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Our community has more than twenty years of history in Dallas. What began as five or six families coming together to study the Bible and pray together, quickly became a community that regularly gathered at nearby churches for Masses and meetings. As the numbers grew, they requested that the Diocese of Dallas help establish a permanent Chinese Catholic community in 1990. In 1992, we put our money together and purchased a small office building in Richardson, Texas. By the end of 1993, we had renovated it to become our sanctuary and activity hall. With the guidance of priests seconded from Taiwan and the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit, our small community grew stronger in numbers and in faith.
第二講由靜玲姐分享了「陪伴員的資格與責任」，她幽默地將人生按歲數分成幾個大階段，在每個階段因著扮演角色的不同而有截然不同的心境轉換。20歲──我們年輕意興風發、看不慣社會的種種、懷著雄心壯志想要「Save World」﹙拯救世界﹚；30歲──剛剛成家立業，開門七件事樣樣不可少，「Save Coupon」﹙存折扣券﹚成為此階段的重點；40歲──半生紅塵翻滾，大勢泰半底定，這時想起了為追求功名事業而被我們忽略了的親人、友人。因此「Save Relationship」﹙珍惜親情﹚便要加緊亡羊補牢，希望為時未晚；50歲──眼看長日將盡，想到人生的下一站不禁茫然，問問「我是誰」？此時「Save Self」救自己的靈魂至關重要；60歲──又回到了「Save World」﹙拯救世界﹚，在人生的洪流中幾經淘洗，上游尖銳多角的頑石，而今已被磨礪成下游河床上謙遜的小圓石。小圓石豪情不減，但這一次已懂得走出自我中心，付出真誠的大愛；做到腳踏實地，不求回報的服務及飲水思源懂得默默回饋的坦然。不同的生命階段有著不同的風光景緻，自也有其困境，但陪伴員能聆聽慕道友在生活中的努力及體驗到的困難，這能更有助於我們的陪伴。
From June 13, 2007 to June 24, 2007
It all started when my mother heard of apparitions of Mary and Jesus in Ohio.My mom decided that this was the perfect summer family trip to go on, so we drove there.Our first stop was a Lady of Snows hotel in Missouri.The scenery was incredible.There was a place there that was made to look like the Grotto in Lourdes.The room we stayed in was very clean and nice.
We woke up and kept driving on to Cleveland, Ohio, our destination. We were all tired of being stuck in one place for a long time. We finally got to our hotel, Homestead Studios. My mom had ordered a suite; it was a little small, but it fit our needs. We all fell asleep fast.
On June 15, 2007, my family went to the Maranatha Spring and Shrine site to walk around and see everything because we wouldn’t see it well at night. We first went to the Prayer Center at the Entrance of the site and prayed. There were statues of Mary, along with others. You could write down your prayers and petitions on slips of paper and drop them in a basket at the foot of the statues. My family saw a part of Mary’s hair on display. We also blessed the items we bought at the bookstore on a piece of carpet that Mary appeared on at the old site. After this, we walked to the Lake of Tears, which had meditations that you would read as you walked along the perimeter of the lake. We kept walking along the road, passing by other lakes, such as the Lake of the Holy Angels, and the Chapel of the Holy Angels. We walked along the road , crossed the field, and walked around the lake of St. Michael. We turned and walked toward the entrance of the Field of the United Hearts. At this point, we all took out our empty water bottles and carefully pumped the water from Maranatha Spring into the bottles. This water was promised by Our Lady to have the same healing grace, both by body and soul, as Lourdes, and will bring peace wherever it is taken. We then walked to the United Hearts Shrine, where statues of Mary and Jesus were decorated with colorful ribbons and sat atop a small hill, with prayer baskets located at their feet. We went to the Foot Path with United Hearts Chaplet Meditations. At the end, we walked over to the statue of St. Pio of Pietrelcina, and sat there for a while. After this, we went into the shelter of the trees and participated in the Stations of the Cross. Back in the field, we went to the lake of St. Joseph. After this, we went back to the hotel, rested, ate dinner, and went to Mass at the next door hotel at 8:00 P. M. in the courtyard. At approximately, 11 o’clock, we went back into the Field of the United Hearts, and waited for the procession to start. Since Mary would come the first night, Jesus the second night, Mary and Jesus would arrive in the afternoon on the third day. We prayed our rosaries as we waited for Mary to show up. As expected because we hadn’t slept enough in the afternoon, my sisters Diane and Jordan and I fell asleep.
On June 16, 2007, we went to the Amish part of Ohio. We visited an Amish farm with animals. We went to a schoolhouse that had an old buggy inside, and other interesting things such as a butter churner, and an old sewing machine. After this, we went to pick juicy strawberries. We bought beef jerky at an Amish store. When we got back to our hotel, we slept a little, and then we went to Mass afterwards. After Mass, we set out again for Maranatha Spring. We sat there, and the procession started, including my sisters and my mom in it. When my mom got back, she told us that there was a statue of a crying Mary. I was so excited. We prayed the rosary, and when Jesus came that night, my sister and I took pictures of the statues of Mary and Jesus. We thumbed back to the pictures and noticed semi-translucent white circles floating through the air. They were ANGELS!!! We also took pictures of the crying Mary. It was very moving.
On June 17, 2007, we went to Mass in the morning because it was Sunday. We went back to the hotel to eat lunch. After lunch, we went back into the field. We were early, so we sat in the shade until the program started. When the rosary started, we started kneeling down and praying. My sister and I took pictures when Jesus and Mary came, but we didn’t get anything. We filled up our water bottles again with water from the Marantha Spring when the program ended. It was a great experience.
The next day we went to Niagara Falls. The view was absolutely breathtaking! When we were looking down from the top, I got freaked out because it was such a long drop down! We could see a tiny rainbow above the rocks. We then drove over the border to the old Chinatown in Toronto, Canada, where my great-aunt lived. We strolled around and ate dinner there. After dinner, we drove on to great-aunt’s house. We explored her house and then went to sleep.
The next day we went to the Ontario Science Centre. There were a lot of interactive activities there that were really fun. Great-aunt also took us to the Titanic exhibit that they were holding in the museum. It was amazing seeing all the items that were in the Titanic years ago. Each person received a “pass” of somebody in the Titanic. We were to look for our person in the exhibit, and see what happened to them. We all went back to play some more things. Suddenly, the power went out. Everyone was screaming inside! We went by the windows and saw that it was raining. All the guards went out to see if anybody was hurt or left behind. We were all wondering if we would have to leave the museum. After a few minutes of further waiting, the museum speaker told us that we would have to evacuate through the front door. We went toward the front entrance. We told Ggreat-aunt to go up to the front office and see weather she could be compensated for the incident. Luckily, she did. We went back to her house and had dinner and watched a movie afterwards. We then went to shower and went to bed.
The next morning, we had breakfast, said our good-byes, and set off for Chicago, Illinois, where we would live in our friend’s house. My family ate at the Chicago Chinatown for dinner. We arrived at our friend’s house and played with the two boys, Justin and James. We became friends quickly. My sisters and I played with Meow- Meow, their cat. We went to sleep after taking a shower.
On June 21, we went to a tourist mall downtown named Navy Pier. We walked along the port, where there were ferries there waiting, and ate our lunch. We had Haagen-Dazs for dessert. Since our car was parked in the Navy Pier parking lot, we decided to walk to Michigan Avenue, where all the name brands such as Louis Vuitton were located. We strolled around and even went to American Girl, where they sold dolls. We decided to call it a day, and went back. For dinner, we had a buffet with our friends.
The next day we said our good-byes again and drove on to the Arch in Missouri. On the way, we went to the Lincoln Memorial in Springfield, Illinois, where Lincoln was buried. It was shaped like the Washington Memorial with small statues of him on the outside. Inside, most of Lincoln’s relatives were buried there. We saw where Lincoln was buried. My family went to Lincoln’s house, where he lived with his wife and sons. After this we kept on driving until we arrived at the Arch. We watched a documentary movie about the Arch before we took a special ride called a TRAM up there. The ride took about 4 minutes. It was very cramped at the top, but we were able to see out the window and take a couple of pictures. We went back down and looked around the Western Museum, including real-looking figures that talked about their history. We also went to the museum store and bought little treats. My family drove to our hotel and we settled down there.
We woke up this morning and went to the Ozark Cave. Inside was very cold and dark. We spotted salamanders and bats. There was one part of it where the water was rapidly dripping from the top to the bottom, where the water was left in a basin. It was so inspirational. There were also tight squeezes in-between the walls. After the visit to the cave, we went to Laura Ingall Wilder’s old house. She was the author of the Little House on the Prairie books. We went inside for a tour of her house. I loved the little loft that she made for her daughter, Rose. We then went into the museum and saw some of the items that she wrote about in her books.
On the last day of our trip, we stopped at Eureka Springs, Arkansas. We rode on a trolley that took us sightseeing around the little town. It was very relaxing and comfortable. We visited a “haunted” house called the Crescent Hotel. We visited a church that to enter, you had to go through the belfry. After we visited this town, we went home. This trip was a very memorable experience, and one that I will remember forever.