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ended up there after going sleddingfor the first time in her life. As animmigrant from Mexico who hadgrown up in Texas and gone to college in New Orleans before movingto Connecticut, she had rarely evenseen snow. But it was part of hernew home’s winter landscape, andshe had jumped at the chance toplay in it.
The accident happened on herfifth or sixth run down the sledding hill. She hit a bump and wentairborne. The landing shattered twovertebrae. Her doctors now warnedshe might never walk again. Shebelieved she would but was in noreal hurry to leave the hospital. Sheneeded the extra time and solitudeto think.
She was thinking about herfuture. Now 33, the bubbly extroverthad come to New Haven, Connecticut full of joy as she worked tocomplete her application to enterthe Dominican Sisters of Peace. Sheloved the congregation—the sisters,their work, mission, and vision—with all her heart. But somethingunexpected had happened along theway. She had fallen in love.
A religious upbringing
God had been as much a part of
the Gonzalez family as any other
member of their household. With an
olic mother and a traditional-cradle-
Catholic father, the children were
constantly reminded to say prayers,
pray the Rosary, and engage in a
personal relationship with God.
“My parents instructed us in the
faith in very different ways,” Gonza-
lez says. “Dad taught us to pray in
traditional ways. Mom had a differ-
ent approach. She would say, That
person is Jesus. Or that person is an
angel. She would ask, What’s in your
heart? Can we listen to God?”
Gonzalez even played God
games, pulling a makeshift veil over
her head to look like a nun and
playing the part of priest during
Mom would say,
That person is Jesus.
Or that person is an
angel. She would
ask, What’s in your
heart? Can we listen
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