Monday, May 14, 2012

Hi, its Gloria.  First and foremost, thanks for all the wonderful thoughts, prayers and wishes for Ada Maria and the family in the comments.  They are wonderful to read and do help to give solace at a very difficult time.

Below you will find Ada Maria's obituary which will run in a few newspapers later this week.  We thought that this community would also want to see it.  Towards the end of the obituary are all the particulars of her wake, mass and burial in Miami, FL.  As I mentioned before, if some of you can and want to join us, you'll be welcomed by Ada's family.

Later in the year, perhaps late summer, early fall, we will be contacting some of you to help us with a memorial in New York City.  We know that Ada was deeply rooted in this community and want to respect that for her and for you.

Ada Maria Isasi-Diaz
Dr. Ada Maria Isasi-Diaz died on May 13, 2012 at age 69 after having received the Holy Sacraments. Ada Maria was born in La Habana, Cuba, on March 22, 1943, the daughter of Josefina Diaz de Isasi and Domingo G. Isasi-Battle (RIP 2005). She lived her youth in Cuba, studying in La Habana where she graduated from Merici Academy in 1960.

She moved to the United States in 1960 with her family, and soon after entered the Ursuline novitiate in Santa Rosa, California.  After finishing studies at New Rochelle College, NY, Ada was sent to Lima, Peru by the order to work among the poor in the “barriada de Miramar”.  There she became passionate in caring for the dispossessed and building the “kin-dom” of God.

After leaving the convent in 1969, she lived with her family in the United States.  Realizing that she had a continued calling to be an educator and a voice for the underprivileged, Ada Maria moved in 1975 to Rochester, New York where she served in two inner city parishes and became involved in the Women’s Ordination Conference (WOC).

Ada Maria earned a Masters of Divinity and a Doctorate in Theology from Union Theological Seminary, in New York City in 1990.  At Union, she started her lifelong engagement and leadership in the community of Liberation Theologians. Continuing her commitment to women’s issues, she coined the term Mujerista theology to make explicit the Latina voice in Feminist Liberation Theology.

In 1991, Ada Maria became a professor of Ethics and Theology at Drew University, Madison, NJ from where she retired in 2009. Students were very fond of her and described her as someone who was a demanding teacher, fair, honest and passionate. While at Drew University, she co-founded the Hispanic Theological Institute for training of Hispanic Theologians.

She was a prolific writer, completing eight books, and many scholarly articles.  Her
seminal work was Mujerista Theology: a Theology for the 21st Century

She is survived and remembered by her mother, sisters, and brother, brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law, her nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews, friends and the community of women she mentored and inspired.

Visiting hours will be held at Caballero-Rivero-Woodlawn, 8200 SW 40th Street, Miami, FL from 6:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. on May 18, 2012.  A Mass of the Resurrection will be held at St.Thomas the Apostle Church, 7377 SW 64th Street, Miami, FL at 2:00 p.m. on May19, 2012; followed by the internment at Our Lady of Mercy Cemetery, 11411 NW 25th St, Miami, FL. 

In lieu of flowers, please send contributions to either:

Mary’s Pence                                              Mercy Corps
275 East 4th Street, #707                              P.O. Box 2669
St. Paul, MN 55101                                     Portland, OR 97208

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Hi, its Gloria, Sunday, May 13th, the feast of Our Lady of Fatima, Ada Maria passed away.  She continued in the deep sleep in which she was for the last 48 hours, and her breathing simply became less frequent until it stopped at 1:40 a.m.  There was no struggle, agony nor any signs of discomfort.  She has now moved on to her eternal life, having left behind a remarkable legacy.  The lives of all who knew her and loved her were immensely enriched by her presence.  She walked un Buen Camino and triumphed in La Lucha for compassion and solidarity.

It is time to celebrate her life and honor her memory.

We are taking Ada Maria's body to be buried in Miami.  Once all the arrangements have been completed, I will post her obituary, which includes the information on her services in Miami.  For those of you that can and want to join us for these services, please know that Ada Maria's family will welcome you.

In addition, later in the year, we will be conducting memorial services for her in New York city.  I will keep the blog updated with that information.

My heart is sad and the word that keeps going through my mind, is what pilgrims on El Camino tell each other when things get difficult, Animó.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Hi, just wanted to take a few minutes to give you a short update on Ada.

By yesterday morning (Friday morning), she deteriorated a bit more and during the day slipped into unconsciousness. So now, she is no longer able to interact with us.

She received the Sacrament of the Sick and Communion on Thursday and we have had a number of prayers in her room.

The staff at MSK is doing a great job in helping us care for her. We took a lot of the medical "stuff" that no longer serves any purpose out of her room and brought in roses and music, they matter a lot more now.

