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Happy Fall! September and October brought us
notable first anniversaries. September 27th was the 1st anniversary of the beatification of our beloved Don Alvaro which many of you attended, and October 26th was the 1st anniversary of the great Walnut Grove Flood to which many of you contributed generously for the restoration. While there will be no article below dedicated to the Flood Anniversary, you will find a cascade of miracles attributed to Bl. Don Alvaro over the past year. Since I missed the submission deadline for getting favors attributed to Don Alvaro to be published below, I will take my shot here. I hope the editor doesn’t mind. Here goes...Since before the beatification last year, several members of our family have been praying daily prayer cards to Don Alvaro for various intentions: a job, a house, a car,
insurance, and a baby. All requests were granted before the 1st anniversary of Don Alvaro’s
beatification, which was also the baby’s due date! For a flood of favors granted, which were
submitted punctually, see below.
Warm regards, Lauren Ellis
Grandmother's Tea Party
On October 24th, Walnut Grove Cultural Center (WGCC) proudly hosted its 4th Annual Grandmother’s Day Tea Party! In attendance were grandmothers, mothers, and their children and grandchildren to celebrate and honor grandmothers for the service and wisdom they provide to families and society. Fr. Bill Stetson gave a thought provoking meditation about how grandparents can pass down the faith to their grandchildren in profound ways. He used examples and quotes from Pope Francis on the value of the elderly’s wisdom and experience.
Lauren Ellis, President of WGCC gave a talk about the beautiful ways grandmothers can teach their granddaughters the value and beauty of the care of the home. Lauren shared touching and personal stories of how her grandmother gave her a handwritten, family recipe book on her wedding day.
We all delighted in the beauty of the elegant and refined atmosphere of lovely flowers, silver platters and tiers of delicious tea sandwiches, scones, and treats served with tea! There was an atmosphere of great joy from all attendees.
Girls from our Pathfinder’s Summer Camp and Girls Club entertained us with songs they learned from camp. The photo booth captured some delightful memories of the day, as families took fun photos together.
A raffle concluded the afternoon that included beautiful gift baskets and a silent auction for Disneyland tickets. There was great excitement as the ladies won their raffle prizes knowing their financial contributions support the endeavors at Walnut Grove. A heartfelt thank you to everyone’s hard work, dedication and support of this special event to celebrate grandmothers and support
Walnut Grove! See you again next year!
Assisted Suicide: Bad Medicine, Bad Law
On September 12th Walnut Grove Cultural Center proudly presented the informative workshop, Assisted Suicide: Bad Medicine, Bad Law with expert, guest speaker Mr. Ashton Ellis, a research consultant for the Task Force for Life and Dignity for the Diocese of Orange. This is a very timely and serious topic with our California legislators passing the End of Life Options Act, and there is strong campaign to legalize assisted suicide throughout the U.S. Ashton Ellis gave an in depth historical view point of the euthanasia and assisted
suicide movement in the United States and in California. He also discussed what we can to help stop the legalization of assisted suicide in our nation and state. The stakes are very high as assisted suicide laws will have a dramatic impact on social policies, medicine, and end of life issues. We were encouraged to continue to be educated on this issue, to inform others, to pray, and to take action to protect the vulnerable and defend our God-given human dignity of life from conception until natural death.
Update: On Oct 5th, 2015, despite objections and strong opposition, California Governor Jerry Brown signed the assisted suicide bill. The earliest this controversial bill may go into effect would be sometime in April 2016. There’s also pending referendum to overturn the law. There are only 90 days to gather necessary signatures to place this referendum on the November 2016 ballot. Consider joining the movement. You can access information about the referendum effort at www.stopassistedsuicide.com.
LA Archbishop Jose Gomez said this in a letter to state lawmakers: “Death will always be a mystery and will never be easy--for those who are dying or for those who love them. But we can make it less painful, less frightening and we can even make it a time of beauty, mercy and
reconciliation. Once we start down this path, once we establish in law that some lives are not worth ‘paying for’--there’s no turning back. The logic of doctor-assisted suicide does not stop with the terminally ill.”
