“Cravings: Exploring the Connection between Food, Faith, and Our Quest for Wholeness and Holiness”

Mary De Turris Poust, Nationally recognized public speaker, retreat leader, blogger and author of six books on Catholicism and spirituality.

So often what feels like hunger for food is really a hunger for something much deeper, a craving for the kind of fullness that only God can provide. Food often becomes a way to fill the void, but it never truly satisfies. The result is an endless cycle of eating issues, self-esteem struggles, and untapped spiritual potential. Join Mary DeTurris Poust, author of Cravings: A Catholic Wrestles with Food, Self-Image, and God (Ave Maria Press), as she explores the undeniable connection between physical and spiritual nourishment and how we can discover the path to wholeness, self-acceptance and serenity by exploring the relationship between food and faith.

Monday, march 7, 2016 at 7:00 p.m.      

Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish, 4401 Mount Royal Dr., Windsor

Public and free presentation, reception to follow. Tel. 519-973-7033 press ‘0’ or by e-mail cbertrand@assumptionu.ca

 

Thomas Merton on Social Justice

Dr. Norman King, The Stephen Jarislowsky Chair in Religion and Conflict

In light of his Christian monastic background, his growing sense of the social implications of the contemplative life, and his dialogue with Eastern religions, Thomas Merton came to a deepening awareness of the values involved in social issues, and developed a theology of non-violent social justice, which will be explored in this presentation.

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 25, 2016 AT 4:30 P.M.

Iona College, 208 Sunset Ave., Windsor, ON

Tel. 519-973-7033 press ‘0’ or by e-mail cbertrand@assumptionu.ca

Public and Free Presentation.  Discussion and Refreshments to follow.

 Sponsored by the Centre for Religion and Culture, Assumption University

CHRISTIAN CULTURE SERIES 2015-2016 is pleased to present Fr. Thomas Rosica, C.S.B.

FR. THOMAS ROSICA, C.S.B.

 

Tuesday, November 17, 2015 at 7:00 p.m.

 Good Shepherd Parish/st. Gregory site

13789 St. Gregory Road, Tecumseh

(Parking available at the front and back of the church.)

 

“The Pope, the Synod and the Response of Mercy”

The October 2015 Synod on the Family is an integral event and process in the pastoral vision of Pope Francis.  The Bishop of Rome has revived the 50 year old institution of the Synod of Bishops with his new style, dynamism and insistence on open dialogue among the shepherds of the Church. What does the Synod mean for the Church? How is it an instrument and agent of reform? How does it lead the whole Church into the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy?

 Public and free presentation, reception to follow.

Tel. 519-973-7033 press ‘0’ or by e-mail cbertrand@assumptionu.ca

This presentation will be televised on Salt and Light Catholic Television Network.

A Symposium: “Is Compassion Possible in a Troubled World?” October 25/15 – 2:00 p.m.

Assumption University Centre for Religion and Culture/The Inter-Faith Group of Windsor and Essex County

present

A Symposium: “Is Compassion Possible in a Troubled World?”

Perspectives from Spiritualities of the World”

Speakers from: First Nations, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim, Sikh traditions

will address briefly the meaning and place of compassion and suggest its role in our

personal lives and in our involvement in today’s world

Sunday, October 25, 2015, 2:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Windsor Essex Children’s Aid Society

1671 Riverside Drive East, Windsor

Public and Free Symposium/Light Refreshments to follow.

For further information or to register in advance please contact

Dr. Norman King 519-972-7692 or nking@uwindsor.ca

Cécile Bertrand 519-973-7033 ext. 0 or cbertrand@assumptionu.ca

or you may simply sign in as you come to the event itself.

 

Fr. Michael Prieur guest speaker at CCBI-A Sept. 24/15 at 7:00 p.m.

The Canadian Catholic Bioethics Institute at

Assumption University (CCBI-A)

is pleased to announce

 

REV. MICHAEL PRIEUR

Professor of Moral and Sacramental Theology

Topics: The Health Ethics Guide,

Papal Encyclical “On Care for our Common Home” (Laudato Si) & Moral and Spiritual Issues in End of Life Care

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 24TH,2015AT 7:00 P.M.

