Raised in a large Catholic family, Rosita was blessed with the foundation for a strong faith. Although her family was poor, her parents instilled in her the value of an education. After her accounting course, Rosita made the decision to be a Bride of Christ.
Rosita Gapasin was born in Paniqui, the Philippines, the seventh child of eleven. Her family’s strong faith influenced her greatly. She was baptized at 2 months and confirmed a few months later. Her father had a small business to provide for his children’s education.
Rosita first thought about a religious vocation when she met sisters at her parish at age seven. Traveling lay catechists taught at her public school, and soon she received her first Communion. Her family did not have transportation, so they would walk the forty minutes to early mass on Sundays. She was always eager to go to mass, especially during the special liturgies of the Christmas Novena and Holy Week.
Taught by Dominicans in high school, Rosita challenged herself to get good grades, and she graduated as salutatorian. She wanted to be able to help her family by her education. Her time was also given to working with her siblings in the family business. After high school, Rosita studied accounting at the University of the East in Manila. Although her life was so fully into studies, friends, and other activities, her faith was not as strong as before and she felt empty inside.
At 18, her vocational calling and her faith were re-enkindled when she became involved in a Christian communities program on campus. She experienced the grace of the baptism in the Holy Spirit. A Scripture she received was, ”Come now, let us set things right.” (Is. 1:18) She was touched so deeply that she was hungry for more of God and attended many retreats and outreaches.
At this time, she began to visit different convents in the Philippines. At 20, just a semester before finishing her accounting course, she joined the Dominicans who taught her in high school. It was hard for her to leave the university environment, but God was calling her to dedicate her life to Him and with that call to serve others. Her joy was in teaching catechism in rural areas, as she had been taught.
Rosita learned about the Disciples through Praise Him! In 1984, while on a visit with her family in North Carolina, she came to visit our community. After discerning, she left the Dominicans and entered the Disciples in 1985, receiving the name Sr. Juliana as a novice. She rejoiced to be able to express her charismatic gifts more freely. She professed her first vows in 1986, and her final vows in 1990. Sr. Juliana shares, ”God’s call demands a radical and generous response, but He gives the grace to respond and persevere.”