Written by: Denise Serafini on Monday, October 30, 2017
The church event we had in San Luis, Colorado on June 9th was just amazing. This was a last minute request. I got the request when we were trying to navigate rush hour traffic in Las Vegas a day or so before we were to travel to Colorado. We really didn’t have time to plan. There would be no musicians and no cantor. Thankfully, Paul, our violinist back home, had convinced me that we needed to record all of our program music before we began our 2017 travels. It really came in handy at this event.
We had a day without any events and it seemed like we could fit them in, so we agreed to add San Luis to our tour. As I noted in my previous blog entry, we arrived just after touring the Shrine of the Stations of the Cross. We pulled up close to the church and the doors were locked. Just as I was thinking we should go back to the car to wait, the front door opened and a man welcomed us in. I automatically assumed he was the custodian for the church and proceeded to start unloading. This unassuming man went about finishing up whatever he was doing. Then he approached me and apologized for his appearance and asked if it would be OK to excuse himself to get cleaned up. I said sure, why not, right? Then I took the minute to formally introduce myself and he tells me who he is … Father Umberto, the pastor of the church. He had been working in the flower beds. So much for assumptions.
Jean and I proceeded in the process of unloading when Isaac joined us. He was the son of the woman that had made all the arrangements for us to visit the church. She and her other son Nathan were set to join us a little later on. Isaac was a wonderful helper and we got things set up pretty quickly.
As it turns, out this parish was comprised of the most warm-hearted and wonderful people. Although we didn’t have live music, the program played out with total solemnity and with the benefit of a group of sir knights in attendance. The faithful joined in with our recordings for the musical interludes.
When it came time to pack up there was one woman that stayed along with Isaac, Nathan and their mother. This woman had issues with arthritis that was notably evident in her hands. Most of her fingers were gnarled and locked in place. She insisted on helping us to take down all of our equipment and get it repacked into our SUV. I tried to assure her that we are used to the process and she could simply stand by as we packed and chat with us while we worked. She persisted and I was humbled by the way she worked so diligently regardless of the pain it must have caused her. When we were done she tried to slip away without notice and I had to chase after her so that she might allow me to thank her.
While we know that Isaac and Nathan, along with their mother, Mary, were the drivers for getting us to come to San Luis, perhaps because of the prayer they are looking for to help them in the trials they are currently facing. However, I think the Lord had an ulterior motive for bringing us to San Luis. He wanted to remind them that He is truly present with them in their sufferings. All the members of this little parish were extremely gracious and exemplified great humility with stalwart determination to support their parish. I felt truly at home with these people and I pray that they all meet their particular challenges with that same humble resolve. If the love in their eyes and the generosity of their fellowship is any indication, they truly reflect the love Jesus shares with them. I believe that’s why they are blessed to live in the valley that visually demonstrates the depths of His Mercy on a daily basis.