Living the Faith: Ana Mora

WALTHAM -- Thinking back on her life, Ana Mora, parishioner at St. Mary parish in Waltham, is full of gratitude to God for all she has been given.

Married for 34 years to Eduardo Mora, with four children and five grandchildren, Mora said, “God has done so much for us. It’s true that when you give even a little to God, he gives you so much in return.”

This gratitude prompted her husband to be ordained a deacon eight years ago, she said.

“The more we got involved in the Church, the more my husband felt the call to serve the Church in an official capacity,” she said. Now, as the permanent deacon assigned to St. Mary’s, Deacon Mora teaches the baptismal preparation classes for the parish, as well as confirmation classes and, together with Ana, marriage preparation as well.

“Me? I do what I can,” she said. “I serve the Lord and try to find persons to help lead the Hispanic community at St. Mary’s.”

In addition, Mora, 63, teaches religious education for older children who have not yet received their First Communion.

“I didn’t feel called to be a teacher, but there was a need, so they asked me,” she said. “That was three years ago, and I absolutely love it.”

Mora also initiated the Legion of Mary for the Hispanic community.

“The Legion of Mary is very beautiful,” she said, adding that members are called to perform a work of charity every week and, whenever a parishioner passes away, the members attend the wake and pray a rosary for the deceased and their family.

“To me prayer is the most important thing,” said Mora. “It gives peace. It gives a sense of purpose. It gives so many blessings.”

Mora, a native of Ecuador, was born in an area known for its magnificent churches. She recalled how, as a young child, it was her two grandmothers who passed their faith onto her.

“I had two very pious grandmothers who also made sure we children knew our prayers, and who encouraged me to know God,” she said.

This faith supported her when she first emigrated to the United States in 1969, and has been the driving force in everything she does.

“Without faith, there is nothing,” she said.

Mora praised her pastor, Father Michael Nolan, for his charisma and love of the Church.

“Father Nolan is loved by all -- by the Hispanic community and the Anglo community alike,” she said. “He has such love of the priesthood. I admire him.”

“If he asks for help, I try to help, because he needs our support,” she said.

Mora noted that Father Nolan is very devoted to helping the immigrant population in Waltham -- offering them assistance in filling medical insurance forms and establishing English lessons. He is even learning to speak Spanish, she said.

“We are very blessed to have him,” said Mora.

St. Mary Parish, Waltham

Year established -- 1839

Pastor -- Father Michael Nolan

Parochial Vicar -- Father Jose Medina

In residence -- Father Daniel Hennessey

Deacon -- Eduardo Mora

Religious Education (English)-- Margie Harris and Adam Redjinski

(Spanish) -- Jacinta Jimenez

Music Director (English) -- David Baker

(Spanish) -- Vidal Hernandez

Youth Minister -- Mario Soler