St. Paul’s Parish Hall

5885 Malden Road, LaSalle, Ontario

PUBLIC AND FREE PRESENTATION WITH RECEPTION TO FOLLOW.

For more information please contact Cécile Bertrand at

519-973-7033 Ext. 0 or CCBI-A@assumptionu.ca

Presentation of the Christian Culture Gold Medals – May 13, 2015

Assumption University’s Christian Culture Series anticipated the Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World, Gaudium et Spes, by 30 years. Since its founding in 1934 by Father Stanley Murphy, C.S.B. the Series has understood “culture” as a universal, holistic, and integrated way of being of the human person. Promoting Christian culture, it has continuously shown an openness and receptivity that balances tradition and contemporary relevance. The many distinguished presenters in this prestigious series have included Church leaders, religious and lay, theologians, scientists, historians, poets, novelists, artists, political figures and economists. Each person has been a witness to Christian culture.

 

The Christian Culture Award Gold Medal is bestowed annually on an “outstanding exponent of Christian ideals.” Father Murphy and Father W. J. Guinan, C.S.B., then President of Assumption College, co-founded the Award as an outgrowth of the Christian Culture Series to highlight the accomplishments of lay Christians.

 

In 1941 the first Gold Medal was awarded to Sigrid Undset, the famed Norwegian Nobel Prize novelist and refugee from the Nazis. Since that time the list of those awarded the Gold Medal shows how prestigious it has become. Past recipients include Jacques Maritain, Robert Speaight, Paul Martin, Sr., Dorothy Day, William Kurelek, Marshal McLuhan, Barbara Ward, Jean Chrétien, Dr. John Polanyi, Jean Vanier and most recently Vaticanista and award-winning author John Thavis.

 

The Medal depicts a human hand and a mustard plant with the inscription in Latin, “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a mustard seed.” The hand suggests the human co-operation expected by God in the coming of the Kingdom. The mustard plant is used by Jesus as a symbol of the Kingdom’s power to grow. On the back of the Medal is inscribed the name of the Medalist and the year and the words, “Christian Culture Award, Assumption University.”

 

What does this medal celebrate? I would like to suggest two important things.  First of all it acknowledges the public proclamation of the recipient’s belief and worldview. Pope Benedict XVI said in his first encylical Deus Caritas Est, “Being a Christian is not the result of an ethical choice or a lofty idea, but the encounter with an event, a person, which gives life a new horizon and a decisive direction.” The recipient has encountered Jesus Christ and allowed his or her life to be motivated and directed by that encounter. Whether Catholic or Protestant, the encounter with Christ is a life-changing event and commission to go out and bring Christ’s message to the world. The recipient is an ambassador of Christ who quietly seeks to influence and transform the culture around us.

 

What deeply unites all Christians and makes every difference secondary is a renewed faith in and love for the person of Jesus of Nazareth. Not, the Jesus of dogma, of theology, of the respective traditions, but the risen Jesus who is alive today in the Spirit.

 

This evening we have the privilege of acknowledging four Christians: one Lutheran and three Catholic members of the same family. Our first recipient of the Gold Medal this evening is Dr. Alan Wildeman, a Lutheran scholar who was appointed as the sixth President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Windsor on July 1, 2008.  He is now in his second term as President of this venerable public university in Canada.

 

Raised in the Prairies of Saskatchewan, Alan completed his PhD in Genetics at the University of Guelph in 1982, and accepted his first academic appointment at the University of Guelph in 1985. Throughout his academic career he taught undergraduate and graduate courses on a range of topics including genetics, biotechnology, and art history. In 2001 he was appointed Vice-President (Research) at the University of Guelph.  His research interests have focused on various aspects of cancer cell biology and biotechnology, and he served for many years on review panels for the Medical Research Council and National Cancer Institute of Canada.

 

Since coming to Windsor, he has been an instrument and ambassador of bold creativity and renewal, motivated by the University of Windsor’s mission of enabling people to make a better world through education, scholarship, research and community engagement. He includes among the most important times for the University the convocation ceremonies, the events that celebrate excellence in teaching, research and creative activity, and the opportunities to recognize the achievements of students, faculty and staff. His decisions and actions have been truly Christian: leaven in a Windsor society that has struggled in the midst of many economic, social and moral challenges. Dr. Wildeman has brought hope – Christian hope – to many people. He has been a good, faithful, trustworthy friend to Assumption University, and to me personally.  At a time when our own future as a Catholic institution was at its lowest ebb, Alan Wildeman believed in us and helped us to regain our original mission of being joy and hope, salt and light on this campus. It is an honor and privilege to recognize you, Alan, for all you have done and been for us, and will continue to be for the family of Assumption University of Windsor. You are an ambassador of Christian culture, and this evening we thank you for your bold leadership and Christian witness.