Mari has come up from Miami and so now it is Luli, Evelio, Mari, Jose and me at her side.  I am heading back to Chicago late this afternoon.  I know that I leave her in the best of hands and the business of living always goes on.

I will post again when Ada takes the last step in El Camino or if there is any other major development.

Thanks to all of you for the wonderful comments, prayers and emails.  I read a few of them to Ada yesterday.  I don't know whether or not she can hear them but I chose to believe that she can.  Both Ada and her family truly appreciate them.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Hi, its Gloria, I am sitting at Ada's bedside and she is resting comfortable.  We are both getting settled for the night.  I thought you would want to know a little about what is going on.

We are now in palliative care for Ada  She is confined to the bed and without pain. She sleeps part of time and then there are the moments when she is still with us.  Her mind is not totally clear (I confess that this is probably the hardest thing for me to deal with) but she does talk a bit, smile at us and can engage in a bit of conversation.  Once in a while, she is a bit anxious, usually at the end of a dosage cycle, but touching, singing or just holding her hand really seem to help.

Since we don't know how much longer we will have her with us, family has been coming in to say goodbye.  Frankly, she actually handles it better than the rest of us.

We read her emails, blog comments, pass on hugs and kisses.  She gets kissed a lot and some of us demand kisses back and so far we have gotten them.

For me the quiet time at the end of the day at her bedside is the best.  Even if she is sleeping, we are together and that is special.  It feels quiet, peaceful and surrounded by all the thoughts and prayers that so many of you have shared with her.

Thanks to all of you for the wonderful comments on her blog, I know that they mean the world to her and all of us in the family also appreciate them.

And so, it is the end of another day on El Camino...

Tuesday, May 8, 2012


We met with the Doctors this afternoon. The news is not good. Ada's cancer did not respond to the chemotherapy administered several days ago. By now, if it had worked, she would have shown signs of improvement, especially in the production of liquid, which has gotten worse rather than better. The failure of the kidneys has continued to worsen also, and they relate it to the cancer severely impacting her entire body. We asked about alternatives, and they responded that there is nothing that can be done, other than make her comfortable.  They described the cancer as being very aggressive and at a quite advanced stage to be treated.

She has been told of her condition and has remained calm. She continues to be pain-free. Anti-anxiety medication and additional relaxing/pain relief medication are being administered. The Doctors said she is too sick to be moved from the hospital without causing her pain and suffering. When asked about prognosis for the development of her condition, the Doctors said that end of life may be near. Clearly they cannot predict how her body will react, but the longest period of time they mentioned was weeks (not months).

We suspect that many of you would want to come and say goodbye.  We understand and respect that desire, but her lucid time is likely to be very limited and even now she is overwhelmed when several people are in the room.  Therefore, please communicate with us via the blog or send an email to  I apologize for it being a bit impersonal, we just don't have a lot of other options.

I will keep you updated as Ada takes the next step in El Camino...

We ask that you continue your prayers and support for all things that will help her in this moment

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Hello, I am at MSK with Ada, I arrived a little while ago.  Ada is holding her own.  Her pain is under control and she is in the waiting game to get her kidneys to heal.  This is a slow process and none of us is very patient but the body heals at its own pace and so we wait.

My sister Tere, my niece Ali Mari and I are here with her.  In the next couple of days, we are going to have a consult with both her oncology and renal team, so that we can understand what are possible next steps.

Thanks for all of your wishes and prayers, we ask for your continued prayers and keep those cards coming, we have them up in her room..  El Camino is always easier when there is support...It always helps.

Thanks, Gloria

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Hi there, it's Gloria.  I wanted to let you know that Ada has continued to make progress although she is still at MSK.  Her levels are back to where they should be and she is close to being stable.  Her legs are still very swollen from all of the fluids that they pumped into her when she was in the ICU.  They are draining very slowly, which makes it hard for her to walk.  So, that is what we are working on improving right now.

She is scheduled for her next chemotherapy for this Thursday, 5/3.  They are a bit concerned about her kidneys but we are hoping and praying that they are in good enough shape to be able to go forward with the chemotherapy.

Assuming all goes well, she is probably going to be released to a rehab place later in the week.  She needs to be able to walk a bit better before they can let her go home.  So, please keep your prayers coming and give a special thought to her kidneys in your prayers.  It is important that they stay healthy and working well for the chemotherapy to be able to do its job.

I have been able to talk to her over the last couple of days and it has been great to hear her voice.  She is hanging on and the messages and prayers bring her lots of hope.  They make a big difference!

My sister Tere is with her through Sunday and then I am going up for just a few days, so I will fill you in early next week.

Thanks again for all your support, it is appreciated by Ada and the whole family.