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Mary Almonte

About me:
I am retired, a widow and mother of six adult children and many grandchildren. My family is my greatest treasure and I am very happy to be able to be available to them and spend as much time as I can being a mother and grandmother. I volunteer where I can in the community and church and enjoy traveling to visit a daughter and sister who live in other states.

Why I am a Catholic:
By God’s grace I was born into a Catholic family and through my Catholic education, I was introduced to the teachings and creeds of this church, but at one point in my life, I made this faith “mine” and not my mother’s (never having known a father).

I love the fact that my church is universal. No matter where I go in the world, each time I enter a Catholic Church, I am home! The prayers, the rituals, the creed, etc. are always the same. The church is my opportunity to feel close to God, a place to live out the Gospel values Jesus taught. “Church” encompasses not only the physical building but the people, the worship and all the humanitarian efforts. Being part of a community enables me to continue to grow in my faith and to share that faith with others.

How being a Catholic shapes and enriches my life:
My beliefs as a Catholic shape every facet of my life. My values and morals enter into my daily decisions and actions. I try to act out what I believe, especially that God loves each of us and we are special to Him. Because I believe this, I try to bring His Presence to others. I visit the elderly and bring Communion to them. I contribute to the Food Bank and contribute financially to the church, so it in turn can reach out. For me, being a Catholic means daily prayer. Prayer and study enrich my life, especially during trials when a word or a phrase from Scripture reminds me how much God loves me and is ever present during life’s many hard tests.

Before retiring, when I was in my previous parish, one of the most rewarding experiences in my Catholic life was when I was directing and teaching in the RCIA (a process whereby interested people seek initiation into the Catholic Church). Watching people encounter Christ for the first time and being there to guide them in that relationship was one of the most joyful times in my life! Jesus said, “The gift you have received give as a gift.” Matt. 10:8

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