The seed for my religious life was planted around the age of twelve when a nun came to our Barrio (a Filipino word for a village or district) to conduct catechism classes. I recall covering my head with a towel and pretending it was a veil. Initially my interest appeared to be short lived. I followed through with plans to finish high school, go to college and become a nurse. I wanted to serve abroad.
Years later, I came to the United States with a group of nurses to work at a hospital south of Chicago. Like most foreign workers, I sent money home to support my family. Eventually my patents, and my nine siblings and their families also immigrated to America. When my parents died, I realised that no one in the family assumed the role of actively praying for all of us. While I’d like to say that it was my concern for the spiritual well-being of my family that prompted me to join religious life, I think mostly it was the growing restlessness in my heart. I felt something was missing. Frequent visits to the Blessed Sacrament and regular Mass attendance didn’t fill the void. I didn’t follow a straight path to where I am today, but I realise how different my life might be if my parents and I hadn’t believed in the power of prayer.
I did not feel the call to be an apostle on the front lines. I believe this hidden life of prayer can be just as active; Scriptures and history speak to the power of prayer. I am honoured to have the opportunity to answer the call and take this gift of hope to serve God in his Church and the world.