Monday, May 30, 2022

Colegio Espíritu Santo - ¡Damos Gracias con Nuestras Vidas!

This week I learned that my beloved high school, Colegio Espíritu Santo in Hato Rey, Puerto Rico, will close its doors tomorrow after 80 years of faithful service. Like so many thousands of alumni, I was shocked and saddened by the news. As I reflect on the implications of this closing -- along with the closing of tens of other outstanding schools on the Island -- I realize this is a sign of the times, and bigger than any one of us. Yet, the overwhelming gratitude I feel for our Espíritu has kept me focused on the future, and how we can honor the treasure we received through superb education of the mind and formation of the human being. 

A small group gathered this morning at the school in solidarity and to sing our school hymn, and I was able to join via live transmission. It was special, and I'm so grateful I could be part of that moment that helped bring some closure to us all. I could barely sing through the tears, and was glad to end the song with our traditional cheer, ¡Espíritu, fuá! 

I can't imagine all the ways my life would have been different had it not been for the blessing of Colegio Espíritu Santo. I may very well owe my strong faith to this institution and the many teachers and inspiring nuns who instilled in me, beginning in third grade, not only a deep, abiding faith and trust in God but also a discerning mind and spirit. My strong prayer life and desire to live a life of service are rooted deeply in Espíritu, our teachers, and the various organizations to which I belonged there.

The blessing of an academically solid bilingual education with a strong foundation of faith, truth, and hope are incomparable gifts. I am forever grateful to my parents for driving 30 minutes in city traffic each day to get my brother and I to school all those years!

I learned to love theater and dance even more through our professionally planned and executed talent shows, for which we became known all over the island. I also experienced the blessing of true community, something desperately needed in our world today.

As the author of four books, I am so grateful for the class where I mastered speedy typing! And who can forget the 'torneos' we'd host and staff faithfully (concessions, anyone?) and the away games we'd join regularly to cheer for our teams and friends!

My friend group -- such exceptional human beings -- are still in my daily life more than thirty years later. What would life be like without each of you, my dear friends? I can't even imagine it. I love you ALL, whether we remain actively involved in each others' lives or not. I love each of you as the family you are!

Finally, I join all CES alumni in expressing our immense gratitude to EVERY teacher who invested in our education and in our lives. Some of you were quite literally lifelines during some of our toughest times in life. Your investment in the formation and lives of young people has left an enduring legacy of love and excellence that will continue to bear good fruit down the generations. 

We LOVE you -- our amazing teachers -- and we are GRATEFUL for each of you. Thank YOU.

Going forward, no matter what happens, I know there is something we all can do to give back, and it has to do with how we continue to live our lives. Each of us will keep the fire of the Spirit alive, making sure the education we received at our Alma Mater continues to make a difference in our communities and in the people we are called to serve, influence, and love. Let that be our legacy for Espíritu.

¡CES por siempre! 

Con gran amor, gratitud y esperanza, gracias a nuestro Dios, quien es la Verdad, nunca nos falta y es el mismo ayer, hoy y por siempre. (With much love, gratitude, and hope -- thanks to our God -- who is the Truth, never fails us, and is the same yesterday, today, and forever.)

Amaryllis (Dr. Mari)

Video from this morning's gathering at Colegio Espíritu Santo.

Video of children singing our school hymn during the pandemic.

Our school hymn, written by Frankie Jirau:

Colegio Espíritu Santo,
Alma Mater sin igual.
Aurora de la enseñanza,
modelo del saber y del triunfar.
Alma Mater, nuestro amor
te cantamos con fervor.
Este himno, ¿qué será?
Luz de Dios que es la Verdad.
Colegio Espíritu Santo
eres flor de inspiración.
Por eso te guardaremos
grabado en el jardín del corazón. ❤️

Friday, February 18, 2022

Letting the Word Speak


"Rejoice in the Lord always.

I will say it again: Rejoice!

Let your gentleness be evident to all.

The Lord is near.


Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation,

by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving,

present your requests to God.

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding,

will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.


Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble,

whatever is right, whatever is pure,

whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—

if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—

think about such things.


Whatever you have learned or received

or heard from me, or seen in me—

put it into practice.


And the God of peace will be with you."

Philippians 4:4-9



Choosing. Abiding. And, thus...




Dr Mari

Sunday, June 13, 2021

The Last 3 Sermons - Fr. Russell's Trifecta

This summer marks a significant transition for our family. My husband Russell has served as associate rector for pastoral care at our church for fourteen years while also serving the children, teachers, and administration as the chaplain for our outstanding pre-school. As he transitions to a new ministry, it's been so moving to hear his last few sermons these past three weeks. I've been asked to post them by several people, so here is the link to the trifecta of sermons by Fr. Russell beginning with Trinity Sunday (May 30, 2021), followed by a powerful D-day message about Christ's victory (June 6, 2021), and ending with today's moving reflections on the Gospel message and Fr. Russell's final exhortations (June 13, 2021).

