PASAY, Philippines – Former Daughter of St Paul missionary passed away on 27 Dec 2018 at the St John of God Hospital here. She was 92.
Born in Iloilo City Philippines on 22 Feb 1926 as Elena Bravo, the future Sister Maria Eulalia entered the congregation in Lipa on 26 May 1949 when she was 23. She made her first profession on 19 Mar 1952 and took her final vows in 1957.
In 1961, she was one of the four sisters sent to establish the congregation’s presence in North Borneo. She sailed to Jesselton together with Sisters Elisabetha Capello, Assunta Labay and Virginia Guevarra on 21 Jan 1961.
From her memoirs she wrote:
This was the only place where we did not start from Bethlehem. What a beautiful house of Mrs. Philip Lee. After a week, when everything were settled, Sr. Virginia and I started our house-to-house propaganda, visiting the schools, offices, hospitals and stores.
We enjoyed our mission in Borneo, as we were accepted by the people, Catholics, non-Catholics and even by pagans. Everybody knew of our coming as our arrival was announced over Radio Sabah. How good really is God. That’s why we were really happy in this mission land. Though the place was not well-developed and there were few inhabitants yet our mission was very successful because we are welcomed by the people. My hardship was with the languages: Malay and Kadazan. A few months later, Sister Elizabeta Capello was replaced by Sr. Silvana Guerrero from Italy.
In 1963, Sabah, Sarawak, Singapore and Malaya formed Malaysia. She left Sabah on 27 Apr 1968. Upon her return to the Philippines she dedicated herself primarily to bookcentre work and also to the technical apostolate for a certain period of time.
Of a sunny disposition, she was always on the lookout for vocations and often asked the young women who visited the book centre whether they would like to become a Daughter of St Paul. Her sweetness and conviction led many of them to accept her invitation, receiving the question as a call from the Lord. Sr Eulalia had a big heart and wished she had “a thousand lives” to help out wherever there was a need in the congregation.
Sr Eulalia carried out the Pauline mission zealously but she was also a woman of profound prayer. The chapel was her “home” and she wanted it to be large and spacious enough to welcome as many people as possible, especially members of the laity, with whom she wanted to share the wealth of the Pauline charism.
In 2017, Sr Eulalia was transferred from Iloilo to the Pasay City infirmary due to advancing age and fragile health. In November 2018 she contracted pneumonia–a health issue that hastened her meeting with her Lord and Master. She died peacefully in the hospital on Thursday, the day when the Provincial Chapter started.