The Valley Catholic January 16, 2018 - Page 7

COMMUNITY | January 16, 2018 7 On a Firm Foundation Mary Quilici Aumack Executive Director Catholic Community Foundation of Santa Clara County The first Christmas without my mom. My mom, Winona Amaya Quilici, went to heaven in October. I prayed for God to welcome her. She had not been fully present for some time, and she enjoyed no great qualify of life. I am joyful that she is without pain and anxiousness. And yet… The Mass of the Resurrection we had for her was just perfect. It was held at Saint Justin, where I grew up and my family faith was nurtured. My father literally helped build that building. My sister Corey was the fi rst baby baptized there in 1956. The main celebrant was Monsignor Terry Sullivan. When he was ordained in 1964, he was assigned to Saint Justin. He has participated in many celebra- tions for my family over these decades. Father Chris Bransfi eld, a good friend and current pastor of Saint Justin, concelebrated, along with my pastor, The extended Quilici Family, gathered to celebrate. Father Rick Rodoni, who was in my little brother’s class at Saint Justin. We were surrounded by friends, clergy, religious, and lay, and our large and wonderful extended family. It was a joy fi lled, faith fi lled Mass, all that I had envisioned. And yet… After my mom’s Mass, family went home and we entered into Advent, and the Christmas “party” season. Those who know me know that I am truly a “party animal.” I love the food, music, and mostly just the gathering. And yet… “Food For Jesus” at Saint Julie Billiart Parish Children in the Faith Formation program, their parents and members of Saint Julie’s parish community re- sponded magnanimously to the “Food for Jesus” campaign organized by Saint Julie’s Parish. The Faith Formation and Liturgy Committee distributed empty grocery bags with a list of items needed for the Food Pantry. It was a way of involving the whole community in the distribution of Christmas baskets to the clients of the Food Pantry. Families fi lled the grocery bags with a prayer. The program named “Food for Je- sus” was intended to feed Jesus who visits us in the poor and needy. More than 400 grocery bags filled with canned and other non-perishable food items were brought to Mass and placed before the altar as part of their Off er- tory gift. One parishioner remarked, “It is a sight to behold, if this outpouring of generosity and goodness would not Like us on Facebook Diocese of San Jose Robert Diaz Financial Advisor • Personal & Business Financial Planning • Investment Planning • Retirement Planning • Insurance Decisions • Saving for College Education Listening • Planning • Advising I’ll be with you every step of the way. bring tears of joy, what would?” This program was part of Saint Ju- lie’s Advent theme of witnessing faith by “Sharing the Journey.” Are you connected with the Diocese of San Jose? Visit us online This year I just didn’t feel it. I was baffl ed. On the one hand I was truly joyful and grateful that my mom was at peace. Yet I found myself feeling a void. In a conversation with my daughter, Kacey, we concluded that we were both facing the fi nality of it. Kacey had been fortunate to really KNOW all four of her grandparents. From them she received great love and has life forming memo- ries. My mom was the last to leave us. Father Warwick James once said something I have quoted often, and now hits the mark with me. He said “When you have faith and a loved one dies, it does not mean that you don’t grieve. It means that you do not despair.” While I experience unexplained sadness, I am mostly fi lled with joy, for the gift of my mom, and the fact that she’s in heaven. In his beautiful homily, Father Chris suggested this way to honor my mom: “To do our best to live with a love that always sees the good in the other and that sees where our help is needed; and to live with a passion for life that will bring all of us one day to rejoice together in God’s eternal kingdom. If we do, just imagine what a marvelous reunion we shall have!” This column is titled “On a Firm Foundation.” I stand on a fi rm founda- tion because of my parents. This is their legacy, the FOREVER VALUE that they gave to us through unwavering love. I am grateful. I will work to exhibit my gratitude in my approach to life. I will look forward to the marvelous reunion. Follow us on Twitter @DioceseSanJose Follow us on Instagram @DioceseSanJose Call me for a free, no obligation, financial consultation. 999 South Bascom Avenue Suite 400 Campbell, CA 95008 office 408-369-9400 ext. 126 direct 408-963-2864 CA Insurance Lic # 0L29352 Securities and Investment Advisory Services offered through Waddell & Reed, Inc., a Broker/Dealer, Member FINRA/SIPC and a Federally Registered Investment Advisor. Insurance products are offered through insurance companies with which Waddell & Reed has sales arrangements. 37802(11/17)