Sister Teresita Rellosa, MM,
Missioner to Her Native Philippines,
Dies at 82
Maryknoll, NY — Maryknoll Sister Teresita Marie Rellosa, a missioner to her native Philippines for over 50 years, died on June 12, 2015, in the Philippines on their Independence Day.
Born on April 21, 1933, in Pangil Laguna, Philippines, to Esteban and Norberta De Ramos Rellosa, and christened Eleonora Rellosa, Sister Teresita entered Maryknoll on June 1, 1962, at the congregation’s Philippine Novitiate, in Quezon City, and spent most of her 53 years with Maryknoll Sisters in her home country.
She was first assigned to work in Maryknoll College’s regional offices in Manila, then Baguio City, where she served from 1965-1970. Then, on February 14, 1971, she made her Final Vows in Cateel, Davao Oriental, preparing the whole liturgy and even composing the lyrics and music of the entrance hymn used that day, “With Joy Let Us Walk to Our God.
Following her Final Vows, Sister Teresita was sent to Maryknoll High School in Cateel, Davao, where she taught math and served as the school registrar through 1972. After a year studying at Centro Escolar University, Manila, where she earned a B.S. in education and math, Sister Teresita spent a few years (1974-1983) as a school teacher and administrator, as well as parish worker, in Upi Cotabato and Quezon City. She was then assigned to pastoral work in the rural communities of Buug and Zamboanga del Sur, where she served from 1983-1991.
After three years working in the Development Department and Information Services Office at Maryknoll Sisters Center in Ossining, NY, she returned to the Philippines, where she worked as Finance Officer for the Institute of Formation and Religious Studies in Quezon City from 1995-1997. She then became involved with community and advocacy work in Quezon City, where she served until 2014.
“Immersing ourselves deeper into the life of these people is a continuous experience of self-emptying and personal remolding which I believe is consistent with the spirit and example of Jesus,” Sister Teresita once said. “It is like removing our sandals to be able to enter into the ‘sacred ground.’ It is an ‘Incarnation’ experience for me.”
A Mass of Christian Burial was offered for Sister Teresita on June 15, 2015, at Miriam College, Quezon City, Philippines. She was laid to rest in the Maryknoll Sisters Mausoleum at Miriam College.