I am so excited to share with you the Spanish version of Mommy, Mommy, When You Pray! It still amazes me to see my little creation printed in English, let alone another language!
I decided to take the time in this post to introduce you to an amazing woman: Erika Garcia, who translated the Spanish version. Her story is compelling and bears sharing. She is a guiding light, and I am thankful to call her a friend, as well as to have worked with her on this project. I hope my words do her honor!
Erika’s parents were born and raised in Bolivia. Her father was a Christian Brother in Bolivia for several years before becoming a US citizen and joining the army. He was injured in the Vietnam War and received a Purple Heart. Erika’s mom was one of 11 children, and she prayed for a sign to know “the one” God wanted her to marry. This special man would give her red roses. Although she went on quite a few dates, she never received red roses…until Erika’s dad!
Erika is a first generation US citizen, raised in Fairfax, VA. She was brought up Catholic and describes her father as a strong spiritual leader, rooted in prayer. Erika felt her faith really grow in college, due in part largely to strong Catholic friends, a powerful retreat, and learning and experiencing the richness of the liturgy. She felt that she had been sleepwalking through her faith up until then. Erika attended a retreat called “Encounter with Christ,” in which her openness to God was immensely expanded. She and her friends began daily rosaries, playing music at Mass, and growing deeply through prayer together.
Erika felt that God had deeply opened her heart to doing his will, and she had a strong desire to serve him and help others. She began to radiate the joy of Christ and the richness of the Catholic faith. She was drawn to St. Dominic and the Rosary, and in her junior year of college she was introduced to the Dominican Sisters. She went on a retreat with the Nashville Dominican Sisters, and was moved by their joy, and in being brides of Christ, how they served as his witness.
Soon after graduation she entered the convent in Nashville, TN, where she received religious formation as a Dominican Sister. Her strong love of God and desire to do his will led her to follow where he was calling. As much as Erika loved her vocation with the Sisters, God’s will led her home.
She stepped out on faith six years ago, and God has always provided where he has called her. Erika continues to serve the Church through ministry. She holds strong to the teaching of St. Catherine of Siena, in stating that “When you are what God has meant you to be, you will set the world on fire.” Ironically, God has called her back to her alma mater, where her faith first came alive, to help set others on fire.
When I first met Erika, I felt that I had known her all my life! There was a comfort, and a joy, and an unspoken desire for goodness. Her child-like love resonates with the shyest of children, encouraging carefree laughter. It has been my hope that my writing could be a truly evangelical tool, and for this reason I am compelled to share Erika’s story. I am so thankful that she could be part of mine.
If you know a Spanish-speaking youngster, or family with little ones who could benefit from a book like Mami, Mami, Cuando Rezas, please don’t hesitate to pass this information on to them, or even to gift them a copy!
Copyright 2016 Kimberly Cook