Teaching Virtue Through Stories

Cielo Topper has had the desire to teach and be with others since she was a child in Monterrey, Mexico. She responded to the call with humility and began telling simple children’s stories to help kids in her community learn valuable life lessons.

Listen to the podcast of the full interview with Cielo (28:23).

Watch the video of Cielo’s story of encounter (3:18).

Since early in her childhood growing up in Monterrey, Mexico, Cielo has had a desire to teach and engage with others. She responded to the call with humility and began telling simple children’s stories to help children in her community learn valuable life lessons.

At the young age of 10, Cielo’s family moved to Houston, but quickly (in only two months) moved to Louisiana. In spite of the many changes, Cielo, with a servant’s heart, had a “loving desire” to take care of her family.

“We didn’t have air conditioning,” she said. “We lived in Louisiana with the only ceiling fan being in the family room.”

“We speak about faith, but it is really in doing and living the faith that brings a greater joy – in walking that mission,” Cielo said.

The family of five children and her parents decided to sleep on the cool floor of the family room as the swamp-like heat of the summer made it almost impossible to sleep. Cielo felt a strong conviction to stay awake throughout the night and offer relief to her family by using a paper fan.

“I would get up and sing to the Lord ‘Lord, bless my family,’ in Spanish, as I fanned them. I think back to that moment and know it is the Holy Spirit of God who inspires us and works through us.”

Cielo’s family lived in the West Bank of New Orleans, where she met her fiancée  – Jonathan Topper. During their courtship, Jonathan was being transferred to Odessa, Texas, while Cielo’s parents were moving to Georgia. Jonathan offered Cielo to live with his mother in Monterrey, Calif. to prepare for the wedding.

She challenges others to answer God’s call as each of us is given a very specific mission.

“I was born in Monterrey, Mexico, and we were married in Monterrey, Calif.,” Cielo laughed. “Literally, I lived with his family, sharing the work of the family business, attending Holy Mass, baptisms, celebrating Easter Sunday Mass, picnics, and birthdays for three months with his extended family prior to our wedding. That was the biggest gift – to be part of the Topper family. Community was built before we were even a married couple.”

Now Jonathan and Cielo have been in Houston for 26 years.  They have two children and have been at Christ the Redeemer Catholic Church since their children started confirmation in 2008.

Always with the desire to teach, Cielo now leads the Eucharistic Apostles of the Divine Mercy Cenacle, previously taught confirmation classes, and now helps with Sacrament Preparation.

“We speak about faith, but it is really in doing and living the faith that brings a greater joy – in walking that mission,” Cielo said. “It gives us a sense of a higher purpose – to love and serve the Lord and each other. Living faith, sharing mercy, and loving each other into heaven, through example, deeds, words, and prayer.”

She challenges others to answer God’s call as each of us is given a very specific mission.

“Our Lord Jesus calls us by name, and anoints us with a spiritual life active in His Church. It is the Church that brings light into our world.”

Cielo has had many jobs including mortgage lender, Pre-school teacher, Spanish translator, and even gave drama and Spanish lessons. She holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration and is currently the administrative assistant for her husband’s stamp collecting business and a parishioner at Christ the Redeemer Catholic Church in Houston.

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