What is your name?
Cheryl Khristina Bayot Galema
Where are you from?
I was born and raised in the Philippines then my family immigrated to Toronto, Canada in 2001.
How old are you?
I turned 31 in April, 2010.
I'm the eldest of four. My two younger sisters are both in their twenties and our youngest brother is turning 15 in December of this year (2010). They all still live with our dear parents in Toronto.
When did you enter the Daughters of St Paul?
September 1, 2010.
Where did you go to School?
I went to the School of the Holy Spirit in Quezon City, Philippines for elementary and highschool and graduated in 1996. Then I completed my BS Computer Science degree at the University of the Philippines (Diliman Campus) in 2000.
What do you like to do professionally and for fun?
I spent a lot of time reading books, watching TV, singing and dancing when I was younger. I also enjoy singing in the choir and playing the guitar. I started to get fascinated with computers before Windows 3.1 existed and continue to enjoy the technological advances to this day. I worked in web and database programming since I graduated from university and then I also had an opportunity to team lead and manage a brilliant team of web developers in the past couple years. I'm VERY glad to have the time now to read more and start practicing to play the guitar again. Nature walks and going to the beach are my favorite ways to relax.
What languages do you speak?
Filipino and English
How did you meet the Daughters of St Paul?
In 2004, a friend of mine needed to get a bible and she knew about the Pauline Books & Media in Toronto so I tagged along with her. From that time, we would always go there to get books for ourselves or as gifts to friends and family. In 2006, we attended one of their Faith and Film nights and that was the first time I got acquainted and actually "shook hands" with a nun! I may have considered religious life then but I was quick to brush it off and get on with my life. However, my friend and I kept coming back to the bookcentre at least once a year to get some books, music CDs and DVDs that helped us grow in our faith.
In June of 2008, I picked out the Life & Soul magazine from my mail (a quarterly magazine by the Daughters of St Paul) and it was the year of St Paul so I got curious and went online to browse http://www.pauline.org/. I found myself reading about their spirituality, the founder, their devotion to Jesus as the Divine Master, and ended up on the vocation page! I felt really drawn to "come and see" what this community is about and felt the Holy Spirit giving me the grace to take a closer look at religious life. So in August 2008, I finally "met" the Daughters of St Paul in Chicago for the young adult vocation retreat.
What drew you to the Daughters of St. Paul?
Jesus as friend but also as "teacher" had a very strong impact in my life growing up so the sisters' relationship to Jesus as "Divine Master, Way, Truth, and Life" really attracted me. Their Eucharistic spirituality; daily mass and hour of adoration reminds me so much of 3 of my dearest friends whom I met at different times in my life, who often invited me to accompany them to chapel... something that I wouldn't normally do by myself. Their mission of proclaiming Christ through the media also attracted me because I often found God's message of love, mercy and forgiveness through books that I read, songs that I listen to, and movies that I watch. But what really made me decide to move forward with applying for postulancy is when my heart was deeply moved by Jesus words to their founder, Blessed James Alberione, that can be found in their chapel...
"Do not be afraid, I am with you, From here I want to enlighten, Live with a penitent heart."
Favorite Scripture Passage:
"Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name: you are mine."
- Isaiah 43:1