Sister Teresita Perez celebrated her 50th Golden Jubilee on Sunday, September 24 in the Main Chapel at the Maryknoll Sisters Center.
Sister Teresita was born in Altavas in the province of Aklan in the Philippines. She grew up in Makati City, Philippines and was the only girl among seven brothers. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Education from the University of Santo Tomas in Manila, Philippines. In 1967, she entered the Maryknoll Sisters Congregation from the Archdiocese of Manila.
She was assigned to Peru in 1969, where she made her First Profession of Vows in 1970 in Arequipa and her Final Vows in the same city in 1975. In Arequipa, Lima and Tacna, her ministries varied from secondary teaching, parish work among families, pastoral leadership training and youth ministry to hospital chaplaincy. She founded and coordinated hospital Eucharistic ministers in Lima as well as coordinating the Health Commission of the Conference of Religious.
After 24 years as a missioner in Peru, Sister Teresita was assigned to the Philippines in 1993, where she shared the richness of her mission experiences as well as learned about all that had changed in her absence. At Miriam College (formerly Maryknoll College), she taught Theology and Spanish and organized the Campus Ministry Office of the Higher Education Unit, serving 2,200 students. She facilitated retreats to faculty, students and staff, mentored the Liturgy Committee and incorporated liturgical dance in special celebrations.
In 1995, on World Youth Day in Manila, Philippines she coordinated the Catechetical Section, the liturgical celebrations and the thematic event; where she taught the Universal Dances of Peace to 2,000 foreign and local delegates meeting there for 3 full days. In the summer months, she was a member of the group that served the adoptive community of Miriam College in its literacy program among the indigenous peoples in Tanay, Rizal.
At the invitation of Bishop Paul Gwong from Myanmar (Burma), Sister Teresita gave a month-long workshop, “Teaching English as a Second Language” to 30 high school teachers.
Presently, she resides at the Maryknoll Sisters Center in Ossining, New York where she remains an active volunteer for the local community. She volunteers as a bi-lingual interpreter at Brookside Elementary School and at Maryknoll Neighbors Link (a local immigration program). She also volunteers at the Ossining Library in their “Reading Buddies Program” to help people who need to improve their reading skills.