Current Mission Location – Maryknoll Sisters Center- Maryknoll, NY
Sister Marvelous (Marvie) was born in Albay, Philippines, but raised and grew up in Marikina City, Metro Manila. A CPA by profession, she studied Accountancy and Finance at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines graduating in 1986 and worked before she joined Maryknoll Sisters from the Philippines in 1995. She went to Mt. Vernon, NY for Orientation Phase, professing temporary vows in 1997. She mad her final vows in 2005 while missioned in Taichung City.
Sister Marvie’s initial assignment to Taichung, Diocese 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. After her language studies, she moved to Taichung City and helped in a Buddhist run soup-kitchen serving the homeless. 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. The place was started as a day shelter for homeless women and it eventually became a transition home for women who wanted to leave the streets. The center is first of its kind in the island that uses holistic service delivery approach.
Through collaboration with local people and the national and city government, 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 trainings and networked with other women organizations. Sister Marvie initiated the creation of homeless service providers’ coalition in Taiwan, organizing annual national symposiums on homelessness and women, in collaboration with academic institutions and the Ministry of Interior. In 2012, after establishing the financial sustainability of the center, she turned its management a group of Catholics in the Taichung Diocese, whom at that time, serving as Board of Directors for the Good Samaritan Women Center. In 2016, the dream “HOME” for the women came to reality, the group inaugurated a four-story building built and owned by the organization. The “Wholemaking” work at Good Samaritan Women Center continues to thrive and serving most vulnerable women.
In 2012, Sister Marvie shifted to a ministry on ecology and environment, focusing on climate crisis. Sister Marvie went to study a Master’s program on the Environment, Peace and Security with specialization in Climate Change Security at the University for Peace in San Jose, Costa Rica, a learning institution established by United Nations. In 2013, she did her internship at the Maryknoll Ecological Sanctuary, sharing her knowledge on Climate Change science, policy and advocacy. Her thesis was about 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 Philippine Women University and Miriam College. She joined groups and institutions working on Climate Change issues and solutions. Sister also worked as Project Director to 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 folks in various rural areas by giving environmental leadership trainings.
In February 2022, Sister Marvie completed her four-year mission in Maryknoll, New York as NGO Representative of the Maryknoll Sisters to the United Nations, part of the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns (MOGC) team, a post she held since January 2018.
Sister Marvie is now working at Miriam (formerly Maryknoll) College, in Quezon City, Philippines as executive Director of the Environmental Studies Institute.