Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Reflections on the First Hispanic Women's Conference in the Archdiocese of Detroit - Part 2

After the extensive Rubi Rambling of yesterday,
(Reflections on First Hispanic Women's Conference)
my friend Marcy wrote out
some thoughts I totally agree with.

Rather than post as a comment,
I decided to post it to the Liturgy House blog.

Reflecctions on the First Hispanic
Women's Conference in the Archdiocese of Detroit
Part 2: Marcy's comments.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Dearest Rubí:

I appreciate and value you as a Latina woman who, despite her hectic schedule as a pastoral musician, wife and mother of four, said "yes," as Mary did, to the call to serve in the music ministry of this first conference offered totally in Spanish. I respect you and consider you a blessing in my life.

As a member of Cántico de la Mujer Latina for the last twelve years, since its inception, and as a woman who also said “yes,” to the call to serve in the music ministry of the conference, I can say that yesterday was a very long day for all of us, and I agree the uncertainty of the day's events gave us a burden that could have been averted by having given all of the music ministry participants a copy of the day's plan, seeing that the published program did not include everything that was scheduled. Perhaps this year was a learning experience, and things may be different next year. Everything happens for a reason. I pray this conference becomes an annual event. I also pray that in the future I may be able to avail myself of the "pláticas," as this year I was either backstage or on the lower level during the "talks." I could not hear and appreciate what was being said from my backstage vantage point, and I could hear nothing while I was in the basement.

However, I was able to watch the play from the wings, and I was brought to tears on several occasions. I believe wholeheartedly that abortion is one of the worst things that the United States of America has allowed in this country. Another horrible thing I believe the USA did was to drop the bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Although I am in total accord with the sentiment and conviction conveyed in the play, I am quite disappointed in the actions of certain of the play’s actors before they began the "obra."

I feel obliged to comment on the "miscommunication" that occurred around the lunch hour with the group who put on the play. We had a lengthy rehearsal on Friday, overseen by the director of the musicians, and we were all informed that our instruments and seats had to be moved back "three feet" from their morning position in order to accommodate the play. As the program stated that the play would begin at 1:00 p.m., before sitting down to eat, we carefully did what we were told to do. We moved our things to the appointed position on the stage. However, before being able to eat, we were approached by Jessica, a woman representing the actors, and she told us we had to completely vacate the stage. We asked that she contact the director of the musicians, as we had been previously told that a three-feet position change would be adequate. She and her group were adamant that we needed to totally vacate, and one of the actors took it upon himself to drag off stage the keyboard, which belongs to the group Cántico de la Mujer Latina. In doing so, this actor damaged our keyboard.

In July, when we were asked to participate in this conference, we gladly said "yes," as María said "yes," and we took on rehearsals that amounted to 22 hours, over ten weeks, not counting untold hours of rehearsing at home to ensure that we would offer the best of our talents to God and the conference attendees, our goal being to touch people and nourish their souls, giving them a renewed spirit, and helping them to live their everyday life invigorated, knowing that they have value and can serve our God and their families with love, respect and, above all confidence. We did this with no expectation of remuneration.

I agree that the actor who took it upon himself to drag our keyboard did not respect Cántico’s property. His only concern was his goal of clearing the stage, and it is evident that he did not think beyond his goal. The actors’ reality is, the stage was cleared, the play went on as planned, and the group from Mexico has accomplished its goal. Our reality is that Cántico no longer has a keyboard that is in working condition, as it was prior to its unauthorized move by the play participant. How are we to accomplish our goals in our ministry, most timely, the Mass of Remembrance we have scheduled for November 1, 2009, at 3:00 p.m. at Ste. Anne de Detroit, Detroit, Michigan?