 

Bestowal of medal to Dr. Alan Wildeman

 

The next recipients of our Gold Medal have come from afar – from Milan, Italy. Pierluigi Molla and his wife Lisi are here this evening, representing two other members of the Molla family – unable to be with us- his sisters Gianna Emanuela and Laura. Pierluigi, Gianna and Laura, three laypersons – are the children of a saint- Gianna Beretta Molla, a married laywoman, medical doctor and mother of a family.  She died in 1962, on the eve of the Second Vatican Council. She was proclaimed blessed in 1994 and canonized – the last canonization by St. John Paul II in 2004. When Pierluigi, Gianna and Laura say that their mother was a saint, they mean it! This past Sunday in Winnipeg, the first parish Church and shrine was dedicated to the memory of St. Gianna Molla.

 

In his 1990 Encyclical Letter “Redemptoris Missio”, “On the permanent validity of the Church’s missionary mandate,” St. John Paul II wrote:

 

The universal call to holiness is closely linked to the universal call to mission. Every member of the faithful is called to holiness and to mission. This was the earnest desire of the Council, which hoped to be able “to enlighten all people with the brightness of Christ, which gleams over the face of the Church, by preaching the Gospel to every creature.”

 

Several years before his election to the Papacy, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger told an interviewer, “The only really effective case for Christianity comes down to two arguments, namely, the saints the church has produced and the art which has grown in her womb.”

 

Pierluigi, you and your sisters have been entrusted with the special mission of transforming our culture with the story of holiness – the story of your mother’s heroic Christian life. As Catholics we have the blessed privilege of seeking the beauty of holiness and the holiness of beauty.  The lives of the saints and blesseds are a great consolation and source of hope and beauty, no matter how difficult are the times in which we are living.   They offer us a recipe for holiness and model for our lives patterned on the Beatitudes [Matthew 5:1-12].

 

As Benedict XVI reminded the throngs of young people gathered around him at Marienfeld during World Youth Day 2005 in Cologne, Germany, “The saints … are the true reformers. Now I want to express this in an even more radical way: Only from the saints, only from God does true revolution come, the definitive way to change the world.”

 

Over these past years since your mother’s death, you have boldly and courageously shared with the world a message of hope and an inspiration of Christian living, especially for lay people. You have done this in your respective professions of finance, medicine and Real Estate. You are not only transmitting her story to us, you are also putting to practice her message in your own lives.  You have reminded us that during these times and crises of immense fragmentation and division, we learn from your mother’s life how to keep our feet firmly planted on earth and our eyes fixed on our heavenly homeland. When we think of holiness in these terms – as a kind of direction, rather than a destination – we have a sense that what unites us with the saints, our fellow travelers, is much deeper than all that sets us apart.

 

It is an honor and privilege for me to bestow upon you and your two sisters, Gianna Emanuela and Laura, the Gold Medal of Assumption University for your significant contributions to fostering a Christian Culture of family life and holiness around the entire world.

 

Bestowal of three medals to Pierluigi Molla

 

I now invite Pierluigi Molla to address this assembly.

 

Address of Pierluigi Molla – Christian Culture Gold Medal May 13, 2105

Fr. Rosica, President Emeritus of Assumption University,

Dr. Wildeman, President of the University of Windsor,

Principal Richard Corneil,

Distinguished Guests and Friends,

It is a great privilege for me to be here with you this evening in Windsor at Assumption University, a great institution of higher learning founded by the Basilian Fathers, and to represent my sisters Gianna Emanuela and Laura who could not be with us. To have been chosen as the recipients of this prestigious and historic Christian Culture Gold Medal is an honor for which we are deeply grateful. To be reunited with our good friend, Fr. Thomas Rosica, fills me with gratitude for his years of close friendship and care for my family. In many ways, it was Fr. Rosica who helped spread the knowledge of and devotion to my mother throughout North America and beyond, ever since we first met in 1998

