Our neighbor, Maria Magdalena, whom we know and love as Magda, died alone in the middle of the night. Her lungs collapsed from a respiratory infection after a bout with the flu. We prepared food for many of her family when they came in from Mexico.
After her husband, Adrian, drowned in the lake behind our homes almost 5 years ago she was too sad to worship at the Romanian Baptist Church where they had married 19 years ago. She was active in a nearby Bible church with others in the neighborhood.
At the visitation we were a little surprised that a Hispanic deacon we know was there to say the Rosary. But of course, those from Mexico needed to say those prayers. It is part of their culture, part of who they are, and who Magda was as a child. The deacon alternated between Spanish and English decades. We were the only ones in our area of the chapel saying the decades.
The row of teachers from the school where Magda taught first grade, all remained seated in front of us. I just did the appropriate thing—knelt and prayed the Rosary behind them.
The pastor of the Romanian Baptist Church delivered a long evangelistic tribute to Magda and her late husband in English. I wondered how many in the chapel that spoke only Spanish or Romanian understood him. It was truly a diverse service.
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