VIRIDITAS: GREENING OF THE SOUL
Interviewed by Sister Malia Dominica Wong, OP
Catholic Herald of Hawaii
Wherever I am, I am well suited. The secret is to just do your job for goodness sake. Give everything you do with love and dedication. I joined religious life for my personal sanctification. I want to go to heaven.
I first came to Hawaii in 1974. Of all the sisters in the Hawaii area, I am perhaps the only one who has been assigned to all of the schools we minister to except ‘a. From Maui, I was sent to Kauai, then to Africa. From Africa, I returned to Oahu, then taught in San Francisco. This is my second time going to St. Elizabeth School. The only school I haven’t been assigned to is Rosary Preschool in Waipio Gentry.
My love of teaching came from my mother. She was a teacher. While in Kenya, Africa, as a Diocese and District Religious Education Advisor, I taught teachers of all faiths how to effectively teach religion as religion is a compulsory subject for all students. the low. I have given quarterly workshops and seminars in all districts. Through prayer, the work has been effective.
However, I did not go knowing the social concerns of the Kenyan mission and how to deal with them properly. There were a few resources, brochures that I had accumulated from Sainte-Élisabeth parish before I left and which dealt with subjects such as morality, sexuality, marriage, the sacraments, etc. little illustrated guides that I drew as I took notes. These became effective ways to communicate the messages I wanted to get across. The Holy Spirit has really helped me.
Before going to Africa, I was on the verge of obtaining a degree in administration. The superior general did not know that I had only one course to follow. But I didn’t say anything. She assigned me. Obedience. When she found out later, she asked me, “Why didn’t you say anything? I want you to look to see if the University of San Francisco still offers the topic. She wanted me to finish it.
But for me you can go to heaven without the title. We were running out of money in Africa. It would be very difficult to go back to the United States to take a course. So I continued to teach there for five years.
I like to teach. Even though I’m tired, I still need to get the job done. With God’s help, I am still efficient. With God’s help, I can do anything.
Sister M. Esther Pagdato is a Dominican Sister of the Most Holy Rosary of the Philippines. She is from Binalbagan, Negros Occidental, Philippines and is the youngest of five family members. Of her 53 years of religious profession, she has spent 50 years teaching. She continues her ministry of education at St. Elizabeth School in Aiea.