An Interview with Cardinal Tagle

Maryknoll Magazine makes available the extended version of an interview with Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle by our staff writer Giovana Soria on June 2, 2022.

Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, of the Philippines, serves as prefect for the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples and president of Caritas Internationalis. A long-time friend of Maryknoll, he visited Maryknoll headquarters in Ossining, New York, to preside at the ordination of our newest Maryknoll priest, Father John Siyumbu.

Interview highlights video. To read excerpts from this interview, go to The Gift of Mission.

First of all, Your Eminence, can you tell us about your relationship with Maryknoll?

Cardinal Tagle: There is a history to that relationship. I should begin with the first Maryknoll seminarian that I got to know, Father Jim Kroeger. We were in the same seminary in the Philippines. I was in philosophy, he was in theology. So, Maryknoll stopped becoming a name, a label. It became a person in Father Jim. We grew up together in the seminary. We were very happy that there is a Maryknoll missionary who undergoes basic seminary theology formation in a diocesan seminary, in a faculty of theology in the Philippines and he will stay to serve in the Philippines.

That, for me, was already something that captured the imagination. He was not just someone from the outside coming in as a fully packaged person, but who will grow in his ministry by being already immersed in the world that he would be serving. This vision of a Maryknoll missionary who would be receiving from the people in the country that he will serve. Not just a missioner who will give, but who will receive. I also had close contacts with Maryknoll sisters. I even taught in the night school for students who had to work during the day and had only time to go to school in the evenings, in a college run by the Maryknoll Sisters.

Then, of course, through the years, and my encounters outside of my diocese, the Maryknoll mission has always been a potent sign of the communion of the Church. We may come from different nationalities but we’re bound together by the same love for the Gospel, for Jesus and the Church.

Father Kroeger mentioned you both loved music. Could you tell us a little story about what happened during those years you were studying together?

Cardinal Tagle: Father Jim – or “Jim” at that time — was the choir director of the seminary choir. Especially during big events in the seminary, the philosophy seminarians and the theology seminarians would come together to form one big choir. Jim would teach us and conduct the choir. He was a joy to watch because we didn’t know whether he was conducting or dancing. He made music practice quite enjoyable. Of course we did not tell him that at the time. It was fun because some choir directors that followed Jim were quite stern. He made it fun.

In the philosophy department, we had also our own singing group because we lived in a separate building which was called the annex, it was an annex to the main building. We called our group “Annexpected,” like unexpected. Father Jim would always tell us with his twang, “The Annexpected.”

It was really fun. Music, especially for Filipinos, is a way of communicating with God and with neighbors. It is our way of coping with life. The deep things in life are better expressed through melodies, through humming rather than just through words. When communities gather, especially during sad moments, you could see that music plays a role in lifting the spirits of people. I was very happy that in the seminary that was already nurtured as evangelizing and a pastoral tool.

You also worked closely with Maryknoll Father Jim Ferry who passed away last year. He was the vicar for the religious in the Archdiocese of Manila. Can you tell us how Maryknoll missionaries influenced you in your vocation journey?

Cardinal Tagle: I really am grateful that I’ve met some Maryknoll missionaries in groups. I remember Father Clyde [Phillips] when he was still in the Philippines. He invited me in the 1990s, I think 1993, to facilitate a retreat of the Maryknolls in Davao. I trembled at that time — I just came back from studies and here I am facing these experts in missions! But I appreciated that because it was their moment to rest but it was resting through prayer and coming together, in a renewal of ties and friendship. I felt the missionaries’ spirit. Then, there were individuals missionaries that I got in closer contact with because of work, like Father Jim Kroeger, and Father Bill LaRousse, who later on became the secretary general of FABC [Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conference].

In Manila, our dear friend Father Ferry was both a grandfather, a father and a son to me because he would always come to me to remind of my need to rest, to slow down and not to overstretch myself. He would do it with gentleness but also with firmness. He knew that I had to listen to a senior like him. At the same time, he was one missionary who did not stop learning. He would call, he would approach me and really be sincere in learning new things. After a homily or after a talk that I gave, he would approach and say, “This thing that you said, that’s new to me. I will bring that to reflection.”

Again, these missionaries who had so much to share but also who are very open to learning and receiving, not coming as a know-it-all type of person but humbly. When Father Jim [Ferry] passed away, I was already in Rome. It was very sad but I was very much consoled that the priests in Manila sent me messages about Father Jim’s passing and they all that said, “We know how much Father Ferry loves you, so we share your grief.”

What do you consider the most important thing that you learned from Maryknoll missioners?

Cardinal Tagle: The capacity to leave home but to be at home where they are planted, so they’re never homeless. On the one hand, they say goodbye to their homes and for most of the them, it’s the United States of America and all that connotes — the culture and even the conveniences of life. But you see, wherever they go, they feel at home. They allow the local people to bring them home. For me, I’m reminded of what Jesus said, “The foxes have lairs, the birds have the air and nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” But it doesn’t mean he was homeless. His vision was his home. I’ve seen that in many Maryknoll missioners.

After World Mission Sunday Mass at St. Ferdinand Church, pastor Father Jason Torba and Cardinal Blase Cupich greet the congregation, including all those who do mission in Chicago. (Julie Jaidinger, Chicago Catholic/U.S.)

Pope Francis greets Filipino Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, during a Mass marking the 500th anniversary of Christianity in the Philippines, in St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican, March 14, 2021. (CNS photo/Vatican Media)

What would you share about your roles as president of Caritas Internationalis and prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples?

Cardinal Tagle: The mission of evangelization, of sharing the Good News in the person of Jesus Christ, is constant. It will never become old. It’s always fresh; but we see also some shifts. Because in the past, in the 1500s and 1600s, missionary activities were tied to territories. You have some nations, countries, territories that were considered already evangelized or what they called “Christian countries.” So, they had the mission to send missionaries to countries or places or territories that are still in need of hearing the Gospel and that’s valid.

If we look at the human context, the territories don’t seem rigid, distinctions don’t seem to work now. So you could be in one geographical territory [and] because of migration and social media, you will have in one territory people who are already evangelized and people who are in need of first evangelization. … So mission is now invited to move from a territorial geographical thinking to contexts, the human spaces. That will require a lot of courage and creativity in approaches. How do you bring the Gospel? That I see in my work in the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples. You have some dioceses in the North America and Europe, the traditionally Christian territories, with many sisters, lay catechists and priests from Africa and Asia.

In the meantime, you also have people who have not heard the Gospel, who have migrated to traditionally Christian territories. In those territories, you need first evangelization, but you don’t need to go to Africa or Asia [for] first evangelization. It could be in what we call traditionally Christian territories. The same with Caritas because here, I want to go back to what Pope Benedict XVI said about the tripod, the three pillars of a Christian community: the Word of God, the Gospel; the sacraments, especially the Eucharist; and the service of charity. He said those three should always be together if the mission is to be complete and for the identity of the Church to be complete.

I see [this] in my work with Caritas, [because] usually the work of Caritas is directed towards the poorest people. Most of them are in areas where Christians are a small minority. The proclamation of the Gospel through acts of charity and also through the Gospel, through words, could coincide. In fact, the work of charity becomes, in most cases, the first proclamation of the Gospel, the language of love, the language of compassion. From there, the people ask, “Why are you doing this?” Then, the words follow. They may be two different tasks but interrelated.

What do you have to say about global mission?

Cardinal Tagle: Global mission, in terms of geographical reality, is still valid and must continue. We should be able to go outside of our homes in order to go to other peoples, to encounter other peoples. At the same time, the global realities can be present in a local setting. What happens in a local setting could be a mirror of the global. Even without leaving your territory, you have to think globally and you have to be open to some global experiences in a local territory.

For the Church in mission, the global reality is not like an extra-curricular activity, it is not an appendix. It is part and parcel of our identity as a universal Catholic Church where universal love is operating, where through the presence of people from different countries, then we know that the love of God in Jesus is universal. You find a brother, a sister in everyone, especially in the poor.

The message of St. Paul [is], “In Jesus Christ, we belong to one another. There is no Jew or Gentile, rich or poor, slave or free, male or female.” This communion of humanity, the communion of creation in Jesus and the presence of missioners from different parts of the world in different territories, in different contexts, and living in community is a living gospel.

What are some of the challenges we face as a Church?

Cardinal Tagle: There are many, but following up on your question about the global realities. This has been confirmed by my work in the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples. As we talk about globalization, as we talk about communion, as Pope Francis talks about universal friendship, Fratelli Tutti and caring for our common home, we see a lot of divisiveness in the world. We see a lot of suspicion of the others. We see a lot of fear towards the others, leading even to violent acts which makes us sad, but at the same time, it is an opportunity to affirm the Gospel of love and universal fraternity, brotherhood and friendship. For us in the Church to be also vigilant because this divisiveness along ethnic lines, along even tribal linguistic lines, racial lines, what we see in the world has its consequences and has a presence even within the Church.

There is a missionary consequence. If the Christian community cannot embrace, the members could not embrace each other as brothers and sisters, the non-Christians looking at them would say, “What Gospel is that?” Communion within the community of Christians is not just for smooth relationships. It has a missionary value. Non-Christians who see the love of Christians for one another, especially those who come from different countries and different ethnic groups and different traditions, they will be attracted. They will say, “There is something there.” But if they see us also doing what the others are doing, then they’ll say, “Why join them? There’s nothing different.”

Pope Francis has called the Church to practice synodality. Could you share your thoughts about why this is so important for the Church and for the future?

Cardinal Tagle: I would like to think that what Pope Francis has been proposing has been a product of a maturation process. Already in Vatican II, one of the primary images of the Church is that of communion, the people of God. We are one people. One fruit of Vatican II was the institution of the synod of bishops by Pope Paul VI. Every three years or so, the different episcopal conferences will send to Rome delegates in what we call a synod, so that together, the voices of the local churches could be heard. …

Synod, meaning we walk together, we are one community. That involves listening to one another, learning from one another and respecting the different gifts and states of life in the church. Addressing the same concerns, but allowing the symphony of voices and allowing the Holy Spirit to bring us into a consensus. It is not just like an event every three years. It is not just like stages in a process. The Holy Father wants it to be the way of life of the Church. It’s another expression of being a Church of communion, a Church as one people of God.

After World Mission Sunday Mass at St. Ferdinand Church, pastor Father Jason Torba and Cardinal Blase Cupich greet the congregation, including all those who do mission in Chicago. (Julie Jaidinger, Chicago Catholic/U.S.)

Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, shares a light moment with Maryknoll Father John Siyumbu after ordaining him to the priesthood at the Maryknoll Society Center in Maryknoll, New York, June 3, 2022. Father Siyumbu, who is from Bungoma, Kenya, is the first seminarian from East Africa to be ordained a Maryknoll priest. He will serve in Latin America. (CNS photo/Gregory A. Shemitz)

The pope opened up the process of synodality to everyone, to anyone in the community, and to youth. How do you feel about that, that it was not only for bishops but open to everybody else?

Cardinal Tagle: In the past synods, there were observers. If it was a synod on the family, then some families were invited as observers. I saw that when Pope Francis came, he gave the observers equal time to speak in the hall as the bishops. Since it was the synod of bishops, there were some votes that only the bishops would engage in but the votes must take seriously what the non-bishops also said.

This time, you have three years preparation for the synod and that required on the local level, the parishes and dioceses, circles of dialogue of discernment and listening. We hope that even after the synod in Rome next year, this would continue. I speak from the Philippines experience because the small Christian communities in the Philippines, especially in the 1970s, were very much alive. What the Holy Father is talking about now, “Go into neighborhoods and listen.” It would be like a revival of the comunidades de base [base ecclesial communities] which took different forms, but it is that, the return to the basic cells to animate the whole body.

Thinking back to your own call to the priesthood, what would you say to a young person who is considering the call to a religious life?

Cardinal Tagle: Whether a priest or a layperson (who chooses to be lay) each one has a unique process in determining what gift has God given to him or her. A vocation is a response to that gift. What I would like to tell young people especially is not to be afraid to engage in the process of finding out that gift, and to trust some people. It’s good to have people you trust, friends or even non-friends, that you can talk with, who could mirror to you what’s happening in your mind and your heart, to even question you and challenge you so that your search would be purified. There is no recipe that would fit everyone because everyone is called in a unique way. I would tell people not to be afraid to engage in that discernment, to trust the Word of God, listen to the Word of God and see in the Word of God (the Bible), the wisdom that would clarify for each one, “What might be going on in me?” With the help of friends and people to really get to a point of clarify.

But even if they have already made a decision, “I will enter this society. I will remain a layperson. I will become a seminarian,” not to look at it as the end of all discernment. Even if after your decision, you begin to discern again how will you live out that calling. Even if someone is already ordained, “What type of priest will you be later on?” It’s still a project between God and you.

Do you have any thoughts about the ordination tomorrow? John Siyumbu is coming from overseas, from a mission site. What do you think about Maryknoll deciding to accept seminarian candidates from among people it has been serving?

Cardinal Tagle: One reason why I accepted the invitation to come is not only because Maryknoll as a mission society is closely linked to my office in Rome, the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, but also I’ve been to Kenya years ago. I visited the Maryknoll Center in Nairobi. The Maryknoll community also brought me to a hospital or a clinic; it was set up with the help of Maryknoll. … 

It struck a chord in me, not only because of my experience but because as Filipinos, we celebrated last year the 500th anniversary of the coming of Christianity to the Philippines. The theme was “Gifted to Give.” You have received a gift, now let that gift be shared — don’t keep the gift to yourself. This is same thing that comes to mind. Kenya has received a gift in the person of John [Siyumbu]. The gift will now continue to be a gift Kenya has received: Kenya now gives the gift in a global manner. We’ll see how Kenya, inspired by Maryknoll, will now give a gift to Latin America because John might serve in Latin America. There will be a whole exchange of gifts, which is fantastic.

Tell me a little bit about the 500th Christianity in the Philippines. How do you think Asian Christians are contributing? What are the gifts they are sharing with the rest of the world?

Cardinal Tagle: Asia, as the biggest continent, takes maybe 2/3 of the world not only in land area but in population; China and India alone, if you combine them, it’s more than half of the world’s population already. In Asia, the number of Christians is still quite low compared to the population. Proportionately, the increase in the number of Christians has been quite big in Asia. This is a sign for us that, yes, with patience we are reaping the fruits, but as I said, we should be able to share, even if we need personnel in Asia. In poverty, you have to share. You don’t need to wait to be rich and abundant to share.

That’s why we’re very happy to see Asian sisters, laypeople and priests serving in other parts of the world. For me as a Filipino, one big missionary movement is the migration of Filipino workers. I say this with a heavy heart. It pains me, especially in the airports in the Philippines, to see mothers leaving the country to find jobs in other parts of the world, hearing them talk to their children when it’s time to board the plane, assuring them, “Don’t cry. Mama will come back.” It breaks your heart; it really breaks your heart. You say, “Why can they not find employment in our country? Why do they have to leave?”

But in the hands of God, this sad story has become a missionary movement. It’s not just Filipino priests or sisters that are recognized as missioners, [it’s] the laypeople who bring their faith, their popular devotions wherever they are. I realize that for many Filipino Christians, the parish or the church is the second home. When they miss their families, they go to the church and find a home there. Now that I’m in the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples and I travel to some of the so-called “mission territories,” I see Filipinos in those churches. Some of the pastors will say, “Without the migrants, we will not have a full parish here.” Even the unplanned missionary movement, in the hands of God, could be one. In this case, the migrants.

As you mentioned, people migrate from one place to another … and they have to do whatever job they need to do. How do we tell them that they are God’s sons and daughters and how do we give them hope?

Cardinal Tagle: From my experience, the ministry to migrants especially by the Church and the social and charity organizations of the Church is the bringer of hope to those people who are uprooted and feel lost in a foreign land. When they see that there are individuals and communities who really care for them and who will not leave them alone, their pain is transformed into strength. They know that they could rely on people of goodwill. If they feel welcome, then they become productive in the places that welcome them. They do not become a problem. They don’t become a liability, because I always hear that: “The migrants, they will pose a problem.”

No, if they are made to feel that they are human beings, respected and given the opportunities to bloom, they become an asset to the receiving country. They provide workforce, they provide quality work because they are accepted and they also are able to help their families back home. The migrant workers could become the human bridge between two countries or more countries and cultures. It’s not just the embassies that do that. For me, the more vital link between countries are the migrant workers if they are recognized for their worth.

After World Mission Sunday Mass at St. Ferdinand Church, pastor Father Jason Torba and Cardinal Blase Cupich greet the congregation, including all those who do mission in Chicago. (Julie Jaidinger, Chicago Catholic/U.S.)

Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, anoints a woman’s hands during a visit to Elmhurst Hospital in the New York borough of Queens June 2, 2022. (CNS photo/courtesy Pontifical Mission Societies in the United States)

That’s true. What do you think is the role of missionary priests today?

Cardinal Tagle: The ordained ministry always is a ministry, a service of gathering God’s people. I always go back to St. Paul’s speech to the elders, the presbyters in Miletus, where he knew that his time as an apostle was ending, so he was entrusting the communities to the presbyters, what we now call priests. It was very clear, even from the apostolic times, the ministry of the presbyter was to take care of the community. So that the community will grow in its faith and its identity and mission as the Body of Christ, as disciples of Jesus Christ. That will never become obsolete, even now.

Now, if we call Father John a missionary priest, imagine bringing that ministry of gathering a people, taking care of a people and they say, “But you are not one of us by race, by language, by birth.” That speaks of the true shepherd, that the missionary ordained priest is the symbol of the true shepherd, Jesus. This is the challenge, how in our difference we could reflect, we could give a face to that love of the shepherd who can unite all of us and break the barriers of each one. This is a great adventure for a missionary priest.

One of your books is I Have Learned from the Least. You talked in it about your inspiration to become a priest. Could you tell us about what was your inspiration for your vocation?

Cardinal Tagle: My original plan was to become a doctor, not to become a priest. I was already involved in the youth group in the parish. My mind was focused on medicine but … in the parish and the youth group to which I belonged, we had a lot of outreach to the poor children. We organized sportsfests for the youth. We had Marian devotions. We sold items so that we could help the parish buy the first electric fan inside the church.

Even if my mind was on medical school, my heart was being. … I did not know, [but] one of the priests in the parish brought me to the Jesuit university. I felt it was an entrance exam to medical school but it was to the seminary. I was tricked into it. But he succeeded because he told me, “You have made up your mind in medicine. But have you considered other options?” That disturbed me a bit and even if initially, the seminary did not want to accept me (because I made it clear in the exam, I didn’t want to be a seminarian), my heart got disturbed. Somehow, this desire to give of oneself in service to the least surfaced. It had been there. I realized that one form — not the only form — one form that I could take to fulfill that is through the priesthood.

By God’s grace, even if it was not my original plan, it happened. But I keep that inspiration, as much as I can, alive. Even if I’m a bishop, now I’m a cardinal, I always try to learn from the little ones. Even if I can’t contribute to them, I can teach, but I should be a student of the little ones because they have a wisdom that academics don’t have. They know what hope is from their suffering. They know what love is in sharing in the poverty, in their want. They know what faith is even when it’s so difficult to say, “Our Father, give us this day our daily bread” because they know there will be no bread. But they know there is faith, they know by faith what that means. We have to learn from them.

How do we empower and give hope to the poorest and the most vulnerable in the world?

Cardinal Tagle: We can do it in many ways and simultaneously. First, we should really work so that the basic human necessities that every human being deserves must be given to them not just as promises. I think that’s part of our service to them, not just to say in words that they are dignified but to take action and even to propose some changes in mentalities, in policies, in the economy that keep the poor poor. That’s part of the affirmation of their dignity.

The other area is to give the poor the space to share their wisdom. Even when I was a priest or a bishop, when there are conventions, I always insist, “Let us have some speakers, experts on this topic, coming from the poor. Learn from the poor.” When they start facing the big crowd and are able to talk to them, or when we organize benefit concerts, when we invite the children of the poor to sing and perform, they know that there is something in them, a wealth, a richness in them, that could be shared. … It’s not an empty promise. You give them the opportunity to do it and it transforms them.

After World Mission Sunday Mass at St. Ferdinand Church, pastor Father Jason Torba and Cardinal Blase Cupich greet the congregation, including all those who do mission in Chicago. (Julie Jaidinger, Chicago Catholic/U.S.)

Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, is pictured in a 2019 file photo. Cardinal Tagle virtually delivered the annual Trócaire/St. Patrick’s College Lent lecture March 9, 2021. (CNS photo/Eloisa Lopez, Reuters)

I learned in your book that your grandfather died in a bombing. What message you will give now that Ukraine and Russia are going through this conflict? What will be your message to the people who are suffering right now, who feel hopeless?

Cardinal Tagle: First of all, we express our solidarity with all the people suffering in conflict situations and the most dramatic one right is in Ukraine. But there are [other] conflicts raging right now in the world and some of them have been forgotten. Since they don’t get the attention, it seems that the violence has become worse.

My first reaction whenever I hear of this, I remember the stories of my parents — they were young during the Second World War — and how my father saw the death of his own father. My father was 13 years old at the time. He was just behind his father when the raid happened. My father also almost died. He was wounded. He carries in his body up to now — he is 92 years old — he carries in his body the marks of the war. One hand is a bit deformed and whenever he has X-rays, shrapnel or little pieces of metal show up in his body. For me, it’s already a miracle that he is still alive, but the trauma.

My mother would also tell us stories of how they would run to the fields. At that time, they did not have psychiatrists, they did not have trauma counselors. They had to survive. I really appreciate the strength of the human spirit, but you listen to them and you see how the violence has affected them. You are glad that they are still here, but you feel sorry that their generation was subjected to such a traumatic experience. But I say, “When will humanity learn? Why do we keep repeating the same fault, the same mistake? When will we say the horror stories of the past will teach us now not to do it again?”

I guess it’s an ongoing process to let the voices of the generation of my parents continue to be heard, and for people of goodwill and peace to really work for it. To work for peace. Peace, not with the mindset of conflict, because sometimes, those who work for peace bear in their minds not so much peace but a method of violence in order to achieve peace. Violence will beget violence. If it’s peace, then let it be peace.

My last question is about your coat of arms. On it you have this quote: “It is the Lord.” I know it is from Peter and John recognizing Jesus after the Resurrection. Why did you choose that quote?

Cardinal Tagle: The setting of that story in the Bible for me is significant. This was after the Resurrection. Peter and his friends, seven of them, went fishing and they caught nothing. Then, there was this person that they did not recognize who told them, “Have you caught something in there that we can eat.” Peter said, “No. We’re very tired.” Then he said, “Why don’t you throw your net on this side?” Maybe, the disciples were just, “No harm, let’s just do it.” Then, there was a miraculous catch, directed not anymore by the expert fisherman Peter, but by this stranger. It was the beloved disciple John who recognized and he said, “It is the Lord.”

It is the Lord. For me, it is significant when I became a bishop and I was told every bishop should have his coat of arms and it came to my mind. You have Peter, the so-called prince of the apostles, but then you have this simple, beloved disciple. It was the beloved disciple who recognized the Lord. It is not by being a prince of disciples but it is being a simple, beloved and loving disciple.

Love will open your eyes especially during moments of hard labor when you catch nothing. You might be tempted just to despair. For me, it’s a reminder that when some things are not going my way, maybe I’m casting the nets on the wrong side, Maybe I should stop a bit and see whether a voice will tell me, “Throw it on the other side.” It’s an invitation to recognize that it is not me, it is the Lord who does it. For my ministry, for my mission, I’m just participating in what the Lord does. It is not me; it is the Lord.

Featured image: Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, poses for a selfie with young people outside the Cathedral Preparatory School and Seminary in the New York borough of Queens June 2, 2022. Cardinal Tagle spent a day of encounter with health care workers, patients and students at a high school seminary in New York. (CNS photo/courtesy Pontifical Mission Societies in the United States)

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About the author

Giovana Soria

Was born and raised in Lima, Peru. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Communication Science/Journalism from the University of San Martín de Porres in Lima. As staff writer, she writes and translates articles for Maryknoll magazine and Misioneros, our Spanish-language publication. Her articles have also appeared in the bilingual magazine ¡OYE! for Hispanic Catholic youth. Her work has received awards from the Catholic Press Association of the United States and Canada. She lives in Rockland County, New York.