One of the favorite adages my Grandma used was, “Bloom where You Are Planted”. In 1982 my husband Don and I found ourselves, alone with our five young children, “transplanted” in Anaheim Hills – all the way from Connecticut, via an 18 month stint in Ohio. While staying at a local hotel, waiting for our furniture to arrive, I called San Antonio Church to find out when the Sunday Masses were. The phone was answered by Father Seamus. He told me the Mass times and said that if we went to the 10 o’clock Mass that he was celebrating, to introduce ourselves to him. We did and on that day, we began “planting” our roots here.
Back in those days, every few months San Antonio hosted a late Sunday afternoon Welcoming Party for its new parishioners. It was there that we learned about all sorts of community activities such as sports sign-ups, Scouts, various ministries, and other activities at San Antonio. What a welcoming and warm introduction to our new community it was for us. My husband, Don joined the San Antonio Men’s Softball League and I signed up for the Family Life Ministry. What fun Sunday night softball was for our whole family. Kids frolicking at the park, women chatting and forging friendships, and men in their glory running the bases and “jawing” on the benches. Our roots were growing; the Del Mazzios began to “bloom”.
Family Life Ministry, at the time, consisted of two other couples (Kathy and Bob Diesto and Judy and Joe Parker), Deacon Doug and myself. Our objective was to establish programs that our young parish was interested in. We conducted a survey to find out what interested our parishioners. We hosted kids holiday parties, published a parish cookbook – ”The Monks Kitchen”, started a spiritual book discussion group (led by Father Bill and Sister Jan) and helped organize various church-related social activities. I am most proud of our founding of ”The Moms Group”. Along with socializing, we had guest speakers, provided babysitters, and watched as the mothers of our parish found companionship, encouragement and the love that Christ has for all mothers.
Don and I were blessed with two more children after moving to California and as our free time diminished we volunteered less and spent more time focusing on our personal spiritual growth. Renew, In Home Faith Sharing, Bible Study, and classes at Marywood became our focus. Don is currently on the Pastoral Council and a member of our San Antonio 40th Anniversary Celebration Committee. It was through these activities and the wonderful Clergymen that San Antonio has been blessed with, that took the blossoms within us and helped us “grow”. The spiritual seeds that have been planted during the homilies at San Antonio, spoke to our inner spirits. Don and I found ourselves talking about these things, yearning to grow in spirit and thinking during the weeks of how we could grow and incorporate those thoughts into everyday action and “learn to guide”. These are all the things that make Grandma’s words come true, “Bloom Where You Are Planted”. It is here, in the rich Soil of the San Antonio Parish, that we have bloomed. This Spring, as one of our 14 grandchildren will make her First Communion at San Antonio, — the third generation of Del Mazzios will continue to Bloom.