We are saddened to announce that Mother Silvia, OFA passed away on December 20, 2020 in Albuquerque, NM from complications of COVID-19.
A family memorial website is here.
On Dec. 24, 1958, five days before the triumph of Fidel Castro's revolution, Mother Silvia was suddenly put on a plane with her grandmother for what she was told would be a brief vacation to visit her aunt and namesake, Silvia, in Miami. When she landed in the United States that Christmas Eve – with German measles and a fever of 104F – she didn't realize that, at age 11, she was starting a new life as a perpetual refugee.
Mother Silvia was received into the Franciscans of the Annunciation on August 1, 2012 and made her Perpetual Profession on August 1, 2015. She was ordained to the Priesthood within the ECE-ECC on September 8, 2016, Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary and of Our Lady of Charity, Patroness of Cuba.
Mother Silvia was very attached to family. She was the proud mother of a son and an adopted daughter, and loving grandmother to two granddaughters whom she cherished. It was an honour and a blessing for me to accompany then-Sister Silvia to her native Cuba in 2014 to reconnect with long-unseen aunts and pay respects at the graves of her grandparents.
At the time of her death, Mother Silvia was the Chancellor of the ECE-ECC, Guardian of Saint Crescentia Mission in Albuquerque, NM, and the Project Team Leader of Cor Jesu Social Enterprises that aims to develop in partnership with community groups and agencies, fund and support social enterprises that create sustainable income that can be used to benefit the community and the most vulnerable community members. Mother Silvia was instrumental in getting our Church registered as a Charitable organization in Canada, and in the production of our current website. She initiated our practice of a monthly Prayer Circle. Notably, she was instrumental in establishing our mission in Cuba. You can read below the testimony of Padre Humberto.
Mother Silvia was an experienced educator, organisational consultant, business developer, and project design specialist in the corporate, government and non-profit sectors. Her non-profit consultancies were conducted in the US, Canada and internationally. Her work included being an educational advisor to the World Bank and the Government of Nicaragua. She had also been a parenting magazine and child advocate newsletter publisher. For four years, she hosted and produced a public affairs TV show for WPLG-TV, an ABC network associate.
In 2009, Mother Silvia returned to Canada after working in conflict zones like Darfur and South Sudan. After this experience, her personal and professional interests focused on peacemaking and peacebuilding, spiritual development, narrative therapy and coaching. As an advocate, she communicated on behalf of adults with learning disabilities, for low-income seniors, for those who grieve, for the poorest of the poor in South and Central America, Asia and Africa, and completed humanitarian work in Darfur, Sudan, and South Sudan.
She achieved a B.A. degree in Community Education from the University of the District of Columbia (Washington, DC), post-graduate study in Women’s Studies and Counselling at Georgetown University (Washington, DC), and a Diploma in Peace and Conflict Studies (PACS). She obtained certification in Conflict Coaching Skills, Enneagram and Spirituality Wheel, Narrative Mediation and Pastoring from Conrad Grebel University College at the University of Waterloo. She pursued independent studies in Intensive Narrative Therapy in Toronto through the staff and associates of the Dulwich Centre-Australia. In 2011, Mother Silvia obtained a Certificate from Hartford Seminary in Women’s Leadership and Feminist Theology.
Testimony by Padre Humberto:
En el 2015, la Madre Silvia de la Fe González; Sacerdote y Canciller de la Iglesia Católica Eucarística, cubana residente en el exterior, comienza su labor misionera en Cuba, trabajando por la instauración de esta iglesia en el país y apoyando proyectos sociales y a personas en la Isla; tiempo después hago contacto con ella por un artículo que vi en internet y así empieza mi relación con su persona e iglesia.
Gracias a esa relación fue incardinado a la Iglesia Católica Eucarística por decreto oficial del Arzobispo Primado Roger LaRade el día de San Matías, Apóstol: 24 de Febrero del 2018, desde la Ciudad de Toronto, Ontario, Canadá.
Poco tiempo después la hermana Silvia Gonzales me dono todo el material necesario para un Capilla, que ella había dejado en casa de una personaen Cuba, con el sueño de establecer la Misión San Francisco y Santa Clara en la Habana; me regalo y dono: hábitos religiosos, libros, imágenes y el Cáliz y Patena que lleva inscrito su nombre y la fecha de su ordenación como sacerdote de la Iglesia; las cuales guardo con mucho amor.
Conociendo la situación económica y social de Cuba hizo gestiones para aliviarla por medio de Instituciones a nivel internacional. En este año 2020 tras mi casa sufrir daños por el impacto de un árbol que derribó un Huracán que nos azoto, conociendo del hecho, hizo gestiones para que recibiéramos alguna ayuda y lo logró. Nuestra eterna gratitud a Silvia Gonzalez.
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