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Finding Good in Everything



Aumack-MaryBy Mary Quilici Aumack
Executive Director
The Catholic Community Foundation

This is an accounting of two weeks in my life; finding God in everything.

Doug and I live in the Santa Cruz Mountains, just outside Los Gatos. It’s a 20-minute drive to church, and yet worlds away. This “telling” starts with the first big rain of the season. There was very little in San Jose, yet over EIGHT INCHES at our house. We made a fire, watched and listened to the rain and wind, and gave thanks for this precious and important gift.

Just a few days later I was meeting with colleagues when I got a call and learned that my mom was headed to the hospital. Such is this stage of life with our parents and frail health, including the serious decisions that need to be made.  One morning there, my mom and I both received the Eucharist from a delightful volunteer. She explained to me that since O’Connor is no longer a Catholic hospital, the community of Saint Martin of Tours ensures that the Blessed Sacrament is available every day, and back at the church every night. Ministry.

The evening of the day that my mom went to hospital, I was so happy to participate in an endowment reception at Saint Justin Parish. This of course is where my family participated for 50 years. In fact, the mother of one of my elementary school classmates was in attendance. At the gathering we spoke of building FOREVER VALUE for this vibrant community. Father Chris Bransfield inspired us with his hopes and vision for the parish.

About a year ago, I attended another such gathering at a parish where we talked about endowment. The next day a parishioner called to say (and I quote here directly): “This (the new parish endowment) is the answer to my prayers. I knew I wanted to recognize my parish in my estate plan. I didn’t want to leave an expendable gift. I didn’t want to burden the parish with a small endowment. Now I don’t have to.” Last week we received word that this parishioner went to heaven in August and did indeed leave a gift to continue the ministry of his parish.

This past weekend I veered from my normal Mass schedule in order to have a better time to visit with my mom. My friend Monsignor Browne said Mass. His homily so fit the timbre of this time for me. In reflecting on the Gospel, he reminded us that we find our humanity in our commonality with others, not in our differences. He encouraged us to “relax into the good news that God names us all sisters and brothers.” Good to remember that in this contentious election season.

In the three days that my mom was in the hospital, several of my friends and colleagues, clergy and lay, reached out to me with words of encouragement and promises of prayer. And my family rallied, even sneaking a little dog in to cheer her up (and elate the staff). I am grateful for all.

My mom is home now, with a new pacemaker aiding her quality of life.

There was God, in the gift of rain, the care of my mom, the volunteer Eucharistic minister, the support of family and friends, the spirit of the parish of my childhood, the instructive and comforting words of Monsignor Browne. and the gift of FOREVER VALUE to a parish from a grateful member of that faith community.

If you’ve ever read my “stuff,” you know that my faith is a strong and comforting presence in my life, and that it stems from gratitude. My abiding motto is this: It’s simply not possible to be more blessed than I.

I hope you find God in everything the day that you read this, and that your gratitude spills out and is evident to your community.