Why I'm a Monthly Donor
I thank God for my strong faith – a direct result of the spiritual direction I received from excellent priests of Opus Dei who were formed at Santa Croce. They taught me to trust in God and, in the midst of life’s trials, I hung onto Him for life. I learned that God gives us the strength to handle anything and His grace is sufficient. My greatest hope for the Church is to have Santa Croce priests who are trained in spiritual direction serving in every diocese in the world.
Here’s my story of why I am a monthly donor to Santa Croce ...
I was raised in a family with alcoholism and with physical and verbal abuse. My mother held us together. We never prayed as a family or individually and God was never mentioned. We were sent to Mass on Sunday mornings because a faithful priest came to the house and told my father that the children must go to church. So we went alone without our parents. I truly didn’t even know who God was. I would attend church and return home where the drinking and violence continued. I thought our family was normal and that all families were like ours.
As an adult, when I began working, I went to daily Mass. I don’t know why I did it . . . I certainly didn’t understand that Jesus was present in the Eucharist. But God was working in my life. I’m not proud of my young adult life but I was searching for love, and I finally found it. At age 26, I married a 39-year-old divorced man with 3 children. The only thing I knew was that he had a heart of gold which I had never experienced before. Someone must have told me that we couldn’t get married in the Catholic Church because my husband was not Catholic and was divorced. So we were married in a non-denominational Church.
Not long after our marriage, my husband’s oldest daughter had to enter a drug rehabilitation center and her four-year-old daughter came to live with us. After a few years we adopted our granddaughter because her mother was not improving. She was a handful to say the least. In addition to that, after my mom had a major stroke, my sister and I took care of her for 13 years – the last 4 years she was bedridden. I couldn’t have made it through those years without the expertise of an Opus Dei priest who carefully guided me through some difficult decisions.
During those years, my husband started taking instructions, began his annulment process, and we were married in the Church. I never in my wildest dreams ever thought this was possible. But God knew better than I.
My husband and I attended daily Mass for 10 years before he died 6 years ago. And that little girl of 4 is now 36 and has 5 beautiful children. If you want to know how the rest of my family turned out, my parents were married in the Church, my sister became a nun, my brother is a deacon, and my eldest brother came back to the Church before his death. Who would have thought that our family would end up so well?
That’s why I love the priests from Santa Croce so much. I truly do not know where I would be right now without them. They’ve been a lifeline to me throughout my life. My husband and I were so grateful that we began to donate in 1994 and I have never stopped and never will stop. If I had only had a widow’s mite I would give it to Santa Croce because they train holy priests.
I pray for each of you reading my story to consider making a monthly donation. Even the smallest amount will add up to give glory to God and help others through the great priests from Santa Croce.
Editor’s Note: Only a small percentage of our students are members of Opus Dei, but all of our students, diocesan seminarians and graduate student priests (the 3rd largest national contingent is from the United States) are formed and educated faithfully. As our Rector emphasizes, “We don’t need more priests – we need more holy priests!”