In receiving this medal tonight on behalf of my sisters, you have chosen to honor my mother, Gianna Beretta Molla, proclaimed blessed and saint by St. John Paul II. The late Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini rightly called her: “Women, Mother, Doctor, Lover of Life.” This Gold Medal honors precisely those qualities found in a woman of our time: one who believed in the full dignity of women; one who lived out her lay vocation as a medical student, doctor, wife and mother. More than anything else, my mother Gianna was an outstanding exponent of Christian ideals.  She gave witness to the Gospel and to Christian culture in everyday life. She lived out her lay vocation with joy and hope, generosity and service, sacrifice and unwavering commitment.

I would like to share with you my testimony about my mother’s life, with its constant, daily profession of faith, and the motivations behind her every step that led to her decisions. In what I say, however, I prefer that it be my mother herself who speaks to you, through not only my words but also her own, as well as through her actions. Her message is so clear and luminous that often her words need no further explanation. Her life, sanctified from beginning to end, is best characterized by the themes of family, apostolate and profession. She lived and died an apostle, a doctor and a mother.

In this regard, I would like to evoke some words from the homily preached by Pope John Paul II during my mother’s beatification on the 24th April 1994: “We would like to pay homage to all brave mothers who dedicated themselves to their own family without reserve, who suffer in giving birth to their children and who are ready to make any effort, to face any sacrifice, in order to pass on to them the best of themselves.”

Her Roots: The family of origins

“Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” (Genesis 2: 24)

My grandparents, Alberto and Maria, were profound believers. They raised a large and hard-working family, dedicated to charity and participating in the local Church. A solid Christian education in an atmosphere of serenity and mutual respect formed the first “school” of holiness for Gianna, who would grow to reflect the moral stance of her parents and the spiritual richness inherited from the family. Their example was passed on to the children through the small and simple gestures of a daily life lived according to the Word of God, which has borne fruit. My mother was surrounded by many brothers and sisters who all followed the light of faith, mutually supporting each other throughout their lives.

My mother’s brothers and sisters have been for us children a constant and a guiding light during our lives.  I would like briefly to mention them:

-Mother Virginia is a Canossian Nun and physician who served as a missionary in India;

-Aunt Zita, who graduated in Pharmacy and was really close to Gianna, became our shelter after the death of my mother;

-Uncle Ferdinando, who was also a physician and shared the outpatient clinic with my mother, followed her as private doctor and personal confidante. He was the only one of the brothers who got married and he and his wife had 5 children.

-Uncle Francesco, an engineer and Uncle Monsignor Giuseppe, an engineer too, worked with Uncle Father Alberto, a physician and capuchin missionary, in the project of constructing a hospital in a leper colony in Grajaù in the region of the Maranhao in Brazil. The Church has proclaimed Father Alberto Servant of God and began in 2008 the process for his beatification.

These are the roots from which my mother was born, and from where she started her path of integrity towards her heroic sanctity.

Catholic Action and St. Vincent de Paul Society

“But many of those who had listened to their message became believers; the total number of men had now risen to something like five thousand.” (Acts of the Apostles 4:4)

In Italy there is an association called Azione Cattolica (Catholic Action). Founded in 1868 with its program of Action Prayer and Sacrifice, it was fully accepted by Gianna and lived out in the duties and responsibilities given to her. The purpose of Catholic Action is to spread the name of Christ through acts of the apostolate, maintaining always a strong bond with the Bishop and priests of the local Diocese. During the difficult years of the World War II, a time when many forces were acting against Christian values, this association adopted the role of preparing many lay catholic people to work sustaining the Kingdom of Christ as true supporters of the Church.

Gianna became a member of this association early in her life, at the age of twelve. It was an important factor in her spiritual formation and her apostolate. By reflecting well in her life and spirituality the program of Catholic Action, she has become a role model of holiness for lay people.

As Blessed Paul VI said, she has brought to light the heroism of many Christian mothers. Her exemplary life has been a role model for all mothers of families; her heroic gesture an encouragement always to welcome life with love; her spirituality an example of the path of perfection for the laity. Her life and witness is an invitation to rediscover the Christian love of life and the joy of maternity.

