3rd Annual Convention of Columbiettes

Father Giopre

“Reaching for the Stars and California Dreaming.” I do believe that these two phrases mean a lot to all of you and it’s probably common knowledge, right? But as an “outsider” - I mean coming from a different country and culture, this is a bit new to me. And so, to free myself from embarrassment, I did a little research about these two interesting phrases:

1. The First Phrase is “Reaching for the Stars.” Hearing it for the first time especially with reference to the “stars,” what comes to my mind are horoscopes that somehow speak about a preconceived future depending on the constellation of stars you are born with. Some people uses them to understand another person’s personality and what not; some uses them to somehow help them get through a seemingly “perfect” day; yet for some, they use them simply for the heck of it because “yeah, it’s fun!” It is like one of those fortune cookies that you crack open after a greasy meal in a Chinese restaurant without taking what it says too seriously. But, in a deeper and wider sense, “stars” could also mean, our hopes, our vision, our goals and for this event, it is to remind us of how important the Columbiettes are in their own mission. To keep reminding us that your work matter and that you are an inspiration especially to the young generation and for those who are still searching for their own calling and mission. Hence, “reaching for the stars” is synonymous to reaching for what Christ wanted us to live as an example, that is, to live in LOVE which is selfless, unselfish, committed, dedicated and the TOTAL GIVING of oneself to those whom we serve.

In a survey of 4-8 year olds, kids share their views on love. But what do little kids know about love? Read on and besurprised that despite their young and innocent minds, kids already have a simple but deep grasp of that four-letter word.

"Love is when a girl puts on perfume and a boy puts on shaving cologne and they go out and smell each other."

"Love is when you go out to eat and give somebody most of your French fries without making them give you any of theirs."

"Love is when my mommy makes coffee for my daddy and she takes a sip before giving it to him, to make sure the taste is OK."

"Love is when you tell a guy you like his shirt, then he wears it everyday."

"Love is when mommy sees daddy smelly and sweaty and still says he is handsomer than Brad Pitt."

"I know my older sister loves me because she gives me all her old clothes and has to go out and buy new ones."

Jesus clarifies in today’s Gospel, on the Sermon on the Mount that true love is that which is “BLESSED” or that which bring true “HAPPINESS” to man. The Beatitudes serve as our guideposts in living such kind of love.

2. The Second Phrase is “California Dreaming.” What does it actually mean? There was a remark from someone who describes it this way, “it is about a homeless hippie on drugs that’s hiding out in a church.” Well, that wasn’t of any help at all. In an urban dictionary, “it is often referred to as a laid-back fairytale-like mentality. It usually means that one is hoping for something that is not going to happen. It is a state of denial.” Like when somebody assures someone that he/she won’t lie in any way, then that someone believes you on all counts, and so, that person who believes you is California dreaming. Also, California dreaming means to dream about being free and away from any hardships. It was a popular phrase used during the free speech movement in the 1960s during the Vietnam war and the Civil Rights movement. And finally, from a song popularized by the Mama’s and Papa’s, “it was a song about longing to be in another place, and it was inspired by Michelle Philips’ homesickness (one of the songwriters) longing for the warm L.A. while in New York in winter time.” Out of these descriptions, one thing resounds, “it is hoping for a better place. It is hoping for a place like HOME.”

We are here this evening for that same purpose. We hope for a better place. We hope for a place, we call home and for our faithful departed Columbiettes, it is a hope for peace in the eternal place of home in heaven.

Several years ago, in Chicago, a 12-year-old boy named Jon lost his mother through a rare illness. She died shortly after being rushed to the hospital one day. Jon said later: “After mom’s death, I would wander about the house aimlessly, going from room to room. I was utterly confused and lost. I missed my mother terribly. “Everything she ever touched became precious to me: her prayer book on her bedside table, the little yellow bucket she used to water her plants, the vacuum cleaner she used to clean my room.” Then one day Jon’s eyes spotted a card under the glass top of his dresser. He recalled seeing it there for the first time just before his mother went to the hospital. But he didn’t bother to read it then. Now, excited, he pulled it out and read. It said: 'For ev’ry pain we must bear, For ev’ry burden, Ev’ry care, There’s a reason. For ev’ry grief that bows the head, For ev’ry teardrop that is shed, There’s a reason. For ev’ry hurt, for ev’ry plight, For ev’ry lonely, pain-racked night, There’s a reason. But if we trust God, as we should, It will turn out for our good. He knows the reason.' As I sat there,” said Jon, “I could picture my mom coming into my room before going to the hospital and putting the card there, as if to say: “It’s all right, Jon. God knows the reason.” “From that moment on,” said Jon, “I was able to cope with my mom’s death. Her own trust in God rubbed off on me.” (Mark Link in Sunday Homilies; quoted by Fr. Jude Botelho)

And so, “Reaching for the Stars and California Dreaming.” In one simple word, it is HOMECOMING. Coming together as one with common goals, aspirations and vision as God called us to be ONE. But always remember that as we come together to this event each year, there’s a REASON, there’s a PURPOSE. Let the memories of our faithful departed Columbiettes assure us that everything will be alright. God knows the reason, let us put our TRUST into His loving hand.

God bless us all!