Her incredible path took her from the Philippines to Mexico and the slums of Guatemala City. Sister Elena has been with the Sisters of Mary for over 30 years and is a very active member of our board of directors.
Her civil name is Elena Grengia Belarmino. Sister Elena was born on 24 July 1955 in Badian on the West Coast of the island of Cebu, the Philippines. She comes from a family of teachers. Her mother lives in Cebu, and her father died a long time ago. Sister Elena has a brother and a sister. She graduated from the University of San Carlos with a degree comparable to that of a business economist. Sister Elena speaks Tagalog (national language Filipino), Cebuano, her native regional language, English and Spanish. She joined the Sisters of Mary on August 1, 1985.
First, she worked in the Q.I. hospital in Manila, where our founder cared about the inhabitants of the tuberculous slums. She was primarily responsible for the administration and distribution of medicines. Later, she took responsibility for a family of about forty people - children from the age of 14 to 16-year-old - in Manila. Father Al entrusted her with the choice and training of candidates who wanted to join the Sisters' community.
On September 5, 1990, she was sent to Mexico and appointed to lead the future Village. Together with Sister Cecilia and Sister Margie, she took the first important steps to buy land that would first accommodate the training of six Mexican nurses and, later, be home to 800 children.
When the opportunity arose in 1997 to extend the humanitarian work in Guatemala, the congregation entrusted Sister Elena with the realization of the project. In April 2000 she was called to her native land. Since then, she has been responsible for all the Sisters' institutions in the Philippines as a Provincial Superior. She is one of the three most important leaders of the community, alongside Sr. Maria and Sr. Margie.