Sister Jessa Marie Ebuenga is our Asia-Pacific vocations contact for the SOLT Sisters. She currently serves in Sorsogon in the Philippines. She can be contacted via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Meet Sr. Jessa…
When I was in 3rd grade I felt that I was called by God to religious life. One time when playing I suddenly stopped and ran to our small chapel, talked to Jesus Crucified, and asked him in my childish way, “Why you are crucified on that cross?” Jesus answered me, “Because I love you and for the salvation of souls!” I responded, “Okay, but you are suffering. How can I help you to take you down from that cross?” He answered me, “Ask your Mother.” I asked Our Lady of Salvation, a life size statue near the altar. She responded, “I will lead you.” Afterwards, I left the chapel and went back to my playmates.
My Dad was a Jehovah’s Witness and my mother is a Catholic. When I was in 6th grade I told my mother that I would like to be a sister when I grew up. She said to me, “Over my dead body.” My dad said, “Whatever would make you happy.” I fought for my vocation from the 6th grade to the 4th year of college. No matter what explanation I gave to my mother she was determined that I would not enter religious life. Through the help of Our Lady, I was able to enter the convent even though I was in the midst of many struggles. Our Blessed Mother proved to my mother that our Lord Jesus is more powerful than she was and that He was the one who called me.
On July 5, 2010, my father joined our Catholic faith and my parents renewed their wedding vows. Together with this great celebration, all my brothers and sister-in-laws went to confession before Mass. This was the greatest gift God has ever given me, to see my whole family be one in faith. What a glimpse of heaven! I answered the call of God and He brought me into His heart and the Heart of Our Lady, and not only me, but my family and all the people whom I met across the world. Joining the SOLT family makes me happier, more alive, alert, and enthusiastic in serving the Church.
To mention where I have served as a sister, I entered SOLT right after college in 1995. My formation years were spent in the Philippines. My first assignment after my Final Profession was in Putiao Parish, Philippines. Shortly thereafter, I was sent to Rome for further study in Angelicum. Assignments after this time included the Russian mission team, United States (both Corpus Christi, Texas and Kansas City, Missouri). I returned to Rome for another year to serve at SOLT’s preschool, then returned to the United States where I was assigned to parish work in Seattle. My next assignment took me back to Europe, this time to Wales. After serving our parish for a year, I returned to serve Our Lady of Corpus Christi in Texas, then Our Lady’s Montessori School in Kansas City, Missouri. Just recently I returned to my home country, the Philippines, where I will serve as Vocation Servant for the community.