In addition to Catholic Action, my mother was also an active member of another association called St. Vincent de Paul Society, also found throughout the world – even here in Canada.  Mom formed a group in which she was also secretary and animator. This is an apostolate of charity, a group which especially helps those who suffer: sick people, those who live in solitude or in difficult situations, the elderly, those in need of assistance, and those who have been abandoned by their families. To these people, in addition to material help they try to bring joy and serenity. A smile! In these and other situations she wrote that one should always “smile and forgive offenses”.

Her profession of Physician

“I was sick, and you visited me” (Matthew 25:36)

An ancient title for Christ was Christus medicus, meaning the one who cures. As a physician my mother used to say: “It is necessary to act. It is important to bring Jesus to souls and in order to do this he needs us doctors.”

Mom graduated in medicine and surgery in 1949 and she specialized in pediatrics in 1952, finishing first in her class! She chose this specialty not only because of her love for children, but also to be close to mothers – being  able to understand them as both a doctor and a woman. When she became a mother herself, she remained a mother for her patients too.  It has been said about her that “… in her professional activity the thought of her family never limited her generosity in serving the sick; on the contrary it made her more able to understand the problems of other mothers”. She lived her profession as a true mission as she said herself in one of her reflections: “Do your part well and study your science well”.

A woman and a professional, Gianna lived in full coherence those ideas and beliefs, which were the result of her deeply Christian and genuinely evangelical formation, and of her excellent professional and moral preparation, and which arose from her genuine humanity, competence, honesty, devotion and respect for people. In confirmation of this, the first after her death to recognize her stature and influence was the lay governmental authority of the Province of Milan. In 1950 she opened an outpatient clinic in Mesero, which had added to her responsibility as district municipal doctor and where she would work until her death. In addition, after her wedding, she was responsible in the town of Ponte Nuovo for the pediatric clinic, and school physician of the private day care run by the Canossian Nuns in the State Primary School.

She devoutly employed herself for the healing, body and soul, of her patients. From the first period of her work, we still have 5 sheets of her prescription book, in which she noted her thoughts on the medical profession, about which she had very precise ideas. She placed the profession of the doctor squarely in the real word, but also having the particular prerogative of standing before a body in which God has “grafted the divine”, before that bodily and spiritual greatness of the human being, through whom God, not wanting to be an abstract idea, has chosen to reveal himself. For this reason she helped the needy not just with her professional skills but also financially. She wrote: “ If I cure a sick man who does not have anything to eat, what will the medicine do?”  “… We doctors, we work on the man. He is not just a body…. He is a body but also a supernatural soul… . We doctors, we touch Jesus in the body of our patients.”

The Forming of her own family

“Who can find a virtuous woman for her price is far above rubies? … She opens her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.” (Proverbs 31: 10-26)

The first dream of my mother was to travel as a missionary doctor to Brazil, where her brothers, Alberto and Francesco, were building the hospital in Grajau. Because of her health, which would not have been able to endure the climate, she was strongly advised against going to Brazil. At the same time she also felt attracted to married life and having children of her own. She prayed much to understand the will of God. She once wrote to a friend: “The paths of God are all beautiful, in that the end is always the same: to save our soul and manage to draw many other souls close to Paradise to glorify God”.

In June 1954 mom went with a train of sick people to the shrine of Lourdes, in France and coming back she signed up for the Association of Catholic Doctors and the Medical Association of Notre-Dame of Lourdes. She wrote: “…I went to Lourdes to ask to the Holy Virgin what I should do: leave for the missions or get married?”  In December of that year she met my father Pietro Molla. Of that decisive encounter, the day after it happened, my father wrote in his journal: “I feel the serene calm which tells me how good an encounter was the one I had yesterday. The Immaculate Madonna has blessed me.”

Pietro contributed to Gianna’s deeds of charity towards her sick patients and set up in his house a new and more inviting outpatient clinic. They started to exchange letters, the first of many they would write to one another throughout their years together. My father shared fully my mother’s point of view and once he wrote her these words: “Since we have known each other I have witnessed your faith, lived in a clear and complete way, and a spirit of praying so intense, profound and sure of its efficacy.” My parents were married in Magenta on the 24th of September 1955.  Their married life would be very short, only six and a half years, but it was lived with the intensity of a vocation. Convinced that God has placed in men and women the call to life, she immediately wanted children of her own. I was born on November 1956; my sister Mariolina in December 1957, and Laura in July 1959. Finally, Gianna Emanuela was born on the 21st of April 1962.

My mother cared for our moral and religious education, bringing us to Church, teaching us to make small sacrifices, making us reflect in the evenings on the defects of our day.  The family was for her not only a mission, but also the starting point and fulcrum of a life full of many activities, the place of the mind and of the body, from whence comes the energy to face the day ahead of us. In us, her children, there still live many of our mother’s passions – like music and love for the mountains. From the many photographs that we have of her pictured on her skis or during a steep climb, she smiles happily at us, communicating always even after all these years her joy of living those moments in communion with nature and with God. One of my clearest memories I have of mom is being with her in the car when she would ably drive very fast on the roads of those towns where she exercised her medical profession. She would pretend to drive erratically for my own pleasure and hers too! I have always thought that my passion for driving and for cars came from those memories of pure happiness I had with her.

Her Life as Example

“Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.” (Luke 10:37)

One of her classmates who remembers her well once said: “Gianna had such a communicative faith that all the people who were with her, after only a short period of time, felt attracted to the Church and wanted to attend with greater fervor to the Christian life, thanks to her example”

Many witnesses affirm that they have rediscovered their faith thanks to Gianna who helped resolve doubts and moments of crisis by facing problems with not only reason but also the light of the Gospel. One of her priorities has always been that of defending her beliefs with courage.  Every year of her youth was characterized by an intense apostolate. Even later, as a doctor and in her family she would be a full time apostle. Not satisfied merely with words, my mother’s relationship with the Lord led her to action. She was a genuinely human woman, rooted in life, who was so able to unite her rootedness with higher ideals as to reach the highest point a human being can aim for: an authentic witness of Christ. She was a witness to authentic Christianity, that of the Gospels, not one practiced simply by force of habit, motivated mostly by conformism.

When life demanded more of my mother, her faith never wavered for a moment. Her last pregnancy was immediately problematic and she was fully aware of the risks she was about to face.  Yet she always gave first priority to the new life she was carrying within her rather than to herself. There is a certain hostility to this idea in today’s prevailing culture. Yet in the case of my mother, her consideration for the child simply flowed from everything she ever believed and lived. Mom knew perfectly well how her children needed her, but the unborn child had a primary necessity because the child could only depend on her. The others, already born, could have the help of the Divine Providence, in which she firmly believed. My father remembered very precisely her last days and of that time he wrote: “ With incredible strength and with unchanging commitment she carried on her mission of mother and doctor…she prayed and meditated.   She prayed for her child to be born without suffering. A few days before the delivery, with a tone both firm and very peaceful and with a deep glance which I have never forgotten, my mother said: If it comes to choose between me and the baby, no hesitations, choose, and I demand it, the baby, save it.”

Sadly her conditions after the birth of my sister on the 21st of April 1962 took a turn for the worse and despite the medical care she died with much suffering on the 28th of the same month. Her last thoughts and her last words during those terrible days were of Jesus and her children whom she was leaving behind, as she confided to her sister Mother Virginia.

My mother’s action at the end of her life, in saving my sister, Gianna Emanuela, was heroic in that she prepared for her final action every day of her life. Her final decision for life was the natural culmination of an extraordinary life of virtue and holiness, selflessness and quiet joy. Through the gift of her life, she accepted and honored every human being. Through her married love she became a sign of Christ’s love for the Church and for humanity.

Virtuous people know what to do because of their informed conscience.  They no longer do good out of a sense of obligation, bur rather look for opportunities to do good. My mother, Gianna, continues to remind the Church and the world of the necessity of a consistent ethic of life, from the earliest to the final moments of human life. She shows this world, gripped by a culture of death, an alternative gospel way of compelling beauty. Is this not what a true Christian culture is all about?

On behalf of my sisters Gianna Emanuela and Laura, thank you, Fr. Rosica, and thank you, Assumption University, for this prestigious Gold Medal, which is really a recognition of my mother’s life and witness. May her shining Christian example of wholeness and holiness inspire each of us here present, and all those whom we serve, to bring this Christian culture to the world.