About this blogger:
Ronda Chervin received a Ph.D. in Philosophy from Fordham University and an MA in Religious Studies from Notre Dame Apostolic Institute. A widow, mother, and grandmother, she currently teaches philosophy at Holy Apostles College and Seminary in Cromwell, Connecticut. Write to her at chervinronda@gmail.com.
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“The Church has always kept, and wishes still to maintain everywhere, the language of her Liturgy; and, before the sad and violent changes of the 16th century, this eloquent and effective symbol of unity of faith and communion of the faithful was, as you know, cherished in England not less than elsewhere. But this has never been regarded by the Holy See as incompatible with the use of popular hymns in the language of each country.”
— Pope Leo XIII (1898)

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Senora Magdalena
published 17 June 2011 by Dr. Ronda Chervin

When I lived in Morganton, N.C., I used to see a tiny woman about 4’8” dressed in Guatamalan attire sitting for hours in the Church in prayer or asleep. Over time I learned her story.

She came to the US with her husband many decades ago and is now the grandmother of a clan numbering in the 70’s. She speaks almost no English and little Spanish, but a dialect that few any more understand even in her family. Now a widow, she lives sometimes with one part of the family, other times another – usually with the one with the youngest baby to help. The house she lived in when I moved here is about 5 miles from the Church. There are various cars in the drive way but because the inhabitants are illegal, they only drive these at night to their 24 hour factory jobs.

A frequent communicant, cold winter, or hot blazing summer, Senora Magdalena spends 3 hours of the morning walking to the noon Mass. We daily Mass people with cars can’t call her to pick her up because we don’t know which of the many houses she is in and, in any case, she doesn’t answer the phone. So, whenever we spy her along the streets we pick her up, and we drive her back after Mass to whichever house she wants to go to. To those places she brings food from our parish pantry. In sign language she directs us to these houses.

We have become very fond of her. I was doing a TV series for EWTN on widows and I thought it would be good to take a photo of her to be shone on the show, viewed by 50 million people potentially and the same amount ever time the show is repeated. These were my words when the photo was shown:

As dedicated widows, with Jesus as our Second Bridegroom, we go to daily Mass whenever it is not impossible. I wonder about retired people with cars who find it too difficult to go to daily Mass, when this woman in her 80’s walks 3 miles in cold or torrid heat for the privilege of receiving the Body and Blood of her Savior?

Read more blog entries by Dr. Ronda by visiting RONDAVIEW.

Dr. Ronda Chervin has many free e-books and audios on her website rondachervin.com. If you go to her website and read or listen and then want to correspond with her she will be available. Her schedule does not permit, however, responding to comments on the Blog, though she enjoys reading them. Dr. Ronda’s newest project is spiritualityrunningtogod.com.