Sr. Pamela Rose Suresca, GIVEN ’16
“The GIVEN Forum allowed me to see that I am chosen. God wants me for himself. GIVEN is an opportunity to truly dive into who we are and who we are meant to be. GIVEN provided role models, testimonies, and tangible tools to navigate the world as a Catholic woman of this generation. GIVEN builds upon the foundation of our identity as daughters of God, forms our passions and gifts, and sends us out to bring the feminine genius to a world that so desperately needs it.” – Sr. Pamela Rose Suresca
Please share a little about yourself – feel free to include a fun fact!
Viva Gesu! I am Sr. Pamela Rose Suresca FMA and I am serving at Mary Help of Christians Academy as the Campus Minister and Theology Teacher. I entered with the Salesian Sisters in September 2019 and on August 5, 2023 I professed my First Vows as a Salesian Sister of St. John Bosco to live the beatitudes of the Kingdom, radically! It is the greatest joy of my life, knowing that I am responding to the invitation to be entirely His as a consecrated religious! In communion with my sisters, I serve the young and the poor in the spirit of St. John Bosco and St. Mary Mazzarello.
My journey has been a manifestation of God’s love and providence. I always was a lover of being a woman, serving young people, upholding the dignity of life, moral and theological education, the Catholic Faith, and devotion to our Blessed Mother! In His mercies these passions were developed through many different opportunities of service, leadership, and mission work.
In 2016 I attended the first GIVEN Forum with hopes to implement my action plan for ongoing faith formation for young women on college campuses. Unbenounced to me, my small group facilitator was a Salesian Sister! I had already been exposed to the Salesian Sisters prior, however this was just another touchpoint in His “Golden thread of life.” You see, God’s timing is perfect and His mercies endureth forever. I didn’t know it then, but the Lord was slowly planting Salesian seeds in my heart throughout my whole journey.
It is true you know, His Will truly is our peace.
Describe your professional work/ministry. How were you led to this? What are you passionate about?
Today I am the Campus Minister at an all girls Salesian Catholic School where I am able to lead, facilitate, and guide retreats, prayer moments, opportunities for sacraments, and service projects. My greatest joy is to help them to grow and build on servant leadership skills, and to accompany them in their own formation as a woman of faith to be good Christians and honest citizens.
“It is my deepest desire to accompany women to embrace their identity as a daughter of our heavenly Father.”… And now I am able to do that as a Salesian Sister!
It is awesome! The girls are creative, vibrant, and totally searching for ways to be protagonists of their Faith. The Lord allows me to be the listen presence, like Mary, and help them to respond to the Holy Spirit in their own lives and build a culture of faith in their campus!
Also teach highschool theology where I can joyfully share the beauty of our Catholic Faith and help the young when to embrace the Truth and Wisdom of the Church. I love education. It is a HUGE passion of mine. I recognize that I myself am constantly learning and growing. I have been blessed with a lot and so I love to give and help be part of another’s formation, especially with my former experience with weDignify where I had the great privilege to create, implement, and manage the pro-life curriculum for college students.
What women inspire you, and why?
My mother, Dennie, is the epitome of sacrificial love. At the age of 16 she lost her mother after the birth of my twin aunts, Ivy and Eden. As the eldest of 8 she worked in the Philippines to become a nurse and help her family become American citizens. She studied, worked, and took care of her siblings. But she knew she was never alone. Her faith in Jesus and hope in His plan for her became her motivation. My parents’ marriage started off with great sacrifice as well. After my eldest brother was born, my mom had to come to the United States to work, leaving my dad and brother behind. She would often visit the Philippines, but the distance was hard on their marriage. I was the first born in America and so that helped my dad and brother eventually come the U.S. Despite the sacrifices, my mom did all these things with love. Over the years, I’ve continued to gain so much respect for her. As a neonatal nurse she cares for babies who are at the brink of death. Her favorite patients are the babies born with addictions. She gently cares for those lives and the families of the patients. Her ability to love amidst suffering is truly moving.
“My mother, Dennie, is the epitome of sacrificial love … she knew she was never alone. Her faith in Jesus and hope in His plan for her became her motivation.”
In the words of Dawn Eden, “St. Josephine Bakhita is a woman who shows me what it means to be known, loved, and awaited by the Father.” I’ve learned more and more about St. Josephine Bakhita and each time I read more about her, I find myself weeping. The amount of abuse and torture she suffered are things I hope no one ever experiences. Yet, the Lord drew her out from her pain and sorrow into love and mercy. She is an example of true receptivity to the love of the Lord. She also received the grace and courage to forgive those who hurt her. St. Josephine Bakhita reminds me to keep striving to forgive others, even those who have slighted me in the most terrible ways.
“St. Josephine Bakhita is a woman who shows me what it means to be known, loved, and awaited by the Father.”
What is the best advice/encouragement you’ve received about vocational discernment?
1. Participate in the sacraments regularly. Jesus speaks to our hearts in prayer, Mass, and confession. Receive these gifts of the sacraments. They are for us.
2. Tell God your desires, for he will clarify them. Sometimes there is a fear of telling God what it is we want. But it is in telling God what we want, that the Lord is allowed to work in those desires. When we tell God what we want, He prunes, purifies, and clarifies. But it is in the asking.
3. Receive – we have a good and generous Father. He does not want to hold out on us, instead He wants to overflow our hearts and life with His goodness. By virtue of who we are, He desires to fill us. We do not need to prove anything to Him. Instead, he desires the gift of our life to wash over us each day. He has a plan and it is good.
What were your key takeaways from the 2016 GIVEN Forum?
1. Receive – These days, the word “RECEIVE” means everything to me. I think that because I like to do so much and to give often, I really struggled with this concept. It wasn’t until GIVEN when the Lord knocked me over the head with this message, particularly by reading the cover of my GIVEN binder with these words from Edith Stein: “The women’s soul is fashioned as a shelter in which other souls may unfold.” Here I am at the GIVEN Forum, surrounded by incredible women from ALL over the United States. Suddenly, this isn’t about the action plan I had planned but about the woman God created me to be, embracing the gifts I’ve been given, and receiving the life that is mine as a daughter of God. The reality of my identity as daughter was a gift I received in fullness that week.
“Suddenly, this isn’t about the action plan I had planned but about the woman God created me to be, embracing the gifts I’ve been given, and receiving the life that is mine as a daughter of God.”
2. Mercy – I have struggled with broken friendships and relationships in the past. I have hurt others and others have hurt me. During Mary Healy’s session about the broken cisterns, the Holy Spirit spoke into my heart and revealed the sorrows that I had avoided bringing to Jesus for years. The days before this moment softened so much of my heart; I just kept receiving the love and consolation of Christ. I not only received mercy, but was able to give mercy to others.
“GIVEN builds upon the foundation of our identity as daughters of God, forms our passions and gifts, and sends us out to bring the feminine genius to the world that so desperately needs it.”
3. Chosen – The Sisters of Life shared this message: “God chose to need me.” The GIVEN Forum allowed me to see that I am chosen. God wants me for himself. GIVEN is an opportunity to truly dive into who we are and who we are meant to be. GIVEN provided role models, testimonies, and tangible tools to navigate the world as a Catholic woman of this generation. GIVEN builds upon the foundation of our identity as daughters of God, forms our passions and gifts, and sends us out to bring the feminine genius to the world that so desperately needs it.