Current Mission Location – Maryknoll Sisters Center- Maryknoll, NY
Marvelous (Marvie) was born August 31, 1966 in Daraga, Albay Province of the Philippines, but raised in Marikina City, Metro Manila. She had 3 sisters: Gemma, Aida and Olga and 3 brothers: Allan, Darius and Samuel. She graduated from Roosevelt College High School, Metro Manila, RP in 1983. A CPA by profession, she studied Accountancy and Finance at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines, Manila, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts-Accounting in 1987and a Master of Arts-Business Administration in 1992 from the Ateneo Graduate School of Business, Manila and worked until 1995.
She earned a State License from the Board of Accountancy, Philippines in 1998.
Marvie entered the Maryknoll Sisters, from the Philippines, at their Center in NY in1995. She went to Mt. Vernon, NY to join other women interested in Maryknoll for Orientation Phase, professing her First Vows in September 6, 1997. While missioned in Taiwan, she made her final vows in April 2, 2005.
Sister Marvie’s initial assignment to Taichung Diocese, Taiwan, in 1998, led her to study both Min-Nan and Mandarin languages. Her ministry with people suffering homelessness in Taipei City started in 1999, by being a volunteer at Peace House with the CICM Sisters and in 2001 helping and collaborating in a soup-kitchen run by Buddhists in Taichung City. While on sabbatical in New York in 2001, Sister Marvie lived and volunteered at the Catholic Worker’s Mary House in downtown Manhattan, preparing herself to set up the Good Samaritan Women Center in Taichung City in 2003. It was established as a day shelter for homeless women in the beginning and eventually became a transition home for women rebuilding their lives. The center was the first of its kind in Taichung City.
Through collaboration with local people and the national and city governments, the Good Samaritan Women Center became not only a shelter for homeless and disadvantaged women but advocated for women’s rights in Taiwan. The center facilitated women’s development training and networking with other womens organizations. Sr. Marvie initiated the creation of homeless service providers’ coalition in Taiwan, organizing annual national symposium on homelessness in collaboration with academic institutions and the Ministry of the Interior. In 2012, after establishing the financial sustainability of the womens center, she turned over the oversee and management to a group of lay people of the Taichung Diocese, who are also serving as the Board of Directors for the Good Samaritan Women Center. In 2016, the dream “HOME” for the women came to reality inaugurating a four-story building built and owned by the organization. The wholemaking work at Good Samaritan Women Center continues to thrive and serve the most vulnerable women.
In 2012, Sister Marvie shifted to ministry of ecology and environment, focusing to understand the present climate crisis and what can be done. In 2013 she went to the University of Peace in San Jose, Costa Rica for a Master’s program on the Environment, Peace and Security with specialization in Climate Change Security. A learning institution established by United Nations, she did her internship at the Maryknoll Ecological Sanctuary, sharing her knowledge on Climate Change science, policy and advocacy. She wrote her thesis on the Maryknoll Sisters Environmental Ministry Framework. In 2014, Sister Marvie was assigned to work in the Philippines focusing on climate related issues. She taught graduate students on Environmental Management and Urban Planning at the Philippine Women University and at Miriam College. She joined groups and institutions working on Climate Change issues and solutions. Sister also worked as Project Director for a national research project, study and compliance audit to 13 Philippine environmental laws by different government units in the Philippines. She has also worked with indigenous people and farmers, women and fisher folk in various rural areas by giving environmental leadership training.
Sister Marvie was assigned in 2018 to Maryknoll, New York to be a member of the Maryknoll Office of Global Concerns (MOGC) and as NGO Representative of the Maryknoll Sisters to the United Nations