Sister Nena Heramil, M.M.
Current Ministry Location-Panama
Sister Nena was born and raised on the small island of Samal in the Southern Philippines; she has three brothers and three sisters. In 1985 she entered a local religious Congregation, the Teresian Daughters of Mary, where she enjoyed twenty five years of community and mission life; working mostly as a school administrator. Then she found herself heeding another call, one to work directly with people especially within a cross-cultural context. After meeting several Maryknoll Sisters, Sister Nena felt a particular attraction towards Maryknoll’s missionary spirit – making God’s love visible everywhere and throughout all of creation. In 2010, after much discernment, experiencing both joy and pain, loss and hopeful anticipation, she requested a transfer to the Maryknoll Sisters. She made her Final Incorporation of Vows in 2015 and received her first foreign mission assignment in Bolivia where she worked in an after-school program for at-risk children.
In 2016, Sister Nena was assigned to Panama, after several months of orientation to the new culture and people she chose a ministry working with a social action group at a local parish.
She is involved in several different “social actions” projects the group does to help those in need. Currently, Sister Nena is providing support and guidance to the parish volunteers who need help figuring out what “social action” tasks would be best for them to help with. She is inspired by the volunteer’s dedication and commitment, and she considers it a privilege to engender trust among the people she helps.
There are several other tasks Sister Nena helps the social action group with, she accompanies two health volunteers to visit parishioners every week who are home bound; she finds it heartwarming to mutually enjoy one another through prayer and song. Twice per month, Sister Nena helps with a food distribution program; many families depend on these supplies to survive. She also provides assistance with a housing project, she helps evaluate families in need of housing and provides material support.