The family moved to Madrid when little Angeles was three-years-old to avoid the long winters that aggravated her already poor health. Her parents were devout Catholics, they went to Mass regularly and Angeles attended Catholic school with the Salesian Sisters as her teachers.
When Angeles was in her teens and very ill, her boyfriend gave her a book to read from the Catholic library in Madrid. The book made such an impression on her that she broke up with him and felt that her heart was moved to follow God.
She met with the Mother General of the Missionary Sisters of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, located just a block from where she lived in Madrid and was told she could not become a nun. The Mother General told her she had to be healthy to live in a convent.
She said that in 1954, at the age of 17, “God made me a miracle.”
She had to endure physical exams every six months of her life, complete with X-rays and blood work. She remembered one time the doctor was angry with her mother for some reason. He told her that she would have to do the exam all over again. Apparently the doctor did not believe the test results since he had previously told Angeles’ mother her daughter would never be healthy.
After another set of X-rays and blood work yielded the same results, the doctor was astonished. “You are healthy. Your heart is normal, your blood is normal–everything is normal,” he told her.
Immediately Angeles asked the doctor to write a letter for her explaining her current good health. It was very difficult for him, but he did and she took it to the Mother General. “I said, ‘mother, I think now you can take me in the convent’.”
She entered the convent as a postulant on Feb. 2, 1955. She made her first profession on Feb. 2, 1957, Her perpetual vows on July 2, 1963 and one month later her destination was America.
“I came like a tourist not a citizen–like a visitor,” Sister Angeles said. It took three years for her residency status to be cleared.
In the meantime, she was assigned to the Corpus Christi Minor Seminary for a year and was put in charge of laundry. With her residency still up in the air, she was reassigned to El Paso, then Uvalde for two years, all the while hoping to get her residency. While waiting for her papers she worked in parishes and taught religious education to youth and adults. She was also in charge of youth groups. After one year in Uvalde she finally received her papers.
“It took almost the three years to get my residency,” she said.
Sister Angeles worked in Laredo, Brownsville and then back to Corpus Christi for six years, once again working at the Minor Seminary. She has been superior general for Mount Thabor Convent and has taught Catechism and CCD to adults. She has worked with youth and adults at Our Lady of Guadalupe in Corpus Christi. She was also assigned to Alice, Benavides, Calallen and El Paso (again), teaching Catechism in parishes. She returned to Corpus Christi four years ago.
Currently she teaches Catechism at Nuestra Señora de San Juan de Los Lagos, Madre de la Iglesia Parish and on Saturdays she visits with the children from The Ark.
Once upon a time Sister Angeles was given a dire diagnosis, but on Feb. 2 of this year she celebrated 60-years of living a consecrated life. She was surrounded by her sisters from Mount Thabor Convent, friends from Our Lady of Guadalupe and Nuestra Señora de San Juan de Los Lagos, Madre de la Iglesia Parish.