Mother Teresa of the Child Jesus, Foundress of the Pax Christi Sisters, at the age of 91 was called by the Heavenly Father October 3, 2020 in Corpus Christi, TX. Our beloved spiritual mother and Foundress has gone to be with Jesus in the heavenly glory after a long and a fruitful life marked by much suffering and joy. She left a legacy that will benefit the Pax Christi Sisters and those they will minister for the years to come.
Mother Teresa was born January 23rd, 1929 in El Paso, Texas, the daughter of Manuel Santoyo and Blanca Alonso. She spent her early years in El Paso, Texas, graduating from Ursuline Academy in Laredo, Texas. She obtained her Bachelor of Arts from Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio, Texas and earned a Master’s Degree in Theology from the Incarnate Word University in San Antonio, Texas, a Doctorate in Sacred Liturgy and Doctor of Divinity from Theological Foundation in Indiana.
She entered Religious Life at the age of fifteen with the Congregation of the Servants of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and of the Poor in Mexico. Mother Teresa of the Child Jesus baptized “Blanca Estella” made first profession of vows on June, 1947 and the final vows on July, 1953. Mother Teresa was always open and docile to the will of God and answered a second call, to be the Foundress of the Pax Christi Sisters.
In November 3, 1968 she answered a call within her call. This call involved the foundation of a new religious order, the Pax Christi Sisters, an order that she never planned herself, but it was in God’s plan. Since then she became the Mother Superior of the Pax Christi Sisters as well as Mistress of Novices and spiritual guidance for the Sisters and many others that knocked the doors of our convent. In the desire that God would always be glorified and to spread the Peace of Christ “so that all may be one”, she established several Pax Christi Sisters Convents around the United States such as San Antonio and Brenham, Texas, Virginia, New York and two in Mexico, Querétaro and Michoacan. With her burning love for Jesus, uncompromising discipleship, implicit trust in the heavenly Father and obedience to the guidance of the Holy Spirit, Mother Teresa entrusted the ministry of the Sisters into God’s hands and set us a lasting example to “Be kind to each other, and those we minister as we would be to Christ Himself.”
In addition, Mother Teresa served the poor and the needy in orphanages in Laredo and Residence for Girls in Corpus Christi, Texas, as well as she touched many families by presenting to them a new renovated house, so that the family could get a better life and get closer to God. Also, she was an elementary school teacher in El Paso and Hebbronville, Texas.
Mother Teresa was a very humble, understanding, compassionate and loving person. Her spiritual life led her to trust and have confidence in God’s guidance and protection. She gave us a great example of fortitude and perseverance in the face of illness and infirmities, these struggles did not prevent her from expressing her deep love for God, her Divine spouse, and her love and Peace for each one of her Pax Christi Sisters. The celebration of the Holy Eucharist and the long hours she spent in adoration before the Blessed Sacrament were the heart of her prayer life and contemplation. She burned with tender love for the Lord and our Blessed Mother under the title of our Lady of Guadalupe, and lived solely for the service of God’s Kingdom.
Though her passing is a deep grief to us, our hearts are filled with thanksgiving to the Lord for giving us and many others a spiritual mother in her for so long. It is our prayer that we will be true to her spiritual legacy which is: to serve as enabling instruments of peace which leads us in the pursuit of the attainment of Perfect love, Oneness in the Lord.
Mother Teresa is preceded in death by her mother and father Blanca Alonso and Manuel Santoyo, grandparents, Sara Hinojosa and Babil Arrieta, her Sister Mercedes Gandara Santoyo and her brother Manuel Santoyo.
She is survived by her brother Rodolfo Santoyo and many nieces and nephews.
Visitation will be held from 4:00 to 8:00p.m. on Thursday, October 8 at Pax Christi Sisters Chapel with a Rosary to be recited at 6:00p.m. that same evening.
A Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, October 9 at Pax Christi Sisters Chapel.
Interment will follow at Seaside Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the Pax Christi Sisters.
The Pax Christi Sisters wish to extend their gratitude and thanks to the many who have shown such warmth and love throughout the years. Especially to those who tended to Mother Teresa during her illness, including doctors, especially Dr. Roger M. Sifuentes, nurses, caregivers and Angel Bright Hospice Staff.
Thank you for the great outpouring of sympathy, acts of kindness, prayers, spiritual support and thoughts during this difficult time for the Sisters. Your thoughtfulness is very much appreciated.
Sincerely in Christ our Peace,
Mother Maria Elva Reyes,
Superior General and Pax Christi Sisters.
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