Glorifying God Through Flowers

07-03-2016Parish LifeLorenzo Rojas

I grew up in Mexico in a town called Plan de Las Hayas. The patron saint of both our town and our Church was St. Isidore whose feast day is May 15th. We grew a lot of corn and coffee but it would get very dry so we would take the statue of Saint Isidore from the Church and process it around the town to get rain and after the 4th or 5th time it would always rain. Faith has always been important to me—in the community I grew up in and in my family. When I was a kid my grandmother used to tell me that I had to pray every day for the whole world, but especially for priests and nuns. She was charitable to the poor and she would tell me that to do something good for someone else means that God is smiling at you.

I have a deep devotion to Mary. I was close with my mother and when I came to this country in 1999 I told Mary that she had to replace my earthly mother. Everything I do is for her. I had a stroke in 2007, my whole right side was paralyzed— this was four days before Our Lady of Guadalupe and I felt sad because I could not arrange the flowers for her feast. I had to have physical therapy to heal and was part of a group. I was the only one who was able to recuperate—I was very persistent that I would overcome this obstacle, but ultimately I felt that Our Lady was the one who helped me to heal.

I work on a farm, I like this kind of work but I also wanted to work with flowers. I saw a big arrangement in NYC—I saw, not the big picture alone, but the details. It was then that I had the inspiration that I would be good at floral arrangements. I taught myself how to arrange, picking up tricks along the way. I touch the flowers and talk to them. Everyone has a goal—the flowers too have a purpose and I tell them so, 'you have a special job, you are going to be in a very important place—so try to do the best you can.' I feel that the flowers also speak to me about where they need to be placed in the arrangement. When I am finished arranging, I always step back and say, 'I didn't do this'. I can't always express myself with words—so I do so with flowers.

Lorenzo and his wife Betty are involved in Hispanic ministry, Spanish Music ministry, and Pre-Cana preparation. In addition Lorenzo is the head florist for St. Magdalen's Floral ministry. He arranges flowers every December 12th for the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe.