St. Francis Families: Paradez Family

Tell us a bit about your family. 

Pedro and I (Connie) have been married for 44 years. We have 3 grown children and 6 beautiful grandchildren. Our two daughters, Andrea and Danna, and their families live in Grapevine and are members of St. Francis. Our son, Peter and his girlfriend, reside in The Colony. Pedro worked for IBM almost 36 years after serving 6 years in the USAF. He retired in 2015.  I worked as a nurse for 29 years and crossed over to medical management for 8 years, but decided to end my career to care for my grandchildren.

What is a favorite scripture passage for your family? 

Colossians 3:12 — “Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.” In my nursing career, I had to encounter people all day long, and I prayed every morning asking for the grace to be able to see each person as though they were Jesus. Even now, I have to remind myself through this verse.

What is an interesting fact about your family that people may not suspect or know?

We enjoy travelling abroad and have been on 5 pilgrimages. Our first pilgrimage was when the  diocese celebrated their 40th anniversary by going to Italy. Over 500 people traveled on that trip. We also have a love for scripture, and frequently are reading and studying it from the Holy Bible or other resources on the internet. We enrolled in the Catholic Biblical School program through the University of Dallas in August 2004 and graduated 4 years later.

What is one way your family prays together?

When we have meals with our families, we say two meal prayers. The first prayer is the one the grandchildren learned at their preschool and then we say the traditional prayer. We also pray the Hail Mary with the grandchildren when we take them to school.

Do you have any fun or interesting family traditions?

We always celebrate each member’s birthday by going out to eat at a restaurant of their choice which can be very interesting when the grandchildren pick.  Another favorite tradition is carving out pumpkins for Halloween. Each person walks into our home with a pumpkin and picks out their favorite design and the big mess begins. It so enjoyable to see everyone in the same room having fun together.

What parish ministries are your family involved in?

Pedro and I are Eucharist Ministers, greeters, CRHP alumni, and just recently became Regular Eucharist Guardians, now that the young grandkids are in preschool. Pedro is a lector, catechist for RCIA and R.E.A.Ch., and I am wedding coordinator, sacristan and teach 2nd grade catechesis. Pedro and I normally attend the 5:00 pm mass on Saturday, while our children attend the 4:30 pm mass on Sunday.

What drew you to St. Francis Church and what do you love most about the parish?

After moving from Abilene in 1987 to Grapevine, we immediately registered at St. Francis.  We wanted our children to continue their religious education as well. There are so many opportunities to become involved in the parish.  I especially enjoy the spiritual retreats and classes for adults that are offered now.

How would you describe our parish if you were to explain it to an outsider or fallen away Catholic?

You can always find Jesus Christ here at St. Francis, whether it’s in the Blessed Sacrament on the altar or through the people who enter the doors.

In every issue, we will feature 1-2 families from our parish. Each of these families contributes to what makes St. Francis a thriving community. We are honored they call us home. To nominate a family to be featured, contact [email protected]

This story was written by the Paradez Family and published in the December issue of the St. Francis Grapevine.