them. One of the many things Our Lady said was:

Let not your heart be disturbed. Do not fear sickness nor any other anguish. Am I not here, who is 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 to Juan Diego, December 9, 1531

“Don’t worry. I’m here. I’m your mom, remember?”

It was a message for Juan Diego, an indigenous peasant in the 1500s. It’s a message for any person on-the-fringes, ignored or rejected by society. It’s a message for someone who lives one day at a time, not knowing what the future may bring.  But it’s also a message for all of us, no matter who we are – low-income or wealthy, childless or parent, sinner or saint. And isn’t it all we want to hear?

“Don’t worry. I’m here. I’m your mom, remember?” 

We all want that familial love. Some of us were fortunate enough to receive it from our parents, others not. We want to know we’re incredibly loved, despite whether we feel we are worthy. We want to know that someone’s with us, no matter what. So, Our Lady gives us herself as a Mother from heaven in addition to the Father we already have.

“Don’t worry. I’m here. I’m your mom, remember?” 

If we let that message truly sink in, if we have the courage to believe it, we will echo that child’s shout of joy – “MOMMY’S HERE!”– when we see her face in various images and we will long for the day when we can embrace her as the children here at DePaul Children’s cling tightly to their mommies at the end of the day.

Posted by Future of Charity at 7:30 AM

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