Sister Gloria was born into a large family in the Philippines and earned a degree in religious studies from the Institute of Formation and Religious Studies (IFRS) in Quezon City in 2005. While studying at IFRS, Sister Gloria got to know three Maryknoll Sisters who were teaching and working there. She was so impressed and inspired by their simplicity, their joy, and their commitment to social justice, that she began to discern a vocation with the Maryknoll Sisters. Sister Gloria entered Maryknoll in 2009. As a part of her initial orientation she attended a two-year training program in Chicago before making her First Vows on August 14th, 2011.
From 2012 – 2013, Sister Gloria was assigned in Bolivia to do pastoral work. “It is truly painful to leave one’s comfort zone, but it would be more painful and perhaps a lifetime regret if I would not respond to God’s call,” said Sister Gloria.
In 2014, Sister Gloria was assigned to El Salvador. There she worked with the Maryknoll Sisters AIDS prevention program, CONTRASIDA (against AIDS). She was in charge of running the clinic, home visitation, youth formation, and tutorial program for the children of people with HIV, as well as for volunteer formation, and human and educational formation for the people infected and affected by HIV. In addition, Sister Gloria also served as co – adviser of CONTRASIDA. Sister Gloria said, “The longer I stay and journey with them, and to see how they suffered in life because of the virus, the poverty and the discrimination of the society, the more I learn that they are part of me. This all gives more meaning in my calling to become a Maryknoll missioner, outside of my homeland which I am comfortable with.”
After these two mission experiences, Sister Gloria returned to the Maryknoll Sisters Center for a time of Reflection before making her final vows. When her father died, she asked herself if she was ready to commit her life to Maryknoll. She reflected: “His death indeed inspires me to live my vows each day with a gracious heart. It’s hard knowing he is gone physically, yet he is more present to me now, together with my mother and love ones. Their love sustains me as I live my vows. Love indeed is the center of my call. It is not about my readiness; rather, it is my willingness and perseverance to live into the future, with profound spirit and with a loving heart.”
Together, with the three other Maryknoll Sisters, Sister Gloria made her final commitment to Maryknoll on August 12th, 2018 at the Maryknoll Sisters Center in New York. A year later in 2019, Sister Gloria was assigned as Co-Director of the Vocations Office. Sister Gloria truly personifies the Maryknoll call to selflessness and the willingness to leave behind everything familiar and put in years of training to better serve those who are crying out for assistance, justice, dignity, and love.