Monday, March 12, 2018

When Leticia Adams comes to your parish...

Editor's note: This is another great contribution from the one and only Holly Vaughan. You can follow her on Twitter here!

You guys.  Leticia Adams came to our parish this last weekend and gave her testimony.  

And it. Was. Amazing.  

I had the blessing of hosting this lovely soul at my house, and spending the weekend with her. We visited the Archabbey, looked at local landmarks, toured the churches, my kids enlisted her assistance in keeping a pet turtle, and we visited a famous TV house nearby.  

Do you know which 80’s t.v. sitcom this house was on?

And in the midst of all of this, Leticia was giving talks and changing lives.  She spoke to classes at our parochial school, she spoke to our youth, and she spoke at both of our parishes.  I saw people react in such beautiful ways - amazement, sympathy, empathy, concern - but most of all, love. They were mesmerized by her story, and engaged by her presence.  I learned about pain that people at my parish have gone through, that they have endured silently. I saw these same people listen to Leticia and feel solidarity - that someone understood.  I saw these people open up after her talk and share their own pain and struggles. I saw SO many people inspired by her courage, and most of all her faith. It was BEAUTIFUL.

Leticia speaks with such love about her RCIA director and friend Noe Rocha, and how just speaking with him is an encounter with Christ.  Little does she know how like him she is. I saw faith in action this weekend. I saw someone who lives for God. This week will mark the 1st anniversary of her son’s death, and this is an incredibly hard time of year for Leticia and her family.  (If you don’t know her story, click here.) But she packed up, flew halfway across the country to the middle of nowhere, and changed lives.  I watched her persevere through the hard moments, and most of all I was able to listen and hear how she lets her faith lead her through every day, every hour, and every minute.  I was able to hear about her family, and her son Anthony, who I feel like I know after hearing her talk about him. I heard her openly discuss her love and trust in the Lord, how she knows that there are some things in this life that we just will not understand, and also how following His will in her life means that unpredictable things happen - like ending up in the middle of nowhere to tell a group of grateful strangers about the struggles you’ve faced.  Leticia says that she always encounters Christ in Noe. I encountered Christ in her so many times this weekend.

If you are able to have her at your parish - then you need to.  Talk to your Pastor, or whatever you need to do. I love Parish Teaching Missions, and I love when priests and religious speak at our parishes and teach us the ins and outs of the faith.  But there is a great need and a place for testimonies of real life Catholics who live, and love, and also struggle. Real life catholics that show how to live those teachings through the ups and downs of life.  Those whose faith has saved them.

Leticia didn’t ask that I advertise for her - she doesn’t even know that I’m writing this.  But having her here was a gift, and I want to share it with you. Sometimes God puts life changing people in your life (sometimes in your house!) unexpectedly.  That’s what He did for me this weekend, and I am blessed to call her my friend.

No matter when you are reading this, please, in your charity, say a prayer for Leticia and her family.   The first anniversary of Anthony’s death is Thursday March 8th. Let’s wrap them in prayer and love.

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