This October 18, 2009, conference, which was sponsored by the Archdiocese of Detroit, had many attendees who paid for their admittance. I assume that the caterers who supplied the sandwich box lunches were paid. The conference was advertised with flyers and radio announcements, which I can only assume someone paid for. I am unaware if the talented sisters from Florida were flown in by the Archdiocese. I can only assume that someone paid to bring in the group of actors from Mexico. It was fitting and just for the Archdiocese of Detroit to sponsor and put on a conference in the Spanish language, and I pray the conferences continue. I would hope that future events would be presented in a location that is more accessible to the majority of Spanish-speaking Catholics in the Detroit metropolitan area, and, furthermore, I pray that the Archdiocese of Detroit will continue to “do the right thing” and replace Cántico’s broken keyboard. We offered our best for the enrichment of the conference and its attendees, and we have suffered a huge loss to our ministry. What would Jesús do? Can anyone hear our plea and restore us to our pre-unauthorized moving of the keyboard state?

That said, I consider myself blessed and privileged to have participated in this conference. I was already aware of Doris Pérez’ talent as a composer, a musician and a dedicated Cursillista, and I am honored that she invited me to participate. Through my participation, I met many other Mujeres Poderosas whose voices are God-given gifts, and they serve as examples of how we can live our apostleship. Many people are talented, but so few offer their talents for the benefit of the Catholic community. Our rehearsals were long, but always uplifting. I left Holy Redeemer invigorated with my batteries recharged. I thank you all sincerely. Thank you for offering your compositions to the mass and during the conference. Thank you for offering to teach my right hand the ritmos caribeños. Even though my hand never learned, I appreciate your trying to teach me. I will always remember our harmonies and how I heard angels singing during our rehearsals. I will always remember you in my prayers.

Y a las mujeres poderosas de Cántico ¿qué les puedo decir? Gracias por seguirme ayudando en este ministerio, porque quiero que sepan que ¡me ayudan mucho! Me alimenta y me edifica cantar, servir y convivir con ustedes. Las quiero mucho, las respecto y les mando ángeles y mil bendiciones.

Seguiré meditando sobre los acontecimientos del domingo, en la espera de tener la oportunidad de asistir y/o participar en futuras conferencias.


Monday, October 19, 2009

Reflections on the First Hispanic Women's Conference in the Archdiocese of Detroit

The Archdiocese of Detroit just held the first Latina Women's Conference.

What did I learn from women's conference? Not much from speakers, whom I thought were mediocre at best. I must admit that I did not hear all of the talks. . .but what I did hear. . . well. . . I honestly expected so-o-o much more. . .

. . . might I dare suggest for the future: Dr. Ada Maria Isasi Diaz, Rosa Martha Zarate Macias, Sister Rosa Maria Icasa . . . . . Sister Nina Rodriguez. . . .

But. . . from my participation in music ministry I did learn several things. . . .and to appreciate even more. . . several thoughts here, in no particular order. . . .

I come to appreciate all of my friends, old and new. Not that I didn't before. But you know, I do have some wonderful, fabulous friends. And it's good to let them know that they are wonderful and fabulous every once in a while. I come to appreciate them more after yesterday.

I appreciate, respect and honor the talent of my friend Marcy. In our music we have come to almost have a psychic connection. And you know, that's a God thing. Marcy, I cannot imagine my life without your friendship and your music. . . . .I cannot imagine my life without our ministry to the community, our ministry to each other. . . .OK. . .now I am crying. . . .

I appreciate, respect and honor the talent of my friend Ana. In all honesty, you amaze me at how quickly and "on the spot" you fired up those interludes with the oboe. I am touched by all you are doing to make this special Mass of Remembrance a reality. I am impressed by your commitment to minister unto to those who have experienced such a huge loss. I may joke and call you "The Reverend Doctor Sister Ana," but it 's only because I wish to honor the oh so many things you have managed to do with the life our good and gracious God has given you. . . . .

Connie, you, my dear lady, could become a TV news anchor. How do you come up with some of those commentaries? I totally forgot about the rebozos coming from the women of Chiapas.

I come to appreciate Sister Nina so much more. A religious, an advocator, a teacher, a catechist, A Cantico Lady. . . and even a choreographer! Sister Nina, you just amaze me sometimes. And if I haven't told you lately, I love you and appreciate that you are a part of my life. And I thank you for all that you have done for the community throughout the years. . . . You, my dearest Nina, could, should and ought to be a speaker at this event next year. . . .

I appreciate working with the group of women called together to be a part of the music ministry for this event. I am particularly impressed by Carly, Mistress of the Vihuela. Carly, your musicianship is what kept me going on those Caribbean rhythms. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! . . . .So, Carly, when are you going to form The Mariachi Mujer de Michigan????

Jennifer, you were always so helpful. . . moving the piano at rehearsals at Holy Redeemer, helping me with cables the day of the event. I truly appreciate that. It takes a tremendous amount of time and energy to load and unload equipment. That you would stop and help me untangle extension cords and get all connected is something I truly appreciate. And Jen, you have a fabulous voice. Celebrate that gift, girlfriend!

Silvia. . . .you are planning on spending more time with that guitar, are you not? Silvia, you are very talented and I am grateful to have worked with you. . . . .I appreciate all of you who were a part of this music ministry. . . .

I know they already know this, but I'll say it anyway. I appreciate, love and respect my Cantico Ladies. You know, I enjoyed my participation with this other group, the group pulled together for this women's conference. But Cantico de la Mujer Latina is home. Your presence in my life has made a huge difference to me. Where would I be without you? Where would we be without each other?. . . .Can you believe that we have been making music together for about as many years as our youngest member has been on planet earth???. . . .

I also come to understand that while my public ministry is a music ministry, it's really something else. It is through music that I help others develop a confidence in what they are already so obviously good at, but sometimes don't believe or know that they are. Developing the music develops so much more.

And I learned something I should have already known: Don't assume anything. If you want to know something, ask. Isn't that so basic? "Ask and you shall receive." Yeah, I should have asked for the days schedule of events. I like to know things ahead of time. I know that things change at the last minute, but I like to have a plan of action to start with. It keeps me grounded. I mean, you can't have a Plan B until you first have a Plan A. I don't have to be involved in designing the plan. But if I'm in the plan, I'd like to know what said plan includes. . . .OK. . Rubi's Rambling again. . .But now I know and will ask for it next time. I take ownership on this one. Mia Culpa.

I also learned that not everyone will respect and honor those things that you value, even at an event for the faithful. My keyboard suffered some serious damage at the event at the hands of someone who claims to value life. Music is not only my ministry. It is my livelihood. My life, as it were, will be seriously effected and affected by the damage done to my instrument. As Marcy so often reminds us, "everything happens for a reason." Still, I do not know what I am supposed to learn from this. What is the reason that this happened? I do not know who will repair my instrument. I do not know how I will pay for repairs done. In all honesty, I do not think that I should be the one to pay for the repairs.

I thank God that Robyn's keyboard and Marcy's guitar did not also suffer damage as they were connected into my amp. I thank God that Doris' guitar and Andriana's mic did not suffer damage, as their amps were connected into my surge protector. . .All of these cables connected us all. . .But still, why my keyboard??? What do you want me to learn from this God?. . . OK. . .I'm crying again. . .

As we were taking things down at the day's conclusion, Beatriz told me that I was dangerous, commenting on the poem I wrote. . . .You know, despite all of my tears for my keyboard, I kinda needed to hear that. . . . Poetry is and always has been my first love. . . .Thanks, Beatriz. Because now I know that at least one person really, really heard what I said. . . .and thanks for reminding me that sometimes it's about a ministry to myself. . . .Why do women tend to forget that sometimes????

I continue to reflect on the day's events and encourage others to do the same.

Say a prayer for that young man who took it upon himself to recklessly move my keyboard. He respects life, but does not respect things that belong to others.

I would also ask that you say a prayer for my keyboard.
She is an Ensoniq ZR 76. . . .

I have started to post questions on forums in the hopes that some keyboard techie will be able to help. . . . but I begin to realize that, because Ensoniq no longer manufactures, my keyboard may actually go to her grave.