Sister M. Joseline Valdes


Sister M. Clarella Valdes

Born to Life
January 8, 1935
Bacolor, Philippines


Congregation of Franciscans of the Immaculate Conception 1957
School Sisters of St. Francis 1976

Born to Eternal Life
March 1, 2022
Nazarethville Place
Des Plaines, Illinois

Christ the King Church
Quezon City, Philippines



Here are things I love in life: I love to sing, dance, sew, and play the piano. During my young years, I was very independent, self-motivated, and reflective. As a teenager, I loved parties. On weekends after completing my schoolwork, I went to parties with my friends.

At 20, at a party dance floor, I realized how these social experiences are so passing and empty. I started asking questions what my vocation in life was to be. My spiritual director facilitated God’s call to religious life. In the beginning, I tried pushing it away, but like the “hound of Heaven,” God persisted.

At 22 years of age, after college graduation, I joined the Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate Conception order. I stayed with them for 17 years. At age 39, I asked for a leave of absence to explore with a group of religious sisters post-Vatican II religious life in the United States.

This exploration lasted for a year, and I was to return to the Philippines, but God had other plans. I was offered a teaching job at Holy Angels in Chicago. There I met the School Sisters of St. Francis. During that time, the School Sisters were accepting transfer sisters from other communities. I applied and, after a period of integration, I was received in 1976. I transferred my vows to the School Sisters of St. Francis.

Coming from another culture, it was not easy adapting myself to the American culture, let alone to some of the sisters I lived with. But deep in my heart, I knew God had a purpose why he transplanted me to this foreign soil. It became clear to me that God wanted me to minister to the Filipino immigrants in this country. I organized a prayer group. This was the beginning of the Fatima Prayer Community, which grew from one group to 13 groups (or units) by 2015. Each unit has five to ten members. Units meet every week at the home of a sponsoring family.

These groups promote prayer, devotion to our Blessed Mother, Our Lady of Fatima, and scripture reflections. Voluntary donations from sponsors enabled Fatima Prayer Community to send financial assistance to the retirement fund of the Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate Conception, my former community, and to victims of natural calamities, and scholarship for poor but deserving students.

Later I became a volunteer spiritual director of the Fatima Prayer Community. My hope for the future is that Filipino sisters to continue my work with Filipinos in Chicago when I am gone. “Jesus, I trust in thee.”

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Sister Joseline

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