Sr. Blanca Sagles
Sister Blanca Sagles was born in the Philippines and was received as a canonical novice in 1996. She spent her novitiate in Spokane, and made her first profession in 1998.
Sister Blanca works in Burbank, Calif., where she serves her ministry as a chaplain at Providence St. Joseph Medical Center.
When did you first know you had a vocation?
I heard Jesus' call, and it was always there but I didn?t pay attention to it. It got intense but I had become dependent on finances. I knew I needed more in my life, but didn?t know what. So I joined a discernment program in Los Angeles and discerned for five years. You really have to know if this is the life you want. It was a good calling, but it took long.
Was the transition difficult for you?
Even my friends asked if I had a hard time through the transition because you go from too much independence to asking permission. But I did not, because it was right. With the grace of God, I was focused that this is the life I want. It's falling in love with Jesus. Who's the best man you could ever fall in love with? It's Jesus. There was a peace in me when I said this is it. I'm happy and I'm glad I did it.
Did you accomplish a lot of things before you entered?
I did a lot of things in my life before I entered. The only thing I didn't do was get married, but you're married to your church. It's a good life, and I still have my sanity and my sense of humor! That's a good sign.
Did you worry about losing contact with your family?
Before, you used to hear horror stories about losing contact with your family, but now there is more connection and you have more family, and extended family. That's the beauty of living in religious life. And your family is not just the sisters, but the people you serve as well.
Are you closer to your family?
I don't see them more often, but there is a special bond. It's a better relationship because I have time to reflect. When they are there, I take them for granted, but when they're out of sight, they are in my heart.
What has been the most fulfilling thing about becoming a sister?
I thought when I entered that I would have no freedom, but I have more freedom. And I also really get to know the people. Before I entered, I worked voluntarily at a parish, but as a religious Sister I belong to a community. Resources are more available and I have a better opportunity to do what I want, or what God wants me to do. It gives me more freedom; that's how I feel. Even though I have to ask permission, I'm not restricted.
What goals have you set?
One of my dreams is to be a part of a mission in El Salvador or the Philippines, and I hope that I'll be able to go. A dream can be fulfilled and it depends on you, if you really want it to come true. A dream is about God's will.
What has been your experience in community life?
It's not all perfect. There's always going to be friction, but there is nothing that cannot be resolved if people compromise. To have good community life is to have good communication. You share and tell the other people what you want, and they tell you what they want. There is in community life the influence of God and it really stretches you to the limit.
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