The ‘Mother of Priest’ club

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Lee en Español AQUI

By Fr. Guillermo Trevino

Those who know me well know that my mother Maria Treviño does not speak English. However, that does not stop her from making the most of every situation and trying the best she can to be herself. At the ordination Mass for two priests and two deacons last month, the ushers tried to move her to the back of the church until Deacon Dominic Nguyen told the ushers that she was with him!

Fr. Trevino

She had a great seat for the ordination liturgy and now was part of Deacon Dominic’s family! Bishop Thomas Zinkula, according to my mother, was very kind as well and gave my mother a hug. Other priests greeted her as they walked into the cathedral. Why? How? I want to introduce you to a very special club, the mother of a priest club. While I was at Conception Seminary College in Conception, Missouri, the Latino seminarians noted that my mother was their mother, as they couldn’t see their mothers who were in another country. My mom has a special gift with people; as I say, it’s no thanks to me!

I want to share a unique friendship of two priest mothers. I use this story every Pentecost to show the power of the faith and in a sense, the priesthood. Father Kevin Anstey’s mother, Belinda Anstey, did not speak Spanish. My mother, Maria, as I said before, does not speak English. Yet when they saw each other, they greeted and hugged one another because they could understand each other completely.

On July 13, 2013, Father Kevin was ordained a deacon. The next day, he served his first Mass as a deacon at St. Patrick Church in Ottumwa. I made sure to go and took my mother with me. After the Mass, we went to a reception at the Anstey farm. My mother really liked the drive, seeing the farmland and the region. When she saw Belinda Anstey, my mother Maria started saying in Spanish, “This is a great place…” Belinda finished the sentence in English, “Yes, I know, to raise a family.”

It is amazing what we can accomplish when we let go of cultural barriers. I was amazed how both mothers had the same train of thought, regardless of the language they spoke. That is the Holy Spirit at work in our lives. Belinda Anstey passed away on July 8 and I remember telling my mom about it. My mother told me to give Father Kevin a hug and to tell him we love him very much.

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At the funeral Mass, I was one of 20 priests. When I approached Father Kevin’s dad, Dennis Anstey, he said the same thing about me as my mom said about Father Kevin. “Know that she (Belinda) loved you very much.” It is so sad to lose a loved one, especially one’s mother. But it is comforting to know how much we are loved, especially by our mothers, who helped raise us and make us the priests we are today.

(Father Guillermo Treviño is pastor of St. Joseph parishes in Columbus Junction and West Liberty.)


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