ARCWP Deacon Maureen McGill Joins Women Priests in Visiting the Grieving and Sick
This is Pastor Judy Beaumont, Shayra, Miriam and Deacon Maureen
On Wednesday October 16th Deacon Maureen McGill accompanied women priests Judy Lee and Judy Beaumont in visiting a family in Tampa,Florida. This is a family that the Good Shepherd Co-Pastors have ministered with for many years. Originally from Puerto Rico, with later residence in Florida, the daughter, Nancy, was a MSW student of Dr. Lee’s in the University of Connecticut in the mid 1980’s. She became a wonderful social worker and was also a teacher,a poet and an Evangelical Pastoral Associate. She was the mother of twin girls, Shayra and Mia,now 23. Because of serious Diabetes there were periods of time in which Nancy could not work and she struggled very hard to survive economically and as a single parent . At times she lived with her mother Miriam and she was Miriam’s only child. The family was very close and included an Aunt, Titi Gloria and a niece “Tata” who was raised by Gloria and lived with her in Gloria’s Senior Housing.. This is a family of faith and Nancy was its spiritual leader. She was an inspiration to all who knew her including us. At various times she asked us to pray with her and the family. When Tata was diagnosed with an advanced cancer in 2008 her time was short. The family was in crisis and we all faced this together. I gave dear Tata Holy Anointing and the family prayed with us.When she went home to God, we mourned with the family and helped Nancy to write the funeral liturgy. This loss was especially hard on Titi Gloria. She became especially close to us during this time. On special holidays like Noche Buena, the Christmas celebration, we would join Nancy and her family for a special meal prepared by Nancy and Miriam and for joyful customary singing with friends.
When the girls were 11-12, Nancy was hospitalized for her brittle diabetes and was in a coma for five months. During this time Pastor Judy Beaumont and I would go regularly to Tampa and join Miriam in her bedside vigil,anointing Nancy and praying. MIraculously, Nancy emerged from the coma and began her life again. She was able to make a very special and wonderful Quincenera for her daughters and she was joyful at their High School graduation. She was delighted at knowing her grandaughter Sadie Belle Marisol for seven months. Yet her lot would be to go in and out of the hospital. In April of 2012 she suddenly fell into a coma and was rushed to the hospital where she lasted only a day. The family was in shock and we went immediately to them. Miriam’s grief was profound and she remained in this state for over a year. It was very hard for the whole family to regroup after this profound loss. My own heart is sad as we all face the world without Nancy in it. Yet we recall her with gladness because of who she was and the gifts of herself that she freely gave. With strong faith the family is sure that they will see her again with the Risen Christ. Miriam moved back into Senior Housing and eventually Shayra was able to move in as her caretaker. They are finally picking up the pieces of their lives and are beginning to have the joy in their lives that Nancy wanted for each of them. Yet, a few months ago Titi Gloria had a stroke. She is now in a Nursing Home and regaining some of her abilities. There is still paralysis on one side but speech and some movement is returning.
Deacon Maureen joined us as she lives about a half our outside of Tampa and she is going to follow up in visiting Miriam and Shayra and Titi Gloria. This was a joyful visit as Deacon Maureen was welcomed into their lives.
This is Deacon Maureen encouraging Shayra who designs costumes. Shayra was delighted that Maureen understood the kind of designs and costumes she loves to work on.
When we went together to the Nursing Home Miriam was so happy to bring the surprise visitors to her sister Gloria. Gloria responded first with tears then with great joy.
I read some of Titi Gloria’s favorite Bible passages to her in Spanish and she was able to finish many of the verses. Then we looked at the family history that she kept in her Bible. We learned that this was the same day as her mother’s birthday!
Miriam was happy to see the history so well recorded. Miriam will be ninety in December and Gloria will be 88. Gloria was happy to know that Deacon Maureen would be visiting her and she asked her to call her Titi too-“Aunty”. Maureen said she would be happy to do this.We prayed with Titi and also her roommate. Titi said a loud Amen!
We will be back but we know this wonderful family is in good hands with Deacon Maureen.
Bendiciones y oraciones,
Pastor Judy Lee y Pastor Judy Beaumont