Laura Mero Arteaga, Chone, Ecuador: You learned her name and loved her immediately.
I’m Laura Mero, from Chone, Ecuador. Catalina was always an example of a total self-surrender for me. And knowing more things about her life and how she had changed so radically and how she loved the Lord and the Virgin Mary encourages me to continue the effort and daily self-surrender.
I met her in 2016 at a get-together for Carnival that took place in Playa Prieta. It was my first activity with the Home of the Mother outside of Chone. I remember seeing her and thinking, “This girl is awesome.” Her joy was extraordinary and contagious. When you were with her you couldn’t be sad. That impressed me a lot. Moreover, the way she welcomed me was out of this world. You learned her name and loved her immediately.
She was the leader at summer camp that year. I never saw her sad, nor angry nor even a little stressed out, but quite the opposite: joyful, self-surrendered and enthusiastic. On a trip we made, she was on the bus with us. Since the bus was full, we stood the whole trip. Cata was told jokes the whole time, even though we were all tired and uncomfortable. She was the most cheerful, which helped us be better.
She is an example of self-surrender and generosity for me. She was like an older sister for me and identified myself with her. She loved the Virgin Mary a lot, a ton! And she treated Her with an incredible affection. She always wanted the girls to draw closer to the Lord. We all loved her. She had a special love for each person, like a mother who knows every one of her children. That is how she was.