By Presentation Associate Rosalie Cabrera
When did this incredible, ever changing and challenging journey begin? I would have to say from early childhood to the present day.
My introduction to Presentation Women took place during my elementary school years. I attended Our Lady of Lourdes, located in East Los Angeles, which was staffed by Presentation Sisters.
During those formative and impressionable years, through the example of these giving women, I became aware that there were needs in the world – the poor, the hungry, the homeless.
The next phase of the journey was Our Lady of Loretto High School, also located in Los Angeles, and staffed by Presentation Sisters – four of the happiest years of my life. I am forever grateful to my beloved mentors, Sister Mary Leonard and Sister Mary of the Trinity, for their loving guidance. Through them, I began to realize and understand, “not words but deeds”.
In July of 1959, I entered the Presentation Novitiate in Los Gatos. I chose not only the path to Religious life, but Nano’s persuasion to the “classroom.”
The following years were pure adventure! My favorite, teaching first grade. Little faces with expectation, their enthusiasm to learn, and accept your word as gospel truth! Being an educator at this level was awesome!
In 1965, my journey led back to Los Angeles, to Our Lady of Loretto elementary school, assigned to teach first grade. During the following years, Nano’s light led me to other crossroads.
I had the opportunity to be a volunteer at Los Angeles County Hospital. I worked in the burn ward, in the Childrens unit. You can imagine, the impressions were lasting and never forgotten, a child’s need for love and attention.
In 1970, I moved on to Our Lady of Loretto High school as school counselor. Teenage girls! The challenge of a lifetime! Guiding these young women through the difficulties and obscurities of adolescent life eventually became my passion.
In response to a request by one of the parish priests, I volunteered to work with youth in the projects, located in the Boyle Heights area of Los Angeles, a heavily gang-populated area. The majority of these youngsters were on probation for various infractions of the law, and paying their debt to society. The following two years found me in the projects, mingling and spending time with them, a path that was leading me to unknown challenges!
In 1974, Nano’s lantern led me to a new and exhilarating path. I was employed by the Los Angeles County Probation Department as a deputy probation officer, and assigned to the Juvenile Division. Working with troubled youth was special, and my greatest joy. They allowed me entrance into their greatest fears and hopes. I had the privilege of helping them realize their self worth, and that they were lovable children of God.
In 1999, Sister Adele and Sister Janet invited me to the associate program. In June of 2000, I became an official member!
These past twenty two years, I have met and journeyed with many wonderful and memorable associates, who have inspired me with their goodness and friendship.
My journey with Nano has gone full circle. She has not only accompanied me on one path. Her light has led me to other pathways of need. Every day leads us to an unknown fork in the road. We approach with hope, wonder, and anticipation as to where it will lead us.
I am grateful for my Presentation family, who have always been present in my life. God bless us all, as we continue our journey into the future.