Each year the sisters celebrate the anniversary of their entrance into religious life. The 2023 Jubilarians are:
Honorees are Sisters Francesca Truxillo (75th), Bernardine Juarez (60th), Catherine Riggs (60th), and Adelfa Mahilum (25th). Sisters Francesca and Catherine will celebrate in Louisiana. Sisters Bernardine and Adelfa celebrated in the Philippines.
Sister Francesca Truxillo, born Lillian Theresa Truxillo in Paincourtville, LA, is the ninth of eleven children of the late Guillaume Joseph Truxillo and Noemie Bernadette Prejean. She entered Carmel in 1945 and professed first vows in 1948. She attended St. Elizabeth Elementary in Paincourtville and graduated from Mount Carmel Academy, New Orleans, LA. She received a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education from Loyola University, New Orleans and a nursing degree from the Mercy School of Nursing, New Orleans, where she was Salutatorian. Sister taught for 10 years at schools in Abbeville, Paincourtville and New Orleans. After receiving her nursing degree in 1962, she began working at hospitals in Thibodaux, Marrero, Lake Providence, and New Orleans. Sister was on staff at Eagan Home Health and Hospice, Covington, LA from 2005-2010. She is certified in cardio-pulmonary resuscitation. She served on the Carmelite Ministries Board and from 2013-2016, Sister Francesca was administrator of the Motherhouse, New Orleans, LA and healthcare consultant to the sisters and their families in the New Orleans area. Sister resides at Windsor Living Community, Mandeville, LA and continues to serve as spiritual consultant to Lay Carmelites in Paincourtville and Mandeville.
Sister Bernardine Juarez, born Bernadina in Lawa-an, Talisay, Cebu, Philippines, is the sixth of ten children born to the late Gregorio G. Juarez and Catalinia Bacus. Sister entered Carmel in 1960 and professed first vows in 1963. Sister attended Colegio de San Jose Elementary, Cebu City and Southern College High School, Bantayan, Cebu. She received a Bachelor of Science degree in Commerce from Cebu Institute of Technology, Cebu and a master’s degree in management from Philippine Christian University, Manila. Sister Bernardine was involved in healthcare for more than 25 years, served at the Philippine Heart Center of Asia for 18 years and worked in Pastoral Healthcare at Far Eastern University Hospital, Quezon City, Philippines. She currently serves as a pastoral care volunteer at Holy Child Hospital and resides at Magnificat: Place of Prayer in Dumaguete City, Philippines.
Sister Catherine Riggs, born Peggy Ann Riggs in New Iberia, LA is the only child of the late Russell Harold Riggs and Amy Pauline Robichaux. She entered religious life in 1960 and professed first vows in 1963. Sister Catherine attended Mount Carmel Elementary and Mount Carmel High School, New Iberia, LA. She received a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Dominican College, New Orleans and a master’s degree in education with a concentration in counseling from LSU, Baton Rouge, LA. Sister dedicated 35 years to Catholic Education as a teacher and served as guidance counselor at Mount Carmel Academy, New Orleans. Since 2002, Sister Catherine has served as Director of Pastoral Care at Our Lady of Wisdom Healthcare Center, New Orleans.
Sister Adelfa Mahilum, born in Danao Port Escalante, Negros Occidental, Philippines, is the fourth of five children born to the late Alejandrino Nardo Mahilum and Dominga Montecalbo. She entered religious life in 1995 and professed first vows in 1998. Sister attended Escalante High School and West Negros College in Bacolod City, Negros Occidental where she received a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology. Sister Adelfa served as coordinator of the Mount Carmel Mobile Clinic, Vocation Animator, and Outreach Coordinator in Brgy. Holy Spirit in Quezon City from 1998-2010. She also served one year in the guidance office at the Sisters of Mount Carmel Catholic School. In 2010 she went on to study Caregiving at Mary the Queen College of Science and Technology in Quezon City. Sister has served as a pastoral worker to the people of San Luis Rey Parish, Aurora, Philippines since 2011 where she is director of the Health Program in the parish and vicariate level, convenor of the Parish Service Commission/Social Action, Family Life Program, and Vicariate Biblical Apostolate.