When Floriana first arrived to Casa Maria, a home for girls run by the Salesian Sisters in Mexico, she trusted no one. Why should she? Her parents abandoned her as a little girl. When her aunt took her in, her cousins degraded her and her uncle abused her. Ten years later that family abandoned her too. That’s why she became a ward of the state and landed at Casa Maria. Nobody had ever cared for her; so why should she think the nuns and girls at this home would be any different?
Floriana soon learned that Casa Maria was indeed quite different.
Floriana was belligerent at first, yelling and fighting with the other girls. The patient nuns compared her and the other new girls like her to Cinderella – abandoned and abused. They taught her to love herself and to search for the prince who truly loves her: Jesus Christ. During that first year, Floriana’s hostility subsided and she became much more peaceful than when she first entered Casa Maria.
The following year, catechism taught ‘Cinderellas’ like Fliorana about the ’king’s castle’– God’s house, the Church. Floriana received her first communion, and the Prince of Peace began to change her heart. She even began to make friends!
Her third year at Casa Maria brought about even greater transformation. She learned how to trust Jesus, and she was confirmed into the Catholic faith. The girls even elected her as the Chapel and Prayer Coordinator, to plan the music and lead the prayers offered during their scheduled worship times.
Having learned to love herself, love God, and trust Jesus, today Floriana is happy and at peace – totally transformed from the angry girl who first came to Casa Maria. Now the outgoing young woman shares the gospel with others in the community. And when she grows up, Floriana wants to start a shelter for street kids, to help hurting children the way the kind sisters at Casa Maria helped her.