She listened with the ear of her heart.
by April S. Campeña
Leading the school for the Lord’s service, Sr. Christine Pinto, OSB, is the 20th President of St. Scholastica’s College Manila. Approaching her 10 years as a Benedictine sister, she has embodied the aura of serenity, humility, conviction and steadfast leadership.
Sr. Christine began her journey towards becoming a nun in 1999 by entering in the Benedictine formation.
TRUE BLUE SCHOLASTICAN A true blue Scholastican and Benedictine child, she spent her kinder to high school years in St. Scholastica’s College Manila. She was an active student and showed early on her passion for service when she became a Girl Scout. In 1993, she became a moderator for the Girl Scouts in the high school unit of SSC Manila. Her active participation and experience in scouting equipped her to be the moderator for the Girl Scouts of the Philippines until 1999. She was also working as part-time faculty in the college unit while working as a full-time lawyer at the Court of Appeals. Having a heart who is always on a mission, she did volunteer work for Santissima Trinidad Parish. After the World Youth Day in 1995, together with other parish volunteers, she became one of the core youth leaders who organized the youth ministries in the Ecclesiastical District Youth of Manila. THE CALL In 1994, she joined her 4th year college students - her graduating class - for a synthesis retreat. After a long time of not attending any retreats since her college years, only then did she get to contemplate. She asked the Lord, “What can I give you in return?” She was involved with so many things at the time – she was a lawyer, a teacher and a volunteer in the youth ministry. And the voice that she heard was, “Be a sister. Be a religious.” Five years later, she answered that call. BENEDICTINE FORMATION Sr. Christine began her journey towards becoming a nun in 1999 by entering in the Benedictine formation. She took her first profession in 2001 after three years in postulancy and novitiate. After 5 years in juniorate, she decided to leave in 2005. She felt that she had not been faithful to the life expected of a Benedictine sister. Seeing that she got easily affected by those who would leave the program also made her think about her decision. For her, it felt like half of herself was in the convent and the other half on the outside. At that time, she was not yet ready to go home. The Manila priory, under sub prioress Sr. Lumen Gloria, looked for a job for her so she was sent to Daughters of Charity at Sacred Heart College, Lucena City. She worked at their Human Resource Department for a year due to her legal background.
Having a heart of service for others, she was given an opportunity to be on a foreign mission to Windhoek, Namibia in Southern Africa. She was assigned to one of the local congregations – Alliance of International Monasticism – an organization that helps mostly Benedictine congregations in Africa or in places where they would need more assistance. She helped in the Benedictine formation by teaching the Rule of St. Benedict and travelled to different communities to hold English classes for the Namibian sisters.
After a year of missionary work in Africa, she was still unsure whether she should go back to her law practice. But she was determined to fulfill her lay mission.
This gave her a few months to reflect on what she should do next.
She met with Mother Adelaida Ygrubay, her juniorate directress, who asked if she was planning to go back to religious life. She discerned again and went back in May of 2008.