Episode 38 – The Child of Many Languages with Lourdes Santiago Vazquez


Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language?  Acts 2:8

¿Cómo es que cada uno de nosotros los escuchamos en nuestra propia lengua? Hechos  2:8

Our experiences with children in the atrium show us a place where we can live a contemplative life with greater intention, permeated with an awareness of how to live as Sofia writes, “the whole of one’s life,” contemplatively. We, as catechists in the atrium, have the responsibility to help the child live their relationship with God with “the whole of one’s life.” In the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, we give the child time and space for prayer to develop this relationship.  We recognize that we need to be using the child’s familiar language, their “mother tongue.” A bilingual environment takes a fundamental role in the prayer life of a child, where the child can live the contemplative life with greater understanding and intention.

Lourdes Santiago Vazquez joins us today to speak about our how we can assist the how we can be sensitive to in serving the child who is bi-lingual and what we need to consider in preparing a bilingual environment and the adults who will serve there so that we can work together as one community with two or more languages.

Lourdes began her work in the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd in 1991 as a volunteer with the Diocese of Phoenix, Arizona. She helped to build the bilingual Atrium at St Anne’s in Gilbert AZ and welcomed many families and children at home and abroad.  Lourdes works with all three levels of children and is a formation Leader in English and in Spanish. She has a bachelor’s degree from the State University of Phoenix, and holds a master’s degree in Theology from the Graduate Theological Foundation from South Bend, Indiana. She has served as a missionary in Honduras, Peru, The Philippines and Western Europe with the Missionaries of Charity. Lourdes continues to coordinate CGS in Spanish at St. Anne’s Catholic Church in Gilbert, Arizona. She joined the staff of the National Association in 2006 and works as the coordinator for those  in Spanish and bilingual communities. Lourdes is from Puerto Rico.  She has been a resident of Arizona since 1989.

This summer CGSUSA will hold a Zoom Servant Song Retreat regarding this “Child of Many Languages.” This time apart will give you an opportunity to refresh yourself in prayerful reflection on the Gifts of the Spirit as they guide our understanding of the child who is bilingual. You are invited to share your experiences, listen to others’ experiences and exchange ideas on serving bi-lingual or multi-lingual children in the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd atrium.  As an association, we seek to bring our member catechists together for conversation in order to understand the needs of bilingual children who participate in Catechesis of the Good Shepherd as well as the communities they are in so that as catechists we are better able to serve our children.

This Zoom event will be presented in both English and Spanish.  We will have translators interpreting both languages so it will be important for you to let us know when you register whether you prefer English or Spanish.  We invite everyone to join us for a zoom version of this retreat on July 23-24. The event will be translated into both Spanish and English.  Read more about the Child of Many Languages – El Niño De Muchas Lenguas 2021 on our website. You can register for this event today.

Join us for our Summer Book Study of the first few chapters of Life in the Vine: The Joyful Journey Continues!  Purchase the book from the CGSUSA Online Store today!

Learn more about the book by listening to Episode 26, and listen to Rebekah discuss chapter 7 on Moral Life in the Kingdom of God in Episode 33.