“The call to live my contemplative missionary vocation in Guatemala came after seeing the movie ‘El Norte.’ It was a faith response to be present as a community of faith witnessing to the power of the Spirit at work in our time in the midst of violence and oppression.”
Sister Consuela Torrecer was born in Puunene, Maui, Hawaii, one of eleven children born to Filipino immigrants. After attending the Maryknoll Sisters High School in Maui, and working in Honolulu, she joined Maryknoll in 1958.
While working at the Maryknoll Sisters Motherhouse, Maryknoll, NY, Sister Consu requested an assignment in 1965 to the Cloister which Maryknoll Sisters foundress Mother Mary Joseph Rogers described as “a contemplative community with a different kind of work to do.” An integral part of the Congregation, these Sisters are called to live their lives in prayer and sacrifice for the support of missioners, especially Maryknollers, and the missionary endeavor of the universal church. Sister Consu was a Spiritual Director as well as a Retreat Director, with the retreatants participating in the Sisters liturgy and communal prayer. With another member of her community, Sister Consu gave retreats to Maryknoll Sisters in the Philippines, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, Hong Kong and Hawaii. She was part of a Charismatic Prayer Group which met weekly and was mutually enriching for all participants.
In 1986, Sister Consu and two others were assigned to begin the first overseas cloister in the village of Lemoa, Quiche, Guatemala. After Spanish study, they lived in a parish building, which had been used by the military as a torture center. They studied the Quiche language; welcomed prayer groups to use the parish hall; welcomed the people’s visits; walked up the mountains to accompany their celebrations. All they learned became their prayer. Nine years later, Sister Consu returned to the Contemplative Community at Maryknoll, NY, where she continues to reside and pursue a life of prayer.