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

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