Endings may be bittersweet, yet we feel blessed and immensely grateful. We have another forever family in our church community that we will take with us wherever we go. We also know that endings are essential for new beginnings, so we're excited for all that lies ahead.

As Russ follows God's call to "a new thing," we know the promise spoken over our family years ago will continue to be fulfilled in God's perfect time and way. As we follow God Father, Son, and Holy Spirit  we thank Him for calling us as a family to be "oaks of righteousness, His planting for the display of His splendor" (Isaiah 61:3).

Imperfect as we are, we acknowledge our absolute reliance on Him for everything, and we are grateful to know that our future ministry and lives are in His hands. We have a few more weeks, still, with our church family of 21 years and will cherish every conversation, prayer, and hug. 

Thank You, Lord, for Your goodness and love. We are blessed.



See, I am doing a new thing!
    Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?

Isaiah 43:19a 

Sunday, May 30, 2021

Join Us for Live CME in Women's Health!

This summer, I am working with the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) again to offer evidence-based CME covering health issues unique to women. Women’s health encompasses so much, and family physicians are often the first point of contact for health-related moments throughout a woman’s life.

Join us via livestream June 9-12, 2021 and earn up to 20 live CME credits as you explore topics you need daily in practice!

AAFP livestream courses like this one are designed in half-day sessions you can access from anywhere. Attend the full course or choose from half-day sessions to suit your schedule. As a faculty presenter at the conference, I am thrilled to have tested the technology, which will enhance the experience for all of us!

Follow the link to register for the AAFP Women’s Health Livestream coming up June 9-12, 2021! For more information, visit I hope to ‘see’ you there!


Dr. Mari

Saturday, May 29, 2021

Healthy Living Tips for All!

A few years ago, I was proud to collaborate with the Florida Medical Association as they launched the statewide Healthy Living initiative to provide education and resources for physicians and patients. As always, it was a joy to work with their dedicated and supportive staff, and I felt honored to be asked to contribute to such a meaningful project. 

The short video we created provides simple tips to help physicians and other medical professionals incorporate conversations about lifestyle change more naturally. It also speaks of small paradigm shifts with big impact to help us all make healthier choices each day. You may watch the brief video below.

Other resources available from the Healthy Living initiative include motivational interviewing tips, a free healthy living toolkit, and a continuing medical education (CME) presentation titled, Inspiring Change: Lifestyle Choices Made Easier



Dr. Mari

Saturday, March 13, 2021

A Unique Physician Wellness Conference: Join Us in April!

One of my favorite conferences of the year is coming up ... I'm so excited! It's always inspiring, equipping, and a lot of fun. And this year, it comes at the perfect time.  

We all need some refreshing, don't we?

I've been blessed to serve as faculty, content developer, and presenter at the AAFP Physician Health & Wellbeing Conference every year since its inception. And this year, we have another superb conference planned on a fantastic virtual platform. I will provide a keynote session where I'll share stories from my 25 years in medicine and strategies to de-escalate difficult encounters. My second presentation will be packed with gems from my book, Recapturing Joy in Medicine, recently referred to as "a love letter to the medical profession." Yes, that made my year ... because it's true!

I'm particularly excited to be part of a special session we've planned where we hope to connect with our colleagues in a deeper way ... by being just a bit vulnerable. We're letting ourselves be stretched to connect with one another. It will be unique and very meaningful. I can't wait!

Join us via livestream this April 7-9, 2021 for a conference that changes lives. Reach out to me here with any questions. Follow the link or click on the image above to learn more about the conference and register. I hope to see you there!


Dr. Mari

Friday, March 5, 2021

Finishing Well in the Storms of Life

Finishing well. Such an energizing, hopeful statement, isn't it?

The title of my next retreat is Finishing Well in the Storms of Life

The Quiet Day retreat is coming up on Tuesday, March 9, 2021 starting at 9:30 am ET

I will lead three short reflections followed by time for prayer, meditation, journaling, or whatever your soul needs to reflect and rest.

Join us at 9:30 am ET via livestream or in person (following all CDC protocols, including masks, social distancing, etc.). We will adjourn at 11:30 am.


As a bonus, I have a FREE GIFT for all attendees. Follow the link to download my book, Finishing Well in the Storms of Life, which will form the basis for my reflections at the retreat. The book will walk you through Paul's letters to the Philippians and Colossians as we explore the theme of perseverance and finishing well with faith and hope. I would love your feedback HERE and hope the book enriches your journey through Lent.


Dr. Mari 

This retreat will be a nice follow-up to the Quiet Day retreat I led in March 2020 right as the pandemic began in our community. You can read more about that in Standing Together in Times of Uncertainty.

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