Many years ago, when I had recently moved to Jacksonville, Florida, I was feeling very lonely, I was depressed and I was searching for something to fill my empty heart. I would pray everyday for God to help me find my way in this new city. I missed my very dysfunctional family and all the distraction that a big city brings. I was sad that my son would not be able to experience growing up around cousins, uncles and all the other craziness going on around us. Moving to Jacksonville from Miami would mean that we would leave family, friends, the beautiful beach, the Sundays at the park full of people, and everything else I that I thought was important. This was definitely not what I wanted. We moved to a very quiet neighborhood where most people didn’t speak Spanish like us and the days seemed so long and boring.
We continued going to Mass every Sunday and started volunteering at church. After a few months I started to notice a beautiful family. They had many children, they were always smiling, and during Mass they seemed to be so connected with our Lord. I had not seen something like it since I left my home country, Venezuela. I remembered how our lives had revolved around our grandparents; they were very simple people but full of love for our Lord and our Blessed Mother. All the fun, loving memories from my childhood came rushing back to me when seeing this family. Of course, I also wanted my son to experience this and I immediately knew he needed to meet the children from this special family.
I then changed my prayers from helplessness to “please Lord, help me find what this family has.” I asked a few people in the church about the family because I wanted my son to go to whatever school or group their kids were going attending. Unfortunately, their answers were not very helpful. The only information I got was that they were “a homeschooling family” and they were “too Catholic.” I never thought about approaching them personally because I didn’t feel I knew what to say.
I continued to pray and attend Mass as much as possible, and soon the Lord answered my prayers. He sent me a very sweet lady who spoke Spanish, which was easier for me to relate to, and she told me about the young men’s group for my son’s age. Little by little this lady helped me understand more about homeschooling, and the different programs in our city to help with my faith formation. As I started getting involved more in the church and taking my son to the young men’s group, we met many more families like the one who touched my heart.
God knew this was not enough. One day while dropping of my son off at the youth group, I saw all these sisters dressed in blue with big smiles. I asked my newfound friend about them and of course she knew everything about them, and mentioned that they have formation meetings. She invited me to one meeting and I was so in love with their message and their spiritual formation that I have not stopped going since.
This is one example of a good, Catholic, Christian family and how they helped me find my way out of despair and sorrow from the things of this world to what is real and what it most important; “Jesus.” I have never told them what they did for my son and me but I will be forever grateful. We never know who we can help transform by just being an example of Christ. Now we attend many of the same activities and we both form part of the Home of the Mother family. I can’t even imagine what would have become of my family if we had never come to Jacksonville and encountered the beauty of a family living a life with Christ, thanks be to God. Our new friends live their call so beautifully and are an inspiration to people who are still making strides on their spiritual journey.
My name is Carole Borz, born and raised in Valencia, Venezuela. I Moved to the United States when I was 15 years old. I have been married to my husband for 22 years and we are parents of 3 very awesome children, one boy (14) and two girls (5 and 3 years old). I have a bachelor's degree in nursing and I work full time.