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'Without God in their lives, they have no path to go on'

Gathered at St. Mary Church in East Chicago, (from left) Mary Ramirez is pictured with her grandchidren Ireland, Felipe, Reagan, and Isabelle. The children were recently adopted by Ramirez and have her last name. (Anthony D. Alonzo photo)

 

By Anthony D. Alonzo
Northwest Indiana Catholic

 

EAST CHICAGO – As a grandmother, Mary Ramirez of Lake Station stays busy showing love for her grandchildren. She is perhaps busier than most, however, having adopted four of the children to get them out of an abusive home.


The legal adoption process was recently completed and Ramirez said she is happy to parent Isabelle, 12, Reagan, 10, Felipe, 8 and Ireland, 7. Each of the kids was baptized by Father Stephen Gibson at St. Mary Church and they said they are looking forward to an Easter celebration.


Felipe spoke about the significance of his religious education and indicated that he had recently broke the news to his best friend that he had other plans for April 6.


"I like listening to (Father Gibson) and learning about God," said Felipe, an energetic boy, affectionately described as the children's "ring leader" by their grandmother. "All my sins get washed away (in baptism).


He added: "I told (my friend) Michael I may not be able to go to his birthday party because (my baptism) is on April 6."


Ireland, 7, said she was happy to also know the significance of her entrance into the Church through their first sacrament.


"I learned about original sin, when we're born with sin and (through baptism) our sins are washed away," she explained.


It's news worth sharing with friends, Isabelle, 12, said.


"I would tell them that I'm lucky," Isabelle explained. "I would invite them to church with me."


Reagan, a ten-year-old girl who loves to sing and do gymnastics, added that at St. Mary, they continue to learn "more and more about Jesus."


Ramirez said the youths deserve to live in a stable home and she believes they were not in such a situation before she intervened.


"I've always been Catholic and their mother said she doesn't believe in God," said Ramirez, who brought a bag full of cookies and candy for her kids at a recent church meeting. "When she did let the kids go to church it was at whatever church (was convenient) or when she had free time.


"Like I told them, without God in their lives they have no good path to go on."


After they settled down and sat in a pew, one of the youngsters asked, "can we pray an Our Father and a Hail Mary?"

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