OPus Dei News:
September 27th, 2015:
1st Anniversary of the beatification of Don Alvaro Del Portillo
A Reflection By Rebecca Chan
Steve Jobs said that connecting the dots in “Life” can only be done by looking backwards. You have
to have “Faith” to move forward. Faith, that your path is true. Follow your passion. I was invited to attend the beatification of Don Alvaro two years ago. Although I had heard his name, knew who he was, I really didn’t know. I think the word that comes to mind is overwhelmed. I was overwhelmed by the Love he invoked. As I quietly experienced it all, I did not know what hit me. But something definitely did. As I “connect the dots,” there are three things I want to share in this reflection.
1. Prayers got me there...Faith. I had no idea how I was getting to Spain, but I got swept into the
need to go. A desire I had no idea where it was coming from. Yet, things began to fall into place.
2. My destination was Rome. To experience the Beatification was a lesson. It was the experience of “becoming/being a part.” It was amazing to talk to so many from around the world. But it was in Rome I found the answer to my question, “who are you?” It was in Rome, I knelt before Don Alvaro
and asked him, “You got me here, now what?”
3. I still cannot explain this past year in words. It has been like a crisp morning after raining all night. I’ve always known my passion. It’s been shoved under a rug from time to time. You know how we sometimes put things where we can’t see it. “Out of sight, out of mind.”
In the end, I have always known that sharing Christ in the middle of the world is my passion. It’s not a new road that I travel. I’ve just been given a new car to drive. It has better handling, more fuel efficient and a navigation system!
Early in my professional life, I adopted Alvaro del Portillo as a patron in the workplace. While learning to sanctify my work, I realized that doing a good job was just the beginning. Practicing
the virtues of docility and serenity with my colleagues was much more important, and many times, much more challenging. For one coworker and myself, Bishop del Portillo’s example was particularly inspiring. Thinking of him as a “shadow”, who faithfully followed St. Josemaria Escriva as Opus Dei was just beginning, we often encouraged each other to “Be Don Alvaro”, which meant to go along with leadership authorities with reliability, ease, and trust. Decades have passed since I saw this former officemate, but those lessons learned at the beginning of our careers still remain present. Imagine the joy of our unexpected reunion in Madrid after Bishop del Portillo’s beatification at the church where Don Alvaro received the sacraments of Confirmation
and First Communion! My friend commented, “All those years we did our best to ‘be Don Alvaro’...and look where we are!” How thankful we each are for the influence that this holy
man has made in our lives! ~ Caroline
I went to the Beatification for the simple reason that I wanted a holiday with friends I already knew and have fun with them touring Spain and France. Little did I know that this trip was a witnessing for me. I was moved by the people from all around the world displaying their sincere faith by believing that then Servant of God Álvaro del Portillo was worthy of being beatified. Amidst the energy prevailing then, I met so many who were looking forward and planning to attend his canonization, God willing, whenever that may be. A year has passed, my friendships in the Work have been multiplied and strengthened with people of faith from around the globe. The faith formation classes that I attend are clearer to me after witnessing the faith, hope and love of the members and cooperators. ~Agnes
For over a few months, I prayed hard for my son’s intention to be able to get accepted at a good
university for PA (Physician’s Assistant). Through the intercession of Bl Don Alvaro, he
was able to pass the test and was accepted to USC for the PA Program. Thank You! ~ Julie
We were praying for a friend, (a Cooperator) who wanted to have a baby. She found out she was
pregnant exactly on the day of Don Alvaro’s beatification! ~VV
Odor of Sanctity. At the end of the mass of beatification in Madrid, exactly after the final song ended, a group of us from Los Angeles experienced the most lovely scent which permeated the air. ~RY
for current calendar visit www.walnutgrovecenter.org
Seminar: Faith & Reason
-Ten Commandments 10:00 am to 12:30 pm
-Theology Seminar: The Apostles Creed 12:30 - 1:30 pm.
Meets every 1st Saturday of the month: 11/7 & 12/5
Evenings & Days of Recollection for women at Walnut Grove
Every 4th Mondays at 6:15 - 9:00 pm and 4th Tuesdays at 9:30 am - 12:30 pm.
11/13-15 @ Holiday Inn, La Mirada.
To reserve, contact Marta Torres: firstname.lastname@example.org; 661-254-0688
2015 Workshop at Walnut Grove:
11/7 Creating Wealth/Piggy Bank Builder Workshop. To register, email@example.com
Christmas Party at Walnut Grove on 12/12 from 2:00 to 4:00 pm