Category Archives: Uncategorized

Grandma, Blessing, and My Children

One of my earliest memories of spirituality practiced comes from my Grandma Mary.  Before my family would leave for a trip she would bless my brother and I in Spanish.

When she said the blessing she would first trace a small cross on my forehead, my mouth, and then give me the sign of the cross that Catholics normal do to themselves; forehead, chest and each shoulder. I would then have to kiss the hand that she was blessing me with. I remember my parents blessing me as well as my aunts and uncles.

So, here’s the blessing.

Por la Senal de la Santa Cruz de nuestro enimigos libranos Senor, Dios nuestro. En el nombre del Padre, y del Hijo, y  del Spiritu Santu.

Here it is in English

By the sign of the holy cross deliver us from our enemies Lord, our God. In the name of the Father and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Blessing is a tradition that I have done with my children.

When I put my children to bed I trace the cross on their forehead and say, “Remember that you are beloved child of God.”  I then ask my children to bless me.  My youngest usually traces two crosses on my forehead and says says, “You are a beloved daddy of God.” My old traces one cross and says, “I love you daddy.”  These are blessings I carry with me to bed.

Andy Root writes about prayer, “Prayer forces us to see others as persons; it unleashes the metal claw of individualism to see personhood.” I would say that this goes for blessing as well.

Blessing forces me to see my children not as objects but as subjects. It forces me to recognize their personhood.  During the day when have I sinned against my children, I must apologize to them before I can bless them. I must acknowledge that I acted out of line. I have to acknowledge that the sacred space between us has been violated. I have to acknowledge it and restore it before I bless them.  And, then, we are able to share that sacred space again in a blessing.

Even if you are not spiritual or religious, it might be a good idea to bless your children. Tell them that they matter each night, not only to you, but to the divine, and the universe.

 

 

 

2 Comments

Filed under Ministry Reflections, Parenting, Personal, Uncategorized, Youth Ministry

Mexican Repatriation

The more you know…

Campaigns of mass deportations took place of many Mexicans and Mexican Americans during the 1930s.

After 1931, government agencies undertook well planned deportation campaigns, feeling it was more economical to deport people than have them drain relief sources indefinitely. Coordinators for such initiatives used a variety of approaches. Locally, relief agencies might offer to subsidize the return home for those willing to accept repatriation (or they might threaten others with deportation if they resided in the country illegally; if agreed, officials organized train convoys and escorted the repatriates to the border. Church groups, associations such as the Red Cross, Mexican-American mutual aid societies, and pro-repatriation committees having as the object the humane expulsion of Mexican nationals under their own campaigns, underwrote the cost of the trek to Mexico.

Castillo and De Leon, North To Aztlan (New York: Twayne Publishers, 1996), pg 87.

Unfortunately, what this quotes does not tell you is that legal residents of this country were “repatriated” due to the color of their skin. Some think that up to 60% of those who were deported where American citizens.

Here is a more info to read.

America’s forgotten History of Mexican-American ‘Repatriation’

Here is a scene from a movie I love called Mi Familia/My Family that describes what happened.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized