A Sister's Story
Sr. Ramona Beltre, FMA
Ramona was born to Lucrecia Castillo and Alfredo Beltre in Santo Domingo, the Dominican Republic. In their joy at the birth of their first child, they did not think that she would be the eldest of eight children and would help the family in many ways. In fact, Ramona soon understood that the growing family was in need of help. Therefore, she emigrated to the United States in order to find a job that would help the family.
Ramona settled in Port Chester, NY, and worked two full time jobs besides attending night classes. She was able to reunite the family in the United States. She began to frequent Holy Rosary parish, and soon joined Fr. Morales in the Cursillo being given to the Hispanic community. Meanwhile, Ramona began to frequent daily Mass and continued her work to help her family.
Before long, the Lord saw to the fulfillment of Ramona’s desire. Meanwhile, she continued to attend the parish activities. Her confessor soon advised her that she pray to discern where the Lord was calling her. Ramona tried for a few days to see if the Missionaries of Calcutta were for her. Two days of observation assured her that she could not follow their kind of life.
One day, while attending Mass, she gained contact with the Salesian Sisters who were stationed at Holy Rosary parish. Each day, she made it a point to see them. A smile and a word were enough. Soon, Ramona asked to see the provincial, Sr. Theresa Sironi, who invited her to meet the General Superior who was visiting the Sisters at that time. Ramona did.
Ramona was also invited to spend a weekend with the other young ladies who have begun their discernment to the Salesian life. One evening during that weekend, Sr. Antoinette Cedrone took the young people into the chapel to pray and make their evening examination of conscience. After that, a song to bid Jesus good night completely captivated Ramona. Shortly after, she began her religious formation at North Haledon, NJ. After the completion of her years of preparation, she went to Rome, Italy for her novititate.
Sr. Ramona made her first profession in 1990 and returned to the U.S. to begin her mission. Through the years her tasks have been many-- ranging from caregiver to the elderly and sick Sisters, to teacher in our grammar schools. Sr. Ramona’s mission has been more than giving her service where needed. For this Salesian Sister, her works and commitment are a reflection of Jesus’ love for each one of us.