Finally, I'm an affiliate

“Finally, I’m an affiliate!”
By Socorro C. DeLoach, affiliate
I heard of FSPA for the first time a few years ago through my friend Sister Janet Fischer when she invited me to become an affiliate. Even though it sounded good, I didn’t feel ready because my husband was very sick and I was his full-time caregiver. Sometime after his death I felt ready and began the affiliation process. It was finalized Feb. 11, 2017, in the presence of Sisters Janet Fischer and Dorothy Kundinger and affiliate Ms. Retha Tillman. I’m so grateful to the FSPA and the affiliates for letting me be a part of a group of people with the same values. I feel that I belong to a large family.

Socorro (left) receives her affiliation certificate from her FSPA contact, Sister Janet.

When my husband retired from his work in Mexico (my home country), we decided to move to the United States, to Georgia (where he was born), because the most important thing for us was to give to our four children the opportunity to have a better education and grow in the American culture. Our children were already citizens, and later on I obtained my citizenship too. We are blessed living in this beautiful country.
I have learned that I identify with the Franciscans: my love of the Blessed Sacrament and nature and all the wonderful creations. Painting is one of my God-given gifts — an expression of the way I see life. I began when I was a little girl and later had a great teacher, Santiago Rosa, who taught me the basics. I’ve been painting ever since; it’s my therapy. Every time I’m creating art, I pray first so I can be inspired and do good work.

From left, Sister Janet Fischer, affiliate Socorro DeLoach, Sister Dorothy Ann Kundinger and affiliate Retha Tillman gather to celebrate Socorro’s commitment to the FSPA program. Photos by Mary Jo Ortiz

In my ministry, I worked with Glenmary priests for eight years for a Hispanic mission (Our Lady of Guadalupe) until my retirement in 2013. Now I work as a volunteer in St. Jude Catholic Church teaching children in religious education, also I participate in adult classes. I have friends who come to simply talk, and I simply listen, and if I can do something I will help them. Also, it’s important to me to be ready to help my children and grandchildren when they need me. At St. Jude, I’m an extraordinary minister of Holy Communion and DRE for Formation of the Faith for children, and I try to volunteer in any activities we have.
I practice a series of daily intentions that includes talking with the Lord, accepting His will, trusting, having faith and patience, contributing with my labor and asking forgiveness. My prayers also include the “Serenity Prayer” and the “Prayer of St. Francis.” 
I follow the Franciscan way through prayer and action. Every day, through my prayer, I tell God I need and love you! 

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