Sr. Marieleth

Sr. Marieleth of the Compassionate Trinity

I am Sr. Maria Theresa Eleanor of the Compassionate Trinity or Sr. Marieleth for short. The words of our Blessed Mother Mary, “Do whatever He tells you,” inspired me to follow in her footsteps in accepting the will of the Trinity whom I experience as a Compassionate God. Our sister, St. Therese of Lisieux, encouraged me to begin my journey with her words: “It is prayer and sacrifice that constitute all my strength.”

In my twenties, not being sure of what the future might be, I asked St. Joseph, as patron of good husbands, to be my guide in discerning the possible call to married life. Even so, I was still open to the possibility that God might be calling me to religious life. One night in a dream, I was outside our high fenced house in the middle of an empty street, and looking up, I saw a big bright cross illumining the dawn sky. A religious sister interpreted it as “Follow the light of the Cross of Christ.” This image stayed with me.

My family was religious and we were faithful in attending Masses on Sunday, on solemnities, and other special feasts. I was devoted to Our Lady and to the Sacred Heart and attended novenas even in my high school years. I envied those who read and served at Mass and thought about how close they were to the Lord. After completing my college degree in Business Administration, I helped in my family’s ceramic business. At the same time, I enrolled in a Fashion Design School hoping to have my own boutique someday. In the midst of attending to the family business and school, I also began to get actively involved in our parish and joined the Legion of Mary and other parish organizations. My soul was nourished by participating in parish-sponsored retreats. Parish ministry opened my eyes to the many who were suffering in the world. I was filled with compassion whenever I visited families in slum areas, lepers, the mentally challenged confined in institutes, and when helping the victims of natural calamities. I began to long for prayer and to sit regularly before the Blessed Sacrament. I desired to be alone with God in prayer and to intercede for the world’s needs and for the Church especially for priests and lay people.

With prayer, I began to seek a life that was not about what I wanted but about what God wanted. There were many occasions that God communicated messages to me in dreams. Often too, I would see a huge and colorful rainbow when I needed guidance and assurance that God was with me. I felt that the rainbow was a sign of God’s covenant and of God’s faithfulness to His promise. In 1997, pictures of a saint in the streets of Manila seemed to follow me wherever I went. This made me wonder who she was. In September of that year, I, my spiritual director, and some friends visited a Carmelite Monastery located on the top of a mountain. When we got there, it was like the clouds kissed our faces and a certain feeling arose within me that I couldn’t explain. I spoke with one of the sisters in private and she gave me “The Story of a Soul.” I started reading it on our way back home. It was then that it was revealed to me who the beautiful saint was on those posters everywhere. They were posted as part of the preparation of St. Thérèse’s proclamation as Doctor of the Church. I finished the book the following day. On her feast day, I attended Mass, happy to know that I had a new friend whom I could confide the deepest longings of my heart. On October 19, the day on which St. Thérèse was proclaimed a Doctor of the Church, I was back at that same Carmel to attend Mass and be with the Carmelite Sisters for a few days. I received a white rose on that day which some interpreted as a sign of a possible vocation. Since that day, I let the Lord pursue my heart.

In January 1998, a week before my birthday, I travelled 162 miles alone to the Carmel in Baguio. I was invited to attend the community retreat talks on St. Thérèse as a guest outside the enclosure. That one week stay answered all my questions about my vocation. I said to myself, “This is my future, this will be my life.” I realized it was a grace-filled moment. I filled up the application form and submitted it immediately. On February, I received the acceptance letter for postulancy. March 19, 1998 was set for my entrance, the Feast of St. Joseph, the husband of Mary. Was it a coincidence? I believe the father of Jesus on earth to whom I had entrusted my desire for a good husband gave me the best lover, my future Spouse, Jesus. How true what St. Teresa said, “I do not remember that I have ever asked anything of St. Joseph which he has failed to grant.” I pronounced my first vows on the Solemnity of St. Teresa, October 15, 2001.

I was professed on 02 February 2007 on the feast of the Presentation of the Lord in Angeles Carmel, Philippines and later transferred to Boston Carmel on 08 April 2014. These Carmelite communities have given me numerous opportunities for growth in my personal and religious life. I have been shown the beauty of Carmelite life in my relationships with God and with my sisters in community, and through a love for God’s creation. In my heart, I will forever gratefully remember the marvels the Lord has done for me.

I am now 25 years in Carmel, in the place the Lord has prepared for me on earth, the green pasture He promised which the psalmist sang about in Psalm 23. I am convinced that His goodness and love will be with me all my life. He proved this to me as I went through times of great consolation as well as deep darkness. St. Therese reminds me that, “Everything is grace.” When I cooperate with the grace of God I am at peace with myself and with God. I praise and thank God with joy and contentment for this life to which He has called me. I am here because I am in love with Jesus who pursued me, whose love filled the emptiness I had within me while I was “in the world.” I heed St. Teresa’s words, “Desire to see God, be fearful of losing Him, and find joy in everything that can lead to Him. If you act in this way, you will always live in great peace.” Yes, there is so much peace and joy in my life and I would not trade it for anything in the world. Now, with faith, hope and love, I continue to seek Jesus and open myself to the blessings and healings He offers me. I pray that I will always say YES with all my heart to the Compassionate Trinity. To God be the Glory!

Planted by our Father’s grace, watered by His consolation,
under the bright light of the Cross of Christ, I wish to grow and bloom.
And nourished by the Holy Spirit, may I be rooted in prayer, and bear much fruit of love
so that at harvest time my life may be offered as thanksgiving to the Trinity Most High.
(words that came to me before my Clothing day when I received the Carmelite habit)

Sr. Bernadette Therese of the Cross

Makati City, Philippines

Sr. Mary Teresa of the Sacred Passion

Brooklyn, NY

Sr. Eileen Mary of the Heart of Jesus

Bronx, NY

Sr. Mary Clare of Jesus

Brighton, Ma

Sr. Jeanne-Marie of Merciful Love

South Boston, Ma

Sr. Agnes of Jesus

Daegu, Korea

Sr. Marieleth of the Compassionate Trinity

Manila, Phiippines