Sr. Mary Damian Español, SDS
Sr. Mary Damian Español, SDS
“A true Salvatorian - a faithful and radical follower of Christ” a caption suited for Sr. Mary Damian (Rosario) N. Espaňol, SDS. She is the first Filipina member of the of the International Congregation of the Sisters of the Divine Savior (better known as Salvatorian Sisters) to go back to her Maker.
Last October 22, 2010 she had just celebrated her 85th birthday. Sr. Mary D, as she is fondly called by many and ”Honey’ by her dear nieces, nephews, grand nieces and grandnephews and close relative, joined the Congregation in October 1963, in Rome, Italy. She was the second Filipina who joined the congregation. Her initial religious formation (Candidature, Postulancy, Novitiate and Juniorate,) until final profession was in Rome.
Being educationally prepared as a pharmacist and licensed at that, when she joined the Congregation her basic apostolate in Rome was as the pharmacist at the Salvator Mundi International Hospital owned and managed by Congregation.
As a person she was very lovable, God-fearing, kind, friendly and compassionate, She was industrious and took time management well. She could sing, dance and cook. She was a good friend and could bring you closer to the Savior.
In November 1973 with 3 other Filipina Sisters she led the second attempt to start the establishment of the Sisters’ Congregation in the Philippines which is now the SDS Philippine Region. The foundation started as a community directly under the then Taiwan Region then became a District directly under the Generalate and now the Philippine Region. Sr. Mary Damian was the first Regional Superior.
She was very much involved in the administration, Formation and Apostolic activities of the congregation here in the Philippines. She had been a local, District and Regional Superior as well as Secretary in different levels. In the religious formation of members she had been the energetic vocation animator, patient and understanding, candidate/postulant mistress as well as a junior sisters’ directress with compassion and love in different occasion.
As true Salvatorian she was ready to serve anywhere sent. She had served in the rural, urban and rurban situations. She was in Rome, Italy; in the Philippines she had been assigned in Malolos, Bulacan; Zaragoza, Bolinao, Pangasinan; New Manila, Quezon City and in Taiwan she was in Ilan as a companion to our elderly Chinese sisters and at the same time involved herself in the over seas migrant workers in Taiwan.
In apostolate, she was always involved in the Family Life Apostolate/Ministry when she was in Malolos, Bulacan, and Mt. Carmel Shrine Parish. Formation of Basic Ecclesial Communities was also one of her priorities especially when she was in Zaragoza, Bolinao and Pangasinan.
Though she had Alzheimer she was a darling in the community for some years. Sr. Mary Damian’s absence in the community will surely be felt. We will surely miss her. Yet we know that she is at peace now and will be interceding for us who left behind.
Before the funeral her body lied at the Mt. Carmel Shrine Parish Multipurpose Crypt and people came to visit her. All kinds of people came to her last remains which showed how calm she always has been. Since the first day of her wake, a number of “condolers” had visited, had called, emailed, texted, sent prayer cards etc., had celebrated Holy Eucharist in the Hall and where these priests are stationed. She really gives a hope for a better tomorrow.
The Funeral Mass was celebrated at Mt. Carmel Shrine Parish on Friday 7, 2011 at 8AM followed by burial at Himlayang Pilipino Memorial Park.