In elementary school, May and a young classmate wanted to show their love for Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, so they both walked on their knees from the church door to the tabernacle as a sacrifice. Her cousin saw her from the choir loft and told May’s mom that her daughter might have a vocation. It was at age seven that the idea of being a Sister came to her young mind.
Josefa May Flores was born in Manila, Philippines, the third of four children of a devout Catholic family. Her Catholic education nourished the faith instilled by her parents, and being taught by religious Sisters influenced her greatly. May found solace in prayer at church and in school.
After twelve years of Catholic school, May was not prepared for the secular environment of the public university to which she transferred. She describes this time in her life as a ”testing of my faith. I was sidetracked and drawn to the world and its allurements. Yet the hand of the Lord was always there, and during this trial, He gripped my hand even more tightly.”
After her college graduation with a degree in Psychology at age 22, May worked in a government office. A co-worker invited her to a prayer meeting. Although the Charismatic expression was new to her, she was drawn to Mass and prayer more than ever.
May attended a Life in the Spirit Seminar, and after receiving prayer for a deeper release of the Holy Spirit, she felt her vocational calling again and wanted to reconsider it. She experienced the trial of losing her job, and she asked the Lord to find her a good position while she discerned her religious vocation. It was during this time of being without a job that May saw an advertisement for our community in New Covenant magazine. She wanted to work for a few years while she discerned her vocation. She did not want to enter religious life just because she did not have a job, as it may have seemed that she entered to escape being out of work. The Lord answered her prayer for work when a former manager called with a job offer as a human resource officer in a government office. Then later on she made the decision to move to Texas to enter the community in 1992. May received her name Sister Catherine as a novice and professed her final vows on October 4, 2000. The scripture passage that describes her response to the Lord is Psalm 27:4 ”One thing I ask of the Lord, this I seek: to dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life.”
Her greatest joy as a Sister is in being at the Lord’s service through the community’s apostolate. She finds a joyful challenge in living and working with Sisters of different cultures and temperaments.