Sister Norma Valdemoro and the Chilean people have accompanied each other in Chile’s struggle for liberation…”suffering with them, joining peace marches, protests, rallies, fasting, praying and finally celebrating with them their “NO” to the dictatorship.”
A native of Masbate, Philippines, Sister Norma Valdemoro spent nearly 40 years working as an educator, religion instructor and pastoral worker in Chile.
A graduate of of Bicol Teachers College, Legaspi, Phillippines, where she earned a B.S. in Education in 1957 and Abad Santos Education Institute, Manila, where she earned an M.A. in Education, Sister Norma worked as a teacher for the Bureau of Public Schools, Aroroyo, Philippines, and at Maryknoll High School, Lupon, Philippines before entering Maryknoll Sisters at their Quezon City novitiate on June 6, 1966.
Invested with a strong sense of “bayanihan,” a basic value of Filipino people for working together in community, Sister Norma has found this value significant in living out her life and mission as a Maryknoll Sister, exhibited, she says, by “ the daily faithfulness of doing just the ordinary activities with enthusiasm.”
She was first called by her congregation to Chile in 1969. After spending time in language school in Bolivia, she went to Talcahuano, Chile, where she taught religion and English, and conducting team retreats for the youth. She was also advisor of youth leaders in the parish Confirmation program.
During her Renewal in 1981, Sister Norma did mission education in the Philippines. sharing her experiences in Chile with family and friends. After Congregational service in the Treasury Department at Maryknoll, NY, she shared in the life of the Maryknoll Sisters Cloister for nine months.
On her return to Santiago, Chile in 1984, she worked as administrator of the center house while giving courses in family prayer and ministry. In Pudahuel, Santiago, she worked on an urban pastoral team, animating Basic Ecclesial Communities. She supported small prayer and reflection groups called “Christ Missionary,” as well as a support group for women. Other pastoral work includes helping refugees and visiting poor families, “really in need and really poor.” She then worked among the extreme urban poor in La Pincoya, a settlement in northern Santiage withere she did catechetical work with young married couples and trained lay people for parish leadership roles.
On November 1, 2011, Sister Norma became a member of the Maryknoll Sisters Home Care Unit at the Maryknoll Sisters Center, NY, where she continues to reside.