My name is Sr. Maria Helen DelaPena and I was born and raised in the Philippines. I first met SOLT in 1988 while I was an aspirant with another religious community. While attending an ordination of a friend in Bicol, I met several SOLT Sisters.
Something came within me seeing them and I was attracted and interested to learn more about the SOLT community, their life, and their apostolate. After several months I found myself sailing in a boat to visit the SOLT community in the islands and then walked for hours and hours to get to the SOLT missions, staying for a few months as a “come and see” candidate. It was a new life and hard experience to live in the island with no water, electricity, road, etc., but within me there was a deep joy. God gave me the desire to serve the poor and be with the poor. Soon after, I decided to join SOLT.
I started my formative years in the Bicol islands and made my first vows in 1991 in Manila, Philippines, and my final vows in our mission in Colon, Mexico, in 1996. It has been a blessing for me to serve within the SOLT community for the past twenty-three years in several of our missions.
Sister Helen was featured in the April 2016 issue of South Texas Catholic in celebration of her 25 years of consecrated life. You can read more about her story here starting on page 9: