Today’s letter is written by Karen Baglieri, a member of the Hope’s Garden Sisterhood of Mary Mystical Rose of God. I pray each of you finds our Hope’s Garden community to be a welcoming and safe “home” for your heart.
Welcome to Hope’s Garden – Community
“Show me your friends, and I will tell you who you are”.
My husband was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY to an Italian family. Anna Gallianaro was his maternal grandmother who lived with the family during my husband’s formative years and helped raise the boys. “Grans”, as she was affectionately referred to, was the typical staut, tough grandmother who, in the early 1900’s, was a barmaid on Coney Island in the establishment that her mother owned. At one point when she was acting as a bouncer, she threw Al Capone out of the bar when he got “out of line”. Our children never got to spend much time with her as she died when our oldest was under two years of age, but they know her through the stories told around our dining room table while we enjoyed meatballs, gravy (sauce for us non-italians), pasta and all the trimmings.
One of my favorite stories of her is the one my husband told me before we were engaged. A “potential” girlfriend was visiting with Grans in the backyard one day while my future husband was preparing for a date. The young lady apparently did NOT meet with Grans’ approval, so she chased her off the property with a broom, along with a few choice words. When her grandson came downstairs and asked where the young lady had gone, she simply said, “She had to leave”. You see, Gran’s had a way of sizing a person up and assessing character. “Show me your friends, and I will tell you who you are”, was one of the well-worn mottos that my husband had heard throughout his life. Apparently, the young lady’s character didn’t fit the bill.
So, what does this have to do with Hope’s Garden and welcoming you to the community? Hope’s Garden is a community in love with Jesus Christ the Bridegroom and the Blessed Mother. Our purpose is to form our lives and characters according to their example and biblical principles. We are a community that is growing fast. Friendships are forming quickly through prayer, support groups, teachings, and fellowship. Through this ministry we are becoming more Christ-like in our daily lives and better able to minister to our own families and friends.
For Grans, words were not enough at times, so she took decisive action. Much like her “sweeping” that girl out of my husband’s life, we all need to be bold and get moving to improve our spiritual life, grow closer to Jesus and His Church, and make a difference in our world. We are changed by the people we associate with. Jesus, His Mother, and His church…sounds like a group that even Gran’s would approve of if she were still here today.
Your Sister in Christ,
Member of the Sisterhood of Mary, Mystical Rose of God