Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of November 29, 2004
Lupe leaves Marian Centre
Guadalupe Zabaco and Fr. Bob Johnson are returning to Combermere
By Special to the WCR
Guadalupe Zabaco, or Lupe as she is affectionately known, has been an important part of the Marian Centre's presence in Edmonton for 18 years. Recently, she received news that she has been transferred back to Madonna House in Combermere, Ont., in early December.
Lupe, a native of Spain, came a circuitous way to the Madonna House Apostolate. As a young woman in Spain, she was trained for nursing.
She worked for a short while there and then responded to a need for nursing teachers in Nicaragua.
The infant mortality was high in Nicaragua at that time and Lupe brought with her knowledge and skills that helped improve infant life expectancy.
Nurse in New York
After three years in Nicaragua, Lupe nursed in Guatemala and El Salvador before moving to New York City to continue her work.
While nursing there, she became acquainted with the Madonna House Apostolate in Combermere. Shortly after her first visit, she joined the community and became a member in 1958.
Lupe first served at the Marian Centre in Edmonton from 1964 through 1968. In those early years, she worked in the stew kitchen, clothing room, laundry and did hospital visiting.
More recently, Lupe was reassigned here in 1990 and has worked tirelessly with the poor ever since. She is often seen at the door giving out bag lunches to those in need, offering as well a smile, a word of encouragement, a listening ear, or even at times a scolding when it was called for.
In addition to her work at Marian Centre, Lupe has had a personal apostolate with the Spanish community in the city, offering friendship and a listening ear.
Between her assignments to Edmonton's Marian Centre, she has worked at Madonna Houses in Peru; Barbados, Grenada and Carriacou in the West Indies; in Whitehorse and three houses in the United States.
In recent years, another dimension to Lupe's vocation has been the call to poustinia (a Russian word meaning desert), to be a prayer power behind Marian Centre's active work. She spends part of each week in silence and prayer, and often an hour in the chapel during the time Marian Centre serves its meal, praying for peace in the dining room and for the needs of all who come.
Guadalupe has a creative side, which shows itself in her restoration and re-painting of broken statues, various craft projects and her artistic flower arrangements which beautify Marian Centre's chapel and dining room. Lupe will be sorely missed by all her Marian Centre family and many friends.
Father Bob Johnson is also being transferred to Combermere after six years at Marian Centre and will be missed as well.
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