by Melissa Abraham
Monica touched upon the tilma, a blessed cloak that the Mater Filius’ volunteers wear and have spiritual graces. She recalled the first mothers she met in the home when she started three years ago; mothers from different backgrounds and with different stories.
Because she had no children of her own, Monica found it fulfilling to be part of this safe haven where mothers who need care can provide for their new babies. Her call began when she and a couple of friends were going to adoration in Coppell. On the ride, one of her friends brought up Mater Filius Dallas and mentioned they were looking for someone to fill the housemother position. After hearing about the mission and location, she decided to look into this opportunity and called for an interview.
Despite the chance that she would have to stay at the house to help the moms and still do her duties at her own home, she was enthusiastic about the idea of helping. She thought it would not be a problem since she lived close. After a week without news and thinking someone else took the position, she got a call from Marthalicia, the house director, who invited her to check out the Mater Fillius webpage.
There, she watched a TV interview with the founders of the first Mater Filius home in Mexico, Miriam and José Manuel Tejeda. In the video, she learned about Miriam’s near-death experience and Our Blessed Mother Mary’s revelation. Mary tasked Miriam with providing a home filled with love and mercy for pregnant women in need.
Being a member of the Schoenstatt’s Covenant of Love with Mary, Monica knew this home was the right place. She wanted to join the mission of helping pregnant women, thus genuinely believing it was Our Mother’s love that revealed Mater Filius Dallas. Nonetheless, Monica understood that God and The Blessed Mother had a plan for her; it was her calling. She became the first housemother at Mater Filius of Dallas, who we call Ima, an Aramaic word meaning ‘mother’ in Christ Jesus’s language.
Monica always wanted to visit The Holy House of Our Lady preserved in the Shrine of Loreto, Italy, and see where Mary was born, raised, and greeted by the Angel Gabriel. Instead, she started volunteering three days a week at Mater Filius Dallas, another house of Mary. Mary had brought her to Her home, which by the way ended up being farther from hers than expected.
Today, Monica shares her duties with two other Imas: Blanquita and Coleen. Their duties vary from planning and supervising the resident’s chores, accompanying the moms to their doctor appointments, organizing the pantry, and helping the moms with whatever they need.
We call her Moni, who believes she’s in the best place in her life, serving as an Ima at the Mater Filius of